College Internships

The New Bedford Whaling Museum offers fall, spring, and summer term 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. 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. For more information on the types of internships, please read more below.

Read more about the application process below.

Contact information
Director of Education, Christina Turner
(508) 997-0046 x186
New Bedford Whaling Museum
18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740


Dependent on availability, departments for interns to work with include:

Accounting/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 may assist in tasks such as configuring stipends for all apprentices at the Museum, data entry, and mail distribution. They may 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.

Marketing and Public Programs: Interns in the marketing department work on a variety of communications projects that help strengthen relationships with diverse audiences, including Museum visitors, online audiences, Museum members and donors, volunteers, community partners, and media representatives. Communications and Marketing Interns create written content for the Whaling Museum’s traditional, digital and social media platforms. Depending on the department’s needs and the skills and interests of the interns, communications projects can also relate to photography, video production, and media relations. Interns will gain experience in: translating strategic aims into key messages for specific audiences; working with marketing metrics; project management; and working as part of a cross-departmental team.

Development: Interns will assist with tasks associated with the Museum’s membership program, annual fund, special events and marketing/PR. This may 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: Interns in the Education Department assist with the implementation of educational programming at the museum by working on projects that may include activities with the High School Apprenticeship Program, development of family and community programs, content research, curriculum development and other special projects. Depending on interest and skill, Education Department interns may work with various members of the education department providing for a well-rounded, engaging internship experience.

Exhibitions: Interns will work with the Curatorial staff 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 Initiatives: Interns will work with and under the direction of the Director of Digital Initiatives. Projects will provide the opportunity to work with digital platforms and photographic collections. Interns will help to organize, catalogue, digitize, and improve the accessibility of the Museum’s holdings. Tasks may include but are not limited to: identifying, conserving and producing photographs, video, audio, and 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 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 Eligibility

Interested candidates should complete the online Internship Application Form. Selected candidates will interview with a member of the department the intern wishes to work with. 

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.