Finding and Setting up an Internship
There are many ways to find an internship. A good first step is to…
Email the Museum Studies Program Director, Ken Cohen explaining that you wish to complete a Museum Studies internship and set up a meeting to begin the process.
If you know where you want to intern
Students should search the institution’s website for internship postings and guidelines. (Internship opportunities are sometimes listed on the education department page, or in the job opportunities section.) If there is an applicable listing, or if you have already have a contact with the institution, proceed with applying for a position. Be sure to notify the Program Director that you have submitted an application, and provide updates of your progress.
If no internships are listed, or if the openings are not a good fit, contact Ken Cohen as he can help connect you to a key staffer at the institution. With that introduction, you can work with the institution directly to set up an individualized internship. You must also complete the institution’s own intern hiring process (if any) and you must submit a completed Internship Agreement to the Museum Studies Program.
If you are not sure where you want to intern
Start by browsing the listings found in MuseWeekly, and other museum job sites and set up a meeting with Ken Cohen, so he can begin looking for you as well. If there are suitable openings, submit an application, and notify the Program. Deadlines for paid internships in particular often have early deadlines, so start looking in the fall for summer internships.
For internship meetings with Ken, students should think about the following:
- Which semester or during what time period do you want to intern?
- What is your availability during that time? What days or times can you work?
- Do you have preferences or requirements for the city or state where you want to intern?
- What type of institution do you want to work? (i.e. art gallery, natural history museum, historic site, botanical garden)
- What are your career interests? Do you want to intern in education, exhibitions, collections management, administration, development or another area?
After the meeting, the Program will work to find contacts at institutions in your area of interest and will put you in touch with the appropriate staff. Once the introduction has been made, you are responsible for negotiating the internship.
Once you have negotiated the terms of an internship, you must complete an Internship Agreement. Both the student and the project/site supervisor must complete and sign the Internship Agreement before the start of the internship and submit it to Ken Cohen for approval. Sometimes the sponsoring organization already has a standard internship contract; if this is the case, please share this contract with us before signing.
IF YOU ARE CONDUCTING YOUR INTERNSHIP HOURS AT SEVERAL SITES, YOU MUST HAVE A CONTRACT FOR EACH INSTITUTION.