- Please read about how to submit your application on our website. We will not review applications submitted via Handshake; we will only review applications submitted via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment Database.
- This internship may be virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern’s preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- All accepted interns will have the option to apply for an internship stipend based on disclosed financial need after their selection.
Do you have a desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions? The NMAH Exhibition Design Internship will provide you with real-world experience in the development and design of object-based, interpretive exhibitions. Develop your 3-D and graphic design skills, practice your design critique and presentation skills, work directly with professional exhibition designers, and expand your portfolio of design projects through museum exhibitions. If you have questions or would like to learn more about the internship, feel free to contact Nigel Briggs, NMAH designer and internship coordinator for the design studio.
**Please note: as part of your SOLAA application to this position, please provide your portfolio! This can be added to your SOLAA application in a number of ways: (1) you can upload a PDF of your work as a “Resume” document if it’s not too big a file size, (2) you can add a link to your online portfolio on your actual resume, or (3) you can upload a Word doc as a “Resume” document with just a link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder et to “share with anyone with a link.”**
Goal: Overall, this internship aims to provide student with real-world experience in the Exhibition Development and Design the museum context.
Status: Virtual, in-person, or hybrid, depending on the intern’s preference and our museum staffing capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
Anticipated Learning Objectives: By the end of this internship, the intern will be able to:
- Understand the exhibition development and design process for interpretive, object-based exhibitions.
- Use Vectorworks for exhibition concept design and detailing
- Create and present verbal and visual exhibition design concept presentations
- Prepare exhibition design production packages
Expected Responsibilities: During the internship, the intern should expect to:
- Use Vectorworks for Exhibition Design modeling and detailing
- Use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign for exhibition graphic design
- Participate in weekly creative critiques about exhibition design
- Attend exhibition project meetings and present exhibition design concepts
Ideal Qualifications / Prerequisites: The ideal intern applicant is/has:
- Experience with Vectorworks and other 3-D CAD software
- Experience with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign
- A desire to gain experience with visual and experiential storytelling through museum exhibitions
Audience: This internship can be both generalized, to provide individuals initial experience in this field, and specialized, for individuals who have experience in this field. This internship is intended for 3-4 interns. Past interns have had some background in the following fields: industrial design, theater, merchandising, architecture, interior design, exhibition design, and/or museum studies. Community college students, 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 opportunity provides a guaranteed stipend of $2,000. Additionally, upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding based on financial need upon selection, interns will have the opportunity to apply for a stipend based on financial need; 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.
If you have any questions about the internship, please contact Caroline Fiertz, Interns & Fellows Program Manager at the National Museum of American History, at NMAHintern@si.edu or 202-633-3556.