Smithsonian Internship

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The Office of Special Events plans and coordinates over 100 events each year including: exhibition openings, press conferences, donation ceremonies, staff receptions, donor cultivation events, and corporate dinners and receptions. The office is characterized by a busy but proactive environment that strives to forward the goals of the Smithsonian Institution by connecting with the community and public at large. We offer an unparalleled opportunity for students/individuals interested in event planning and coordinating to delve into the museum environment and gain hands-on skills from a highly esteemed workplace. Our interns are given a great deal of responsibility and permitted the chance to develop their writing skills, interact with museum officials, work with caterers and vendors, and staff numerous special events. As an intern, you will be exposed to the nuances of protocol and frequently accompany staff members for on-site visits with potential donors and walk-throughs with clients and vendors.

Duties may include:

  • Coordinating and attending receptions, dinners, conferences, donation ceremonies, and other special events at the Museum.

  • Planning menus, décor, entertainment

  • Managing invitation lists, managing responses and guest lists, and taking the lead on the printing and mailing of invitations

  • Determining protocol and overseeing the printing and mailing of invitations.

  • Managing the museum-wide special events and conference room calendar

Past Special Events interns have gone on to work at the following:

  • Council on Foreign Relations

  • DreamWorks Animation

  • The Field Museum

  • Freer and Sackler Galleries

  • National Museum of African American History and Culture

  • National Museum of American History

  • National Museum of Women in the Arts

  • Occasions Caterers

  • Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

  • Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Smithsonian Institution Office of Advancement

Please contact Sarah Loux at with questions regarding the Special Events Internship. 

How to apply

  1. Interested applicants must go on to SOLAA, the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system and create an account.
  2. Choose "NMAH Special Events Internship (External Affairs) Program" as your program choice.
  3. Fill out your contact information, upload a résumé, two letters of recommendation, transcript (unofficial copy accepted) and a two page essay (summarizing your skills, coursework and experiences as well as sharing your learning expectations).

Spring - October 15
Summer – March 1
Fall – July 1

Intern Testimonials: Kathryn Haskins
Student at James Madison University
My internship in the Office of Special Events at the National Museum of American History gave me an incredible “real world” look into the field of event planning. This experience helped me begin my transition from a student into an events professional. I gained countless new skills, connections, and memories that I know I will be able to apply in my future endeavors.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Created: 02/16/2018
  • Modified By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Modified: 02/16/2018


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