Smithsonian Office of International Relations (OIR) Internship
You may know the Smithsonian for our museums and collections, but we’re also a global organization actively involved in researching biodiversity, conserving priceless artifacts, preserving cultural heritage, partnering with global cultural and scientific peers, and much more. We work in more than 100 countries around the world, including Brazil, Morocco, Iraq, Kenya, Panama, and Peru, to name but a few.
OIR serves as the central point for Institution-wide advice, insight, analysis, and coordination of all international activities of the Institution. We advance the Smithsonian’s mission by leveraging the research, creativity, and expertise of the entire Smithsonian to push for greater reach, develop further relevance, and deliver profound impact globally. We mobilize communities, scientists, scholars, and partner organizations to exchange ideas and shape creative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, always hoping to inspire the next generation of leaders to join us. Underpinning all our work is a core focus on partnership and exchanging capacity with peers around the world.
OIR is offering a Fall 2022 internship to support our office in its day-to-day functions, specifically our cultural program work. This OIR internship will provide professional development and learning opportunities for individuals interested in public diplomacy, museums, international relations, curriculum development, cultural exchange, and cultural heritage preservation. The intern will serve primarily in an administrative capacity. We welcome candidates with a range of experiences and backgrounds though candidates curious about the above topics may find this experience caters most to their interests. Internships for fall 2022 will be virtual with the possibility for in-person work pending updated guidance from the Smithsonian; in-person work is not required, though interns are expected to be online and fully available during their scheduled internship hours. OIR internships include a stipend and can be taken for university/academic credit.
The OIR Global Programs Intern may provide project management support, conduct research, create presentations, prepare for meetings, take and distribute notes, review and/or contribute to project deliverables, and more. The intern will engage directly with OIR-led programs and develop organizational, interpersonal, and intercultural skills. Some specific projects the fall 2022 OIR Global Programs Intern will support are:
- Capacity building and exchange with a small museum in northern Morocco – tasks may include reviewing and editing training materials; research for, reviewing, and editing museum labels and texts; supporting preparation for SI staff travel to Morocco; etc.
- Cultural exchange between U.S. and French students focused on Smithsonian Science Education Center’s Science for Global Goals Biodiversity! curriculum – tasks may include support preparing for meetings; taking and distributing call notes; reviewing workshop materials; drafting “storytelling” copy about the program; etc.
- Collections management and conservation exchange with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities – tasks may include helping prepare for multiple virtual workshop sessions; supporting collection of resources in English and/or Arabic; conducting follow-up from workshop sessions; helping schedule mentorship meetings; etc.
- Strategic engagement in UN climate change conference COP27 – tasks may include planning virtual meetings, taking meeting notes, and supporting follow-up; reviewing and synthesizing related news and information documents; conducting research on relevant global initiatives and engagement opportunities; etc.
- Other duties as assigned, such as ad hoc support of OIR’s digital communications (social media, blog, etc.) and general office support and administrative activities.
The intern will have an assigned mentor who will provide guidance and oversight throughout the internship. Interns are asked to come to the role with ideas for what they hope to get out of the experience.
Strong working knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, is essential. Strong candidates will have international or cross-cultural experiences and demonstrated interest or experience in museums or educational exchanges. An excellent command of the English language, as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills, including writing, is required. Familiarity with a second language, particularly Spanish, French, or Arabic, is desired but not required. Previous experience in an office environment is a plus, but not required. Candidates must also be self-motivated, organized, and detail-oriented.
The Fall 2022 internship will run for a minimum of three months beginning in August or September and may be part-time (24 hours per week) or full-time (32 hours per week). OIR office hours typically occur between 9:00am ET and 5:00pm ET, though occasional meetings starting at 8:30am ET may be needed. Virtual interns are not required to reside in the Washington, DC area; however, local interns may have the opportunity for in-person work pending safety guidance from the Smithsonian. This is not a requirement of the internship.
Please send a resume and personal statement addressed to Samantha Peterson at email@example.com. In your personal statement, please address why you are interested in the internship; any previous professional, educational, or personal experiences that are relevant (especially if not on your resume); and any unique qualities or perspectives you can bring to the internship. Applications must be received by July 15, 2022 to be considered.
For more information on internships and fellowships at the Smithsonian more broadly, please contact the Office of Academic Appointments and Internships.