Museum internships provide institutional training to students interested in pursuing a career working for museums. The museum intern will work closely with professional staff at a gallery or museum, participate in ongoing departmental work, complete a project or dissect a portion of a larger project. Possible placements for museum internships are curatorial, design, conservation and education departments.

Examples of Museum Internships:

  • Curator Internships – provide training to make an intern primarily responsible for the development, research, and planning, of all museum exhibitions. The position is responsible for managing professional staff in both the exhibition and collections departments. A curator intern should be creative with excellent communication and writing skills necessary for producing and editing all didactic materials.
  • Archives Division Internships – give interns the opportunity to work with researchers and assist them with their request for materials, conducting reference interviews to identify potential collections of interest and accessing materials from storage. An archives division intern is required to respond to oral and written reference inquiries in consultation with the reference archivist, prepare new finding aids, historical summaries, or other research tools.
  • Exhibit Developer Internships – are for those who have current gallery experiences and are capable of developing new ones. An exhibit developer intern will be responsible for effectively producing content into relevant and approachable exhibition elements that appeal to visitors. The intern will serve as an audience advocate on exhibition development teams and work on multiple projects at the same time.
  • Museum Director Internships – will help train an intern to become responsible in the museum’s operation and programs. The museum director intern will lead and oversee all general areas related to education, collections stewardship and interpretation, finance and development, facilities and risk management, and institutional planning of the entire museum. Such challenging tasks will train the museum director intern to develop expertise in comprehensive institutional planning in accordance with the Alliance of Museum’s Standards and Best Practices.

Museum internships are typically unpaid internships due to the fact that they’re usually non-profits. These museum internships can last anywhere from a semester, a year, to just the summer months (summer internships). The intern will get an opportunity to receive meaningful experience and develop skills needed to succeed in the museum industry.  You can visit University of Sydney Museum Internships for more information.

Benefits of Museum Internships

Museum internships provide interns with an actual continuous learning experience. It is great training to also learn more about history. Museum interns are also given free access / tickets to exhibits and shows. Some museum shops give discounts to its employees and interns as well. And in most museums, travel expenses are given to an intern as a benefit.

You may also be interested in these internships:

MOMA Internships

By Diane Barlow