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1. How do I apply for an internship?

Complete the online application form. Once the form is completed you will receive an email from the museum indicating that we have received your application. Supplemental emails will update you on your application status.

2. Who is eligible for an internship?

There are a variety of internship opportunities available for undergraduates, graduates, and recent graduates who are enrolled in a two-year or four-year institution. We will also accept applications from students who have graduated (up to two-years from receiving their degrees) from a college or university. Currently, the internship program is only open to college students. High school students who wish to donate their talents to the museum can apply to participate in the Museum Apprentice Program (MAP) or become a volunteer.

3. How long do most internships last?

Internships range from four (4) weeks (Winter term) up to 16 weeks, depending on the intern’s schedule and the available opportunities.

4. Is this internship paid or unpaid?

A large majority of the internships offered by the museum are unpaid, but we do offer financial support for eligible interns. All students who are selected as an intern (irrespective of their college status) are eligible to apply. Also, high achieving seniors or graduate students may apply during the summer for two-semester (fall to spring) fellowships, which are paid a stipend. Additionally, intern positions in the Riley Sports Experience are temporary, paid, and last one semester. These positions involve work outside in the sports experience as well as time to focus on individual intern projects.

5. What is the difference between an internship and fellowship?

Internships are unpaid experiential learning opportunities open to all college students. A fellowship is a special paid learning opportunity that is open to only graduate students or very high achieving seniors.

6. What kind of internships does the museum offer?

The museum offers, staff-level internships to qualified undergraduate students, recent graduates and graduate students. Internships at the museum are intensive, project-based, educational, and professional experiences that often count toward academic credit. Students from all majors can apply for internships at the museum.

7. When should I apply and what is the application process like?

We offer internships in the spring, summer, and fall similar to the academic year at a college/university. The deadlines to apply are as follows:

  • For a Spring internship - the deadline is Nov. 1 (previous year)
  • For a Summer internship - the deadline is March 1
  • For a Fall internship - the deadline is August 1

Once an application has been received, we screen each application for completeness. The Intern Program Manager then distributes the qualified applications to the potential intern mentors for review. Qualified candidates will be contacted to arrange for an interview (in-person, telephone or Skype), depending on where student is located. Intern Mentors then select and offer internships. Once the student accepts the internship, a Limited Criminal History background check will be run and the intern on-boarding process begins. Interns receive confirmation letters with all of the necessary details to get off on the right foot!

8. What is the interview process like?

Always be prepared for an interview –know who we are, who you are and what you can offer the museum. It usually takes about 60 minutes for an interview.

9. What is the acceptance process like?

Once a mentor has selected and offered an internship to a student, we usually allow a week for the student to decide whether they accept or decline the offer. If the student accepts the internship, a Limited Criminal History (LCH) background check will be run and the on-boarding process begins contingent on the LCH. Intern Program Manager will confirm the internship via a confirmation letter. A start date is determined between the Inter Program Manager and the student.

10. Why do I need to complete a background check before I’m eligible for an internship?

A background check is needed by all staff, volunteers, and interns who are 18 years and older to protect the safety of our littlest visitors – the children.

11. Why do I need to send supplemental items – can I just link you to my webpage?

For some of the internship opportunities we offer, the mentor would like to review some additional work to see your qualifications. For example, if you are applying for an internship in Graphic Design, the mentor would like to review some pieces from your portfolio. Please do not send a link to your online portfolio or personal website. Items sent in this manner will not be reviewed. Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be forwarded for further consideration.

12. What will I do on my first day as an intern?

The museum offers a three day on-boarding process to all staff, volunteers, and interns. Interns will participate in all three days of activities. On Day One (first day at the Museum) interns will complete the necessary paperwork, tour behind the scenes of the museum and be oriented to some of the museum’s safety procedures. Interns will have their badge picture taken and be introduced to the museum’s computing systems. Comfortable shoes are recommended for this day.

13. What is Intern Kick-Off?

Intern Kick-off is the gathering of interns to “kick-off” the term! This event is usually held on a Saturday to review some of the items discussed during Day One of the on-boarding process. Also museum policies and internship expectations will be reviewed. This is a mandatory day for all interns.

14. Will I work with children?

The opportunity to work directly with children is dependent on the placement and the nature of the duties assigned to the intern. Most of our internships are “behind-the-scenes” and have minimal direct contact with children. However, all staff, volunteers and interns are trained to interact appropriately with all of our visitors irrespective of their internship placement.

15. If I become an intern, will it lead to a job with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis?

Gaining professional experience is the primary focus of our internship program. On rare occasions, interns have been offered full or part-time positions at the museum—but more times than not, internships do not lead to employment with the museum.