On March 25, 2016 the Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the Students Success Guides Club at Montgomery College, delivered a presentation for local students in Takoma Park, MD. Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) Program Manager Pamela Hudson-Veenbas and Project Director for Latino Initiatives at SI Traveling Exhibition Service Maria del Carmen Cossu talked about opportunities available at the Smithsonian including internships, fellowships and volunteering.
During the presentation Pam and Maria explained that the Smithsonian has a unique capacity to provide mentorship to students majoring in practically every field of study encompassing humanities, communications, biology and even engineering. As put by Ms. Hudson-Veenbas, there are over 6,500 employees at SI, which means over 6,500 potential mentors.
The presentation covered a wide range of questions from an introduction to SI activities to tips for completing a successful application. The audience, largely comprised of students from underrepresented backgrounds, was particularly inspired by Ms. del Carmen Cossu’s personal story. A native of Peru, Maria joined the Smithsonian as an intern back in 1990s, and this turned out to be a life-changing moment. Now an accomplished museum professional with over 28 years of experience, she encouraged students to explore their passions and emphasized how interns’s contributions and ideas are genuinely appreciated here at the Smithsonian.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to demystify the process and possibilities at the Institution,” Pamela Hudson-Veenbas said. Hopefully, for many of these students this opportunity may become a lever that will eventually help them move the Earth.