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Office of Advancement (OA) Graphic Design Internship



The Office of Advancement (OA) Graphic Design intern will support the Smithsonian’s Advancement Communications team in creating a variety of fundraising print, PowerPoint, and web collateral. The Advancement Communications team functions as a “creative agency” inside the Smithsonian, helping leadership shape and disseminate the Institution’s fundraising messages by creating a wide range of high-quality fundraising materials. Clients are the leadership of the Smithsonian’s advancement office and fundraisers in every one of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 9 research centers and the National Zoo. The team consists of the Communications Director, the Communications Manager, two writers and two graphic designers.

How it Works:

The ideal graphic design intern candidate will be a strong collaborator with experience in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud, including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Bridge. The intern will be able to demonstrate graphic design skills by providing a link to a portfolio.


The graphic design intern can anticipate being a part of a talented and busy team and undertaking a wide range of assignments that will directly contribute to the Smithsonian’s mission and the team’s high-quality results.

  • Working knowledge of Creative Suite, PowerPoint, Word, Web applications (Drupal)
  • Create presentation slides, including developing new infographics and inserting compelling photography
  • Ready InDesign files to release to outside vendors
  • Assist with assembling printing specifications, sending to printers and organizing estimates for review
  • Create presentation mock ups, including trimming and binding
  • Maintain Epson printer, keeping track of supplies
  • Update communication templates
  • Update People>Passion>Purpose website, including web banners and background images
  • Administrative duties: organizing files and assembling production schedules
  • Assist designers in photo research, organization and securing permissions

The graphic design intern can expect to gain valuable, hand-on experience in a wide range of strategic communications graphic design. They will assist in bringing traditional and electronic media projects from concept to completion; work closely with Smithsonian clients and a busy, award winning, small, “agency” creative team, which includes writers and graphic designers; contribute directly to production work using Adobe CS, PowerPoint, video, and other applications; and gain experience in conducting a wide range of research and information gathering across the Smithsonian, tapping rich photographic and collection resources and collaborating with colleagues at its museums and research centers.


Current undergraduate or graduate students who are willing to commit at least 10 to 20 weeks to this internship.  This is a year-round opportunity. OA can host one intern per semester.  This internship requires a commitment of 10-20 hours, and maybe up to 40 hours per week.

How To Apply:

To apply, create an account on the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA). Then start an application for this internship program, which is listed as the Office of Advancement (OA). Follow the steps listed, and be sure to upload any necessary supporting documents. Once you’ve completed your application, Lindsey Ortbal in the Office of Advancement will receive it and share it with the communications team.

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester (September – December): July 15
  • Spring Semester (January – May): November 15
  • Summer Session (June – August): March 15

Need Help? Contact Lindsey Ortbal at OrtbalL@si.edu or 202-633-5078