A True Learning Experience
Internships at CHM are challenging educational experiences designed for undergraduate and graduate students. Working alongside staff members in a tutorial arrangement, interns gain valuable skills and training in museum practice, archival administration, arts administration, and historical scholarship. Most CHM internships are unpaid, although many students receive academic credit.
A Variety of Experiences
It takes a wide range of skills to run a museum. While specific projects fluctuate with the institution’s needs and priorities, a diverse assortment of opportunities is generally available. The following departments offer internships:
Interns learn vital skills in arts management and administration by assisting with fundraising, marketing, special-event planning, human resources, and other administrative projects.
Collections Care and Management
Interns working in the area of collections care and management contribute to the effort to maintain, preserve, and store our world-renowned collection. Some interns in this capacity also contribute to preparing artifacts for exhibitions or helping to make areas of the collection accessible to the public.
The department of education and public programming offers opportunities to participate in a range of activities such as program design and implementation and working with diverse audiences—adults, teachers, students, youth, families, and volunteers. Assignments are chosen to provide an introduction to museum education.
Exhibition Design and Development
Design internships offer students opportunities to hone design, drafting, or carpentry skills while working alongside professional designers as they design and create new exhibition spaces.
Marketing and Communications
Interns provide support for Museum promotion, messaging, and integrated marketing and will work with all members of the communications staff to develop and execute marketing strategy.
Publishing interns assist in the creation of a variety of print and digital projects, including Chicago History magazine, books and exhibition catalogues, exhibition text and labels, as well as social media initiatives and website content.
Interns encounter and engage visitors from across the city, throughout the United States, and around the world. Intern tasks include staffing interactive exhibitions, greeting school groups, assisting at the reception area, or supporting work done behind the scenes.
When to Apply
Applications for summer internships are generally considered between February and March, fall internships between June and September, and spring internships between October and January. Some winter session internships may be available depending upon institutional needs.
How to Apply
To apply for an internship, please use the online internship application form.
A completed application includes the following:
- A one-page personal statement describing your reasons for seeking an internship at CHM and what you hope to gain from the experience
- A résumé outlining your educational, professional, and volunteer experiences
- Contact information for two references
Every effort is made to match the skills and interests of prospective interns with the needs and priorities of the department and the institution overall. The application materials outline the specific qualifications requirements for individual projects. Applications are encouraged from African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American applicants. Click here to see answers to frequently asked questions.
Please note that we cannot process incomplete applications; be certain to include all required materials.
While CHM internships are unpaid, many students earn academic credit for their experience at the Museum. In addition, the following benefits are extended to all interns:
- 15 percent off merchandise in the Museum Store
- Discounted program admission
- Invitations to special events, exhibition openings, and receptions
- A free copy of Chicago History magazine
Individuals participating in the summer internship program may also participate in educational seminars and enrichment programs exploring behind the scenes at the Museum and current issues in the museum field.