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Behind the Scenes at Natural History Internship

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This internship is perfect for the person who loves natural history, enjoys helping other students, and has always dreamed of having an opportunity to explore the behind-the-scenes research and collection areas of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).  This is a great opportunity for a Museum Studies student or someone currently enrolled in STEM disciplines who is looking for experience in administration, science programming, and a general overview of natural history research and collections activities. In planning and implementing activities and events for the NMNH academic community, sharing stories about our interns through media outlets and photography, and learning office administration, the Behind the Scenes Interns will discover and understand the foundational work that supports the intern cohort at the NMNH.

Students selected for this project will help coordinate and implement the NMNH 2018 Summer Internship Program, including conducting orientation sessions, facilitating activities and events for our intern community, and assisting with office management.  We are looking for three focused leaders: Orientation & Administration Leader, Activities & Events Leader, and Media & Outreach Leader.  Applicants are encouraged to select the one focus area with which they are most interested.  We anticipate selecting undergraduates or recently graduated students, who best connect with and understand the natural history intern cohort perspective, to fill these leadership roles.

  • Orientation & Administration Leader. Responsibilities focus on on-boarding and exiting aspects, including conducting Morning Orientation sessions and Exit Clearance meetings. This leader will be involved in managing schedules, budgeting, writing reports, conducting analyses, and processing documents and forms to on-board and exit appointees. This leader’s role is to help ensure a seamless onboarding experience, program evaluation, and that exiting interns can maintain connections to the NMNH community.  The ideal candidate is an outgoing, friendly individual with strong communication skills who naturally enjoys interacting with other students, and who is seeking experience in office management.  Must be available to start on or before 14 May 2018.
  • Activities & Events Leader. Responsibilities focus on the in-service experience, including designing and implementing an active series of complementary enrichment activities and events focused on our NMNH community. The Activities and Event’s Leader will be involved in coordinating behind-the-scenes tours, lunchtime conversations, hands-on workshops, seminars, as well as social events. This leader will also work directly with NMNH scientists and executive staff members, designing event announcements, implementing activities, and contributing to the weekly Intern Newsletter. This leader’s role is to interface with the NMNH community, serving as a conduit for the intern cohort.  The ideal candidate is someone who is naturally very organized and efficient in managing multiple projects, and takes initiative to conceive and follow through on new ideas to help build community connections. Must be available through 17 August 2018.
  • Media & Outreach Leader. Responsibilities focus on communicating aspects of our exciting Internship Program to interns in-residence, as well as to other audiences. This leader will be involved in activating our social media presence, writing articles about our interns for information outlets, capturing and sharing photos and videos featuring interns, coordinating and organizing the weekly Intern Newsletter, and managing and creating content for our “Intern of the Day” series.  This leader’s role is to share our story with internal and external audiences using text, photography, and video.  The ideal candidate is someone who is already active in social media, is well versed in the variety of media platforms, and is always seeking appropriate content to share.

QUALIFICATIONS: Undergraduate, graduate student, or graduate who has completed coursework or is currently enrolled in a STEM discipline with a focus on museum studies or natural history science (anthropology, botany, entomology, invertebrate zoology, mineral science, paleobiology, vertebrate zoology).  Interest in working with undergraduate and graduate level interns.  Full time only (40 hours per week).  To maximize the project learning outcomes, applicants should already have the following starting qualifications:

  • Ability to cooperate as part of a collective team, while also working independently to reach team goals.
  • Self-starter with passion and the ability to plan, organize, and establish priorities to meet goals and achieve results according to a timeline with set deadlines.
  • Proficient in using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Knowledgeable of, and experience with, social media engagement techniques and management.
  • Ability to communicate information effectively to a large group.


AWARD PACKAGE:  $4,000 (housing not provided)

TIMEFRAME: Summer only

STATUS:  Apply before 15 March 2018.  Send complete resume/cv, transcript of courses and grades, name and contact information for three professional references, plus dates of availability and learning objectives.  Applicants will be notified before 15 April 2018.

CONTACT: Mary Sangrey, e-mail: sangreym@si.edu, phone: 202-633-4548