College Internships

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The New Bedford Whaling Museum offers fall, spring, and summer semester internships. While internship applications are accepted on a rolling basis, there are priority deadlines of September 1, December 15 and February 15 respectively for each semester. Internships can be extended at the discretion of the intern’s supervisor. Opportunities in all major departments including Accounting/Finance, Registrar, Education, Marketing/Public Relations, Exhibitions (Curatorial), Library and Digital Initatives may be available. Interns work on an array of projects and depending on academic training, experience and stated interest, are assigned to a specific staff member, or in some cases, to a department at large. Applicants of all educational and career backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Contact information
Director of Apprentices and Interns, Christina Turner
New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740

Dependent on availability – Departments for interns to work with include:

Courtney SculptingAccounting/Finance: Interns will serve as part of the Museum’s Finance team. They will be responsible for assigned aspects of the Museum’s financial database and source document management. They will assist in configuring stipends for all apprentices at the Museum, data entry, and mail distribution. They will also maintain the filing system for all accounts payable and receivable. Attention to detail, multi-tasking capabilities, and good communication skills are required.

Archives and Library: Interns working with the collections of the Research Library and its archives will be exposed to multiple levels of library management. Projects include but are not limited to: updating archival collection inventories, creating manuscript finding aids, completing data entry, rehousing collections, and assisting with exhibition research. Interns will also assist with the cataloging of several types of materials, from rare books, government documents, serials, and pamphlets, to cartography, ephemera, and manuscript materials. Foreign language skills are valuable in the library, and a knowledge of American history, literature, maritime history, and geography is also advantageous, yet none are required.

Development: Interns will assist with tasks associated with the Museum’s membership program, annual fund, special events and marketing/PR. This would include assisting with the processing and distribution of membership cards and renewals, administering other solicitation mailings, database management, special event support, development of e-blasts and social media marketing, and general departmental administrative tasks as needed.

Education and Public Programs: Interns will assist with the implementation of educational programming at the museum working on projects that may include activities with our high school apprentices, content research, development of family and community programs, and other special projects. Some examples of intern projects  include assisting with the implementation of educational programming for school, camp and other youth groups and development and implementation of special events, lecture series, public programs, community programing, and symposia at the Museum.

Exhibitions: Interns will work with the Curatorial staff, under the direction of the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, to develop and install exhibitions components. Depending on the project, interns will likely work across curatorial disciplines (including the library, photo archive, conservation, and registration) to research objects and exhibit scripts, write label drafts, update the collections database when necessary, and learn object handling, preparation and installation techniques. Interns with skills in other areas such as graphic design, audio and video editing, animation development, fabrication of hands-on components, and other creative activities applicable to exhibits are highly desirable and encouraged to highlight these skills when applying for the internship.

Digital Initatives: Interns will work with and under the direction of the Director of Digital Initiatives on projects that provide the opportunity to learn about digital media, photographic history, and web design and management. Interns help to organize, catalogue, digitize, and improve the accessibility of the Museum’s holdings. The Photography and Digital Archives include images, documents, movies, sound recordings and websites. Tasks may include but are not limited to: identifying and conserving photographs, creating and maintaining databases and digital archive records, producing photography, video, and audio content, assisting in the creation of web-exhibits and interactives.

Registrar: Interns will work with the Registrar to document and process new acquisitions and loans to and from the collection. The interns will learn proper nomenclature for cataloguing museum collections, how to use the collections database, and the filing systems for paper records. Interns will also learn proper object handling and storage of museum objects. Tasks may include but are not limited to: exhibition preparation and installation, processing and rehousing of collections, filing and data entry, as well as administrative tasks as necessary.


Application Process and Period of Work

Interested candidates should complete the online Internship Application Form by following the link provided and submit a letter of interest along with a current resume to Christina Turner, Director of Apprentices and Interns, prior to the semester in which they want to intern. Qualified candidates will interview with a member of the Education Department and a member of the department the intern wishes to work with. Successful candidates will work one semester with the opportunity to apply for additional semesters.

Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in college, graduate school or trade school and must have a high school diploma or GED. Internship positions are typically unpaid. Applicants are encouraged to apply for course credit and/or stipends through their respective schools.


Last modified: October 7, 2016