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Winter Break – Behind the Scenes at Natural History Internship



PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Home for the holidays or otherwise in the DC area during December/January?  This internship is perfect for the person who loves natural history, enjoys helping other students, and always dreamed of spending their winter break exploring the behind-the-scenes research and collection areas of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  This is a great opportunity for a Museum Studies student or someone currently enrolled in STEM disciplines who is looking for a little experience during Winter Break in administration, science programming, and a general overview of natural history research and collections activities through planning and implementing activities and events for the NMNH academic community, sharing stories through media outlets and photography about our interns, and learning office administration by managing schedules, writing reports, and conducting analyses, as well as processing documents and forms to on-board, in-service and exit appointees.

Students selected for this project will help coordinate and implement the NMNH 2016/2017 Winter Break Internship Program, including 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.  Interested applicants are encouraged to select the one focus area they are most interested in.  We anticipate selecting undergraduates or recently graduated students, who best connect and understand the natural history intern cohort perspective, to fill these leadership roles.


  • Orientation & Administration Leader.  Responsibilities focus on arrival and exit aspects.  The ideal candidate is a “people person” who naturally enjoys interacting with other students but is also seeking experience in office management.
  • Activities & Events Leader.  Responsibilities focus on the in-service experience including designing and implementing an active series of complementary offerings, including pre-arranged behind-the-scenes tours, workshops and seminars as well as new social events and opportunities to explore DC offerings.  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 also a group leader, taking the initiative to conceive and follow through on new ideas to help build community connections.
  • Media & Outreach Leader.  Responsibilities focus on communicating aspects of our exciting Winter Break Internship Program to interns in-residence as well as other audiences including activating our social media presence, writing articles about our interns for information outlets, capturing and sharing photos and videos featuring interns, and creating content and managing our “Intern of the Day” series, among others.  This leader’s role is to use text, photography and video to share our story with internal and external audiences.  The ideal candidate is someone who is already active in social media and is well versed in the variety of media platforms, 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 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.  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 in, social media engagement techniques and management.
  • Able to speak and effectively communicate information to a large group.


TIMEFRAME: Winter Break only (December/January)

STATUS:  Send complete resume/cv, dates of availability, and learning objectives.

CONTACT: Mary Sangrey, e-mail:, phone: 202-633-4548