Summer Special Events Internship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

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Summary Sentence:

Special Events 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.

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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. Additionally, the museum is able to host social events including weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays, etc. 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.

Goal: Overall, this internship aims to assist students in developing the skills necessary to plan and execute events.

Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:

  • Summarize the necessary steps to execute an event at NMAH
  • Produce documentation and memoranda for events
  • Develop problem solving and time management skills

Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:

  • Assist in the coordination and execution of receptions, dinners, conferences, donation ceremonies, and other special events at the Museum
  • Manage the museum-wide special events and conference room calendar
  • Interact and communicate with museum staff, vendors, event attendees, and members of the public

Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:  

  • Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student
  • Communication skills, both oral and written
  • Availability to work events including nights and some weekends

Audience: This internship can both be generalized to provide individuals initial experience in this field and specialized for individuals who already have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 1-2 interns. Undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, career changers, and other professionals are encouraged to apply.

Timeline: This internship takes place during every internship cycle--spring, summer, or fall. This internship can be part time or full time. 

Eligible for Academic Credit: Yes! Interns may receive program or course credit for this experience if approved by their educational institution. Though NMAH does not itself award credit, the Interns and Fellows Office will help coordinate the requirements for credit with the educational institution.

Optional Enrichment Opportunities: Interns are invited to participate in optional opportunities during the internship that support professional growth and foster understanding about the museum field.

Financial Information: This internship does provide a stipend of $325 per week in additional to a $500 stipend to offset transportation costs. Additional stipends may be available for interns with additional financial need whose complete applications are submitted on time and who are accepted into the program; the amount of internship stipends depends on the amount of museum funds available and is at the discretion of NMAH. Internship stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary or meant as compensation, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. If an intern is awarded a stipend, stipends cannot be distributed before the start of an internship, and we typically recommend that an intern has at least enough external funding to cover the first month's expenses to accommodate the wait time required in stipend processing. To learn more, please check out our Internship FAQ page.

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  • Created By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 14, 2020 - 10:37am
  • Last Updated: Jan 14, 2020 - 10:37am