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Museum Studies Internship Program: June 4–August 3, 2018

Intern tours conservation lab.
Museum Studies interns get the opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about a full range of museum careers.

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Every summer, the Museum Studies Internship Program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a metropolitan museum. This nine-week, Monday-to-Friday volunteer program promotes an awareness of the broad range of museum careers through experiences not available in most academic settings.

Internship Format

From June 4 through August 3, 2018, Museum Studies interns volunteer for 3 1/2 days each week in a specific department. The remainder of the week is spent in a group colloquium, which includes:

  • Gallery talks with curators
  • Discussions with top-level administrators, including the Museum’s director and president, as well as trustees
  • Conversations with nearly every Museum department and former interns
  • Behind-the-scenes tours and demonstrations
  • Presentations on the Museum’s history and collection
  • Field trips to historic houses and other sites

Eligibility Requirements

The Museum selects a diverse group of talented students from a highly competitive pool of candidates. Learn more >>

To be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • Currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student, or have graduated within the same calendar year as the internship program
  • Completion of at least your sophomore year of college by the end of the spring 2018 semester
  • A 3.0 grade point average

Stipend Opportunities

Interns in this program are unpaid. However, 4 stipends of $3,000 each (funded by the Honickman Foundation and the Patty Klutz memorial gift) are available for the summer of 2018. Learn about the Diversity Internship Stipend for Philadelphia Students >>

The Diversity Internship Stipend for Philadelphia Students is intended to encourage the participation of college students from diverse backgrounds who:

  • Live or attend school in Philadelphia
  • Would otherwise not be able to take part in an unpaid summer internship

To be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • Satisfy eligibility requirements for the Museum Studies Internship Program
  • Be a permanent resident of Philadelphia, or a current student or a 2018 graduate at a college or university in Philadelphia
  • Submit college or university documentation that you receive or have received financial aid
We will make our selection among qualified stipend candidates based on the strength of application materials.

Past Intern Projects

Assignments, projects, and departmental placements vary every year. Learn more >>

These descriptions of past departmental assignments will help you understand the kinds of opportunities that may be available this summer. They do not necessarily represent opportunities for summer 2018.

The Museum’s Internship Program coordinators will outline a specific placement when contacting each finalist with an offer for acceptance into the program. Candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions before accepting or declining the position.

Business Administration
Work in the Executive Offices directly with the Museum’s Director and Chief Executive Officer on a museum-related project. Applicant must be an MBA student.

Collections Information
Standardize and enhance information in the collections database and assist with other technology-related projects. You will leave with a good understanding of the predominate software for managing museum collections and information.

Conservation
Observe conservation techniques for furniture, objects, paintings, works on paper, or textiles. Depending on your specialization, you may be placed in one department or shared between two. Interns with a science background may participate in chemical analysis of materials and other laboratory tasks. Chemistry coursework required; art history or studio art coursework desired.

Curatorial
Update the Museum’s database and object files, conduct research, work on inventory projects, reorganize storage, and carry out administrative tasks in one of these curatorial areas:

  • American Art
  • Arms and Armor
  • Contemporary Art
  • Costume and Textiles
  • East Asian Art
  • European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
  • European Painting
  • Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
  • South Asian Art

Development
Assist in nurturing relationships with donors and prospective donors to secure support-gifts, grants, sponsorships, and gifts-in-kind. You may work with one of several Development programs including Individual Giving, Institutional Support, Donor Engagement, Donor Communications, or Development Operations.

Editorial
Copyedit exhibition texts as well as newsletters, brochures, invitations, and signs. Must be comfortable with Word, possess strong writing skills, and be attentive to detail.

Education: Summer Camp Groups and Family Learning
Work together with a team of interns to develop a summer camp curriculum and teach groups in the galleries and studios. Also assist with Art Splash, our summer family festival, to facilitate studio art projects, prepare art materials, and welcome families.

Education: Interpretation
Work on evaluation and prototyping of content for the collection and exhibitions.

Education: Teacher Programs
Prepare for and implement our weeklong summer seminar for pre-K–12th-grade teachers. Conduct research for teacher materials and update contact lists.

Education: Teacher Resources
Work with the Wachovia Education Resource Center coordinator to create lessons and activities supporting the integration of visual arts into K–12 classrooms. Also assist with our weeklong summer seminar for pre-K–12th-grade teachers.

Finance
Support the Finance department, which is responsible for the maintenance of books, records, and financial statements.

Human Resources
Review and update recruitment materials and assist with Museum-wide initiatives in employee engagement, training, and benefits.

Library and Archives
Catalogue archival images, create metadata, conduct collection maintenance and development, and assist staff. Background in museum information science, archives, or librarianship desired.

Marketing and Communications
Volunteer with Marketing staff to develop and maintain outlets for paid advertising and coordinate social and digital content. Or volunteer with the Press Office to promote Museum initiatives to the press and other local media.

Membership and Visitor Operations
Assist with event planning and implementation, social-media marketing, gift entry and reporting, and membership activities.

Photography Studio
Prepare images for publications, interactives, and the website. Capture, edit, distribute, label, and archive photographs. Photograph events, behind-the-scenes installations, and publicity photo shoots. Photography experience required; knowledge of Photoshop/Lightroom desired.

Protection Services
Work on studies to identify the assignment of security officers throughout the galleries, and develop tools to increase efficiency and effectiveness of operations.

Registrar
Assist the Registrar and other staff in tracking the location and condition of art objects in the collection. Help with object inventories, resolve loan issues, data entry for deaccessioned records, and review and update acquisition files.

Retail
Actively engage with merchandising, operations, and marketing for our stores and e-commerce business. Creative and analytical skills will be applied and developed.

Social Media
Create and manage a social-media campaign for summer programs. You should be tech savvy, possess excellent communication skills, and be a creative self-starter. Must be proficient with social-media platforms.

Special Events
The Special Events team is responsible for the coordination and execution of all Museum events. You will help organize electronic marketing efforts for special events, format the event marketing calendar, and update promotional materials and distribution lists.

FAQs

Learn more about the program and the selection process >>

How long is the Museum Studies Internship Program?
It runs for nine weeks: June 4–August 3, 2018. Interns will report to the Museum 9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. Interns must be present for the entire duration of the program.

Do I need to submit official transcripts?
We accept both official and unofficial transcripts.

Do you accept international students?
Yes. International applicants will be reviewed on an individual basis and must have applicable visa eligibility to participate in a US internship. The visa process could take 60 to 90 days. International students are responsible for obtaining appropriate work authorization during the internship period.

Will I be notified when my application and materials have been received?
Yes, you will receive an automated email. Be sure to check your junk or spam folder.

What happens once my application has been received?
Each application is read by a committee of employees from nearly every department in the Museum to determine who will receive an interview.

How will I receive correspondence from the Museum?
You will be contacted by email. Be aware that certain email providers filter emails from the Museum. Often, these emails will be sent to your junk or spam folder. Please look for email addresses ending in “@philamuseum.org” and, when possible, mark them as being “not spam.”

When will I know whether I’ve been selected for an interview?
You will be contacted in March via email to schedule an interview. Interviews may be conducted in person for those in close proximity to the Museum or over the phone or via Skype for applicants outside the Philadelphia area.

Will I be notified if I am not selected?
Yes, you will be contacted by email if your application is no longer being considered.

When will I know if I have been selected for an internship?
We will notify applicants via email in April.

If I am selected, may I receive course credit?
Yes, but you must make arrangements with your school.

Is housing available?
Interns are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. If you have been selected for an internship and have questions about where you might live, you may contact one of the Museum’s Internship Program coordinators for advice.

Are Museum Studies Internship Program interns compensated?
Museum Studies interns are unpaid. Some colleges and universities offer assistance to students taking unpaid internships. Contact your college/university directly to determine if funds are available. In addition, four stipends are available for interns of diverse backgrounds for the summer of 2018. Learn more about this in the “Stipend Opportunities” section.

How to Apply

To be considered for the internship and/or the stipend, submit your online application and PDFs of all required materials at the link below by Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Additional materials will not be considered.

Required Application Materials >>

  • Résumé including relevant employment and volunteer experiences as well as computer and language skills.
  • Essay (400 words max) explaining your interest in the museum/art field and why you are applying. Identify up to 4 areas of interest for internship placement and how your interests, skills, and experiences relate to the departments you have selected. See above section on “Past Intern Projects” for placement descriptions.
  • Transcripts (official or unofficial) for your entire undergraduate/graduate career, including the college or university you currently attend and any you have previously attended.
  • 2 confidential letters of recommendation from current or former college professors, academic advisors, or employers familiar with your skills and abilities. These letters must be emailed with the applicant’s name in the subject line to by January 31, 2018.

If applying for a Diversity Internship Stipend for Philadelphia Students, submit:

  • All the above required materials (résumé, essay, transcripts, 2 letters of recommendation)
  • A letter stating why you believe you are qualified to receive a stipend
  • College or university documentation that you receive or have received financial aid

Apply Now: Museum Studies Internship Program

Please direct questions to .

For more information, please contact the Museum Studies Internship Program by phone at 215-684-7580, by fax at 215-236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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