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National Museum of the American Sailor

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Our summer 2022 internship application period is now closed. Check back next year for more information on our available opportunities.

The National Museum of the American Sailor (NMAS) offers a variety of internships for students looking to gain professional museum experience. The internship program at NMAS allows interns with numerous interests, strengths, and goals to gain practical, hands-on experience in the museum department of their choice. The museum is currently accepting applications for the internships listed below. For opportunities in other departments, please contact

About the National Museum of the American Sailor

As an official department of the Navy Museum under the Naval History and Heritage Command, the National Museum of the American Sailor (NMAS)’s mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of the United States Navy’s Enlisted Sailor for the benefit of the U.S. Navy and the people of the United States. NMAS offers permanent exhibits showcasing the Enlisted Sailor through time, a rotating gallery that explores unique aspects of Navy history, a rich collection of over 2,000 artifacts, and a diverse menu of educational programs for visitors of all ages. Annually, NMAS welcomes 50,000 visitors.

Eligibility: Registered students of colleges or universities are eligible for this program.

Academic Credit: The National Museum of the American Sailor does not award college credit, but many U.S. colleges and universities will recognize academic work performed while interning at the museum. Contact your academic advisor, school's registrar, or career planning office for more information on how to receive credit.

Location: All internships are conducted at the National Museum of the American Sailor. The National Museum of the American Sailor is located at the U.S. Navy’s historic Naval Station Great Lakes about an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago and Milwaukee, about 10 minutes north of Lake Forest, Illinois. The museum is a ten-minute drive east of I-94 Exit 14 and is accessible from the Metra – Union Pacific North railroad line’s Great Lakes station with a 10-minute walk.

Duration: There is no set length for an internship. All interns, however, are required to complete a minimum of 160 hours on mutually agreeable weekdays between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Some Saturday hours may be available. The following available internships are scheduled for Summer 2021.

Available Internships

Collections Internship

Position Overview

The Collections Intern will be responsible for assisting Collections Department staff with cataloging recent acquisitions to the National Museum of the American Sailor’s permanent collection. Opportunities for small inventory or preservation related work may be available depending on time and intern’s level of interest.

Position Responsibilities

  • Catalog artifacts into catalog system based on established procedures, including writing physical descriptions, taking measurements, and writing condition reports
  • Physically number items according to museum best practices
  • Photograph and/or scan items
  • Assist Collections Department staff with cleaning of artifacts and preparing them for storage according to best museum practices
  • Research and write one blog post and five “Artifact Spotlight” social media posts


  • Interest in American History and/or U.S. Navy history and potential career in the museum field
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (basic social media writing skills a plus)
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs, including Word and Excel
  • Collections handling experience a plus but not required
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to print, scan, photocopy, and use a digitial camera 
  • Basic measuring skills

A stipend of $1,000 is generously provided by the Colonial Dames of America, Chapter

XIV Chicago.


Education Internship

Position Overview

The Education Intern has two large-scale projects for summer 2022. The first is researching and developing a World War I Sea Chest, for inclusion in the museum’s Traveling Sea Chest program. Sea Chests are available for free to local educators for use in their classrooms. The second project is researching and conducting public tours of the museum’s exhibits. During the summer of 2022, visitors will be able to join timed tours led by the Education Intern. Tours are offered one Saturday per month.

Position Responsibilities

  • Create a World War I traveling sea chest. This includes:
    • Research the Navy and sailor experience in World War I
    • Identify appropriate reproduction or education collection artifacts for inclusion in the chest
    • Write lesson plans and historical background briefs
  • Conduct public tours of the museum’s exhibits. Public tours are offered one Saturday each month of the internship.
  • Research and write one blog post and two #MySailorStory social media posts
  • Conduct education programs, as needed
  • Provide support for large museum education events


  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience writing lesson plans
  • Experience in delivering museum education programs
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Basic computer and social media writing skills
  • Experience using Canva a plus
  • Interest in the Navy and World War I era, and a potential career in the museum field

A stipend of $1,000 is generously provided by the National Museum of the American Sailor Foundation.

How to Apply

To apply for an internship, please submit the following information:

  • Internship Application Form
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)
  • A resume outlining your educational, professional, and volunteer experiences
  • A one-page personal statement describing how an internship at the National Museum of the American Sailor will advance your academic/career goals
  • One letter of recommendation
  • A writing sample of not less than 1,000 words



Please submit completed application materials (via mail or electronically) no later than Friday, April 22, 2022 to the following:

ATTN: Internship Coordinator
National Museum of the American Sailor
2531 Sheridan Road
Great Lakes, IL 60088



Questions: If you have any questions about the internship application process, please contact the National Museum of the American Sailor at 847-688-3154 or

Published: Thu May 12 09:48:09 EDT 2022