Smithsonian Affiliations Internships

Smithsonian Affiliations offers internships for college and graduate students focused on strategic partnerships, national outreach and communications/marketing. Internships are based on availability and current activities of the staff. Projects vary in focus and intensity and range from short-term, part-time appointments to full-time summer-long commitments.

Working side-by-side with the Affiliations staff, interns develop specialized skills in national outreach, event planning, membership management, fundraising, public relations, content marketing, web management, and new media strategy. In addition, interns will develop professional networking skills while working collaboratively among the various Smithsonian museums and units to learn how to develop educational programming and coordinate object loans for Affiliates across the country.

Smithsonian Affiliations is currently not accepting new applications. Please check back in January 2017 for summer placement. 

What is the application process?

Please apply using the Smithsonian OnLine Academic Appointment system, SOLAA. Once registered and logged in you will need to complete the requested information.

A complete application package must include:

  • One letter of reference from the applicant’s past or current educator or employer
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial are accepted)
  • A two-page essay (double-spaced) addressing the following points:
    • What you hope to accomplish through an internship
    • How it would relate to your academic and career goals
    • What specifically about the Smithsonian interests you and leads you to apply for an internship

Essential Tips for the Online Application

  • Do NOT submit your application until all necessary components are uploaded (i.e. essay, transcripts, resume). Once submitted, you cannot upload or change anything within the application.
  • You will need the names and email addresses of one academic or professional reference. Through the online SOLAA system, you will send an email to him/her so s/he can provide references through the web.
  • If you do not have a file to upload for your transcripts, please send a hardcopy to:

Regular Mail:
Elizabeth Bugbee
Smithsonian Affiliations
P.O. Box 37012
MRC 942
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

FedEx:
Elizabeth Bugbee
Smithsonian Affiliations
470 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Suite 7400
MRC 942
Washington, D.C. 20024

Is there funding for internships?

This is not a paid internship opportunity. To find paid internships, please search opportunities through the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships.

What is a typical intern project?

Learning experiences at Smithsonian Affiliations include a pan-Institutional perspective on the Smithsonian Institution. Interns develop specialized skills in national conference planning, membership management, fundraising, public relations, content marketing, web management, and new media strategy. In addition, interns will develop professional networking skills while working collaboratively among the various Smithsonian museums and units to learn how to develop educational programming and coordinate object loans for Affiliates across the country.

Some example of past internship projects include:

  • Conference planning- Learning how to plan and organize the Affiliations National Conference which exposes interns to logistical planning, time management, and event planning skills.
  • Communications strategy- Interns have developed public relations and marketing skills through assisting Affiliations staff in planning new media and print communications strategies for Smithsonian exhibits, programs and artifacts traveling to Affiliate neighborhoods.
  • Fundraising- Interns gain a working knowledge of the basics of development while helping Affiliations staff research potential donors and plan targeted fundraising opportunities.

How is an intern selected?

Final selections are based upon the strengths of the application and the applicant’s learning goals. An applicant’s academic performance should be above average, application materials should be neat, legible and free of spelling or grammatical errors. Candidates will be interviewed and may be required to successfully pass a background investigation and be fingerprinted.

Are there any other requirements?

Smithsonian Affiliations requires interns to fill out an internship survey to evaluate his/her learning experience at the conclusion of the internship.

What are the deadlines?

Please contact Elizabeth Bugbee, Communications and Professional Development Manager, for available internship opportunities. Applications are accepted based on available projects and staff time.

Elizabeth Bugbee
(202) 633-5304
BugbeeE@si.edu

Are there additional activities for interns while at the Smithsonian?

Smithsonian Affiliations interns are encouraged to explore all the Smithsonian has to offer during their stay and participate in as many activities as possible. Many intern events throughout the summer intern season are organized by the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships. Interns are advised to sign up for emails and join the Smithsonian Interns Facebook page for additional opportunities.

Is housing provided?

The Smithsonian does not provide housing for interns, nor is there a specific housing office at the Smithsonian. As such, interns are responsible for their own living arrangements during their time at the Smithsonian, and most rent apartments or live with friends or family in the area. Many interns additionally find temporary housing on Washington D.C.’s college campuses, youth hostels or commercial housing.

The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships produces a DC Metro Area Housing Guide each year that may help students in locating appropriate housing.

Who do I contact for more information?

Please direct any questions about Smithsonian Affiliations Internship opportunities to Elizabeth Bugbee, Communications and Professional Development Manager, (202) 633-5304, BugbeeE@si.edu

Interns at the Folklife Festival

Smithsonian Affiliations interns learn about accessibility challenges during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall.