Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the American Sailor

Internships 

The National Museum of the American Sailor internship program allows for interns with numerous interests, strengths, and goals to gain practical, hands-on museum experience at the United States Navy's newest museum.  As an official Department of the Navy Museum under the Naval History and Heritage Command, the National Museum of the American Sailor'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.  The list below contains pertinent information about the Museum's internship program, current internships available, and the steps necessary to apply for an internship.

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

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 15-minute walk.

Duration:  There is no set length for an internship. All interns, however, must complete a Department of Defense agreement for voluntary service of at least 120 hours (3 weeks) primarily on mutually agreeable weekdays between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Some Saturday hours may be available. Internships can last an academic quarter or semester, during which time a student may serve on either a full or part-time basis.

Stipends: The National Museum of the American Sailor provides no salaries or other stipends to interns.

Current Internships Available:

Archives and Special Collections Internship, Summer 2018

The U.S. Navy’s National Museum of the American Sailor seeks applicants for an Archives-Special Collections Internship. The Archives-Special Collections internship provides a rare developmental opportunity for a graduate, undergraduate, or non-traditional student with a strong interest in history to participate in the hands-on establishment of a new U.S. Navy history museum’s archival program.

The museum’s archives and special collections consist of donated personal papers, photographs, and rare printed books and ephemera from ordinary enlisted men and women in the U.S. Navy worldwide. The collection is particularly rich in documenting 20th-century women’s history, the world-wide travels and culture of young men from the 1890s through the 1950s, and the re-diversification of enlisted Sailors between the 1940s and the 2000s, mirroring the Atlantic maritime world of the 1770s-1820s.

  • Expand and correct rough preliminary inventories of unarranged, unaccessioned archival materials, including visual materials, personal papers, and engineering and architectural drawings.
  • Research and identify the original creators, recipients, and donors of historical materials, using internal museum records.
  • •Research and summarize historical backgrounds and contexts for persons, events, and places depicted or represented by archival materials.
  • Recognize, identify, and correlate patterns in archival collection inventories.
  • Arrange existing personal papers collections and potential “assembled” collections of ephemera and photographs.
  • Write documentation of findings and processes.
  • Write archival descriptions of selected high-interest collections, using the format of “Describing Archives: A Content Standard” (DACS).
  • Assist with the full range of the museum archival program’s donor relations, acquisitions, collection development, archival collections description, researcher assistance, and outreach work, as time and interest permit.

Skills Required:

  • Curiosity and a willingness to learn.
  • A working knowledge of U.S. and world history and geography from 1775 to the present.
  • The physical ability to climb stairs and ladders, lift up to 50 pounds, stand, sit, kneel, speak, hear, and occasionally handle materials covered with dust or debris.
  • Skill and accuracy in typing on keyboards at least 40 words per minute.
  • Familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite of software, particularly Excel spreadsheets and Word documents.
  • Intuition and sound judgment.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to change focus between attention to detail and the broader recognition of patterns from pieces.
    • Demonstrated cooperative relationships, collegiality, and good humor in prior employment or a work-like environment, to operate as part of a fast-paced, highly visible working team.

For more information about this internship opportunity, please email nmas.fct@navy.mil.

Museum Education Internship, Summer 2018

The National Museum of the American Sailor is currently accepting applications for an Education intern during the summer of 2017. The museum’s Education Department focuses on STEM education as it relates to the U.S. Navy. Under the supervision of the museum’s Education Specialist, the intern will learn and perform career-developmental duties such as:

  • Working with Common Core Standards as prescribed by the Illinois State Board of Education
  • Researching STEM concepts as they relate to the U.S. Navy
  • Creating lesson plans related to STEM concepts which will be turned into formal classroom instuction.  Examples of past STEM programming at the National Museum of the American Sailor can be found here 
  • Documenting findings and processes as the lesson plan is developed.

Skills Required:

  • Curiosity and a willingness to learn.
  • Basic knowledge of principles of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM).
  • Ability to organize data into an educational outline.
  • Strong public speaking skills.
  • Familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite of software, particularly PowerPoint and Word documents.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • The physical ability to climb stairs and ladders, lift up to 50 pounds, stand, sit, kneel, and occasionally handle materials covered with dust or debris.

For more information about this internship opportunity, please email nmas.fct@navy.mil.

How to Apply to Museum Internships:

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

  • Internship Program application form Download Application
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)
  • A resume outlining your educational, professional, and volunteer experiences
  • A one-page personal statement (use this essay to tell us 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

Internship application packets for Summer 2018 are due no later than March 1, 2018.

Please submit completed application materials (via mail or electronically) to the following:


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


Email: nmas.fct@navy.mil


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 nmas.fct@navy.mil.

Published:Wed Dec 27 11:22:28 EST 2017