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Internships – Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building

Posted on Sep 11, 2019 by in The OFI Blog |

Background

The Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building (AIB) seeks outstanding interns to join a dynamic small team that’s working on exciting projects with big impact. AIB is an iconic Smithsonian space that opened in 1881 as the nation’s first museum, and is about to embark on a major transformation after being closed for more than a decade. Over the next few years, we’ll be staging a series of large-scale, landmark events and exhibitions that set the stage for AIB’s future vision, while also doing the serious work of preparing for its long-awaited reopening.

AIB seeks interns to specialize in one of three areas: curation, events and operations, and communications and partnerships. These are professional-level internships, and you’ll be an integral part of both a collaborative team and AIB’s success.

Curatorial Assistant (Intern)

You are: an expert internet sleuth and researcher with a passion for storytelling. You’re a strong communicator who loves learning new things and tracking down facts.

You’ll work closely with AIB’s curators on developing a major exhibition planned for 2021 in celebration of the institution’s 175th Anniversary, tentatively titled “Smithsonian Pavilion 2021: The Futures (SP21).” In addition to featuring historic objects and modern innovations, SP21 will use experiential learning, installations, and immersive content to illustrate ideas and inventions from a range of private-sector partners and Smithsonian research centers. A typical day could include researching objects in the Smithsonian’s vast collection (both physically and online), consulting source material in a library or archive, drafting exhibition content and mission briefs, or preparing for and attending meetings with a range of collaborators including Smithsonian curators and exhibition designers, research labs and technology start-ups. Excellent research and writing skills, strong communication abilities and never-ending curiosity are key for this position.

Learning Objectives

You’ll have a front row seat and a key role to play as we build our team, design the exhibition and bring it to life. Interns may be asked to support our curators and exhibition team with various tasks including: curatorial research, object scouting, meeting coordination and preparation, notetaking, attending meetings with senior advisory groups, maintaining exhibition object checklists, budgeting, and other related tasks.

Events and Operations Assistant (Intern)

You are: a tamer of chaos and pride yourself on always being on top of things. Impeccably organized, with a mind for logistics and a strong sense of how to get from A to B, even with some X’s and Y’s thrown in.

You’ll work closely with AIB’s Manager of Operations and Events to play a vital role in the inner workings of a major institution. A typical day could include helping prepare for a big meeting, budgeting a new event, or leading walkthroughs with local artists. Stellar office and interpersonal skills, and a willingness to tackle new projects will help make this a great experience.  Other projects: recruiting and managing volunteers, coordinating event mechanics, staffing events, budget tracking, business and organizational theory projects.

Learning Objectives

Interns will be involved in the mechanics of developing, managing, staffing and executing large-scale events. Expect to learn the ins and outs of event management. Skills may include how to build and execute an event timeline, determine staffing needs and recruit and train volunteers to fill those slots, conduct a site walkthrough, and create a floor plan. Interns will gain familiarity with Smithsonian event approval processes and understand what it takes to bring together an exciting and dynamic public event at a high profile Institution.

Communications and Partnerships Assistant (Intern)

You are: focused, energetic, and a gifted storyteller. Passionate about museums and culture, you love a well-crafted email and never miss an opportunity to follow up with new connections.

You’ll work closely with AIB’s Director of External Affairs to build enthusiasm for AIB through communications, partnerships, and special events. A typical day could see you designing a presentation for cutting-edge tech partners, storyboarding a marketing video, and researching speakers for an upcoming festival. Excellent writing and speaking skills, strong work ethic, and a “get ‘er done” mindset are a plus. Other projects: media outreach, graphic design, email and social media, public speaking, presentations, branding, and writing.

Learning Objectives

Interns will be involved in crafting messaging for internal and external partners and promulgating the brand of the AIB. Expect to learn how a growing professional communications operation runs and the many tools used to build and shape a public brand and profile. Interns will gain experience with and understanding of various branding and messaging techniques.

Eligibility

These positions are best fit for college juniors/seniors and graduate students. We ask for a commitment of at least three (3) full days a week for a full semester.

Anyone who is eligible for an internship at the Smithsonian can apply to intern with the Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building. Eligibility for Smithsonian internships is generally defined as someone seeking a guided learning opportunity related to their academic or professional goals. Foreign students are eligible to apply. All Smithsonian interns must be 14 years of age or older.

Advancement Assistant (Intern)

You are: a smart multi-tasker with a keen ability to find information online and connect the dots. You are passionate about cultural organizations and want to help identify funding sources for important projects.

You’ll work closely with AIB’s Advancement Associate and Director of Advancement in a fun, fast-paced, and dynamic environment. A typical day might include conducting online research, helping design and edit proposals, writing content for grant applications, and/or helping with events. Must be a strong writer and intellectually curious. A sense of humor and design skills are a plus.

Learning Objectives

Interns will be involved in finding new sources of funding for AIB and helping prepare materials for proposals. Expect to learn how a development department runs and how a fundraising strategy is developed.

Eligibility

These positions are best fit for college juniors/seniors and graduate students. We ask for a commitment of at least three (3) full days a week for a full semester.

Anyone who is eligible for an internship at the Smithsonian can apply to intern with the Smithsonian Arts + Industries Building. Eligibility for Smithsonian internships is generally defined as someone seeking a guided learning opportunity related to their academic or professional goals. Foreign students are eligible to apply. All Smithsonian interns must be 14 years of age or older.

 

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 Arts + Industries Building (AIB). Follow the steps listed, and be sure to upload any necessary supporting documents.

Need help? Please contact SicolaM@si.edu.

Application Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester (September – December): July 20
  • Spring Semester (January – May)November 20
  • Summer Semester (May – August): March 20

FAQs:

Are Smithsonian AIB interns paid?

For interns not receiving academic credit, we offer a modest monthly stipend of $400/month. Applicants may also seek financial assistance on their own from outside sources.

Can I receive academic credit for completing an internship?

Awarding academic credit for an internship is at the discretion of your high school, college, or university.  If your academic institution does award you credit, we are happy to assist you in providing appropriate information as requested by your school.  Arrangements for accreditation should be made before you begin the internship.

Can I apply if I am a high school student?

These internships are best fit for college juniors/seniors and graduate students. However, all applications will be reviewed and considered.

How competitive is the application process?

We receive applications from many qualified applicants and the application process is competitive. We accept one to two interns per position each semester. Applicants are welcome to re-apply for future semesters if not selected upon first submission. Our team will review all applications received. Please note, due to the high volume of applications, we will only contact those interns who have been selected for an interview.

Can I serve as an AIB intern part-time?

Certainly! We will work with you to accommodate your academic schedule and other commitments as needed. We ask for a commitment of three full days per week for a full semester. Hours may be broken up into half days and alternate schedules in order to total three full days per week.