September 26, 2017

NC Museum of Natural Sciences Community Engagement Intern

Internship opportunity: Summer or Fall 2018  

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is the largest institution of its kind in the Southeast and the most visited museum in North Carolina. The Museum asks basic questions about the natural sciences with an integrated suite of onsite, offsite, online, and outdoor experiences. It is a high-performing nexus of research, collections, living collections, exhibitions and digital media, school and lifelong education, community engagement, and a regional network.

This Museum internship is designed to give the intern an understanding of possible museum careers and hands-on work experience within the Community Engagement section of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. The key parts of the section (Member and Visitor Services, Accessibility and Inclusion, Featured Experiences, and Marketing and Communication) work in concert to connect the Museum with our visitors, focusing on visitor engagement and points of contact (onsite, online, offsite).  The Community Engagement section plays an important role in recognizing the importance of the variety of audiences who can visit our Museum. Strong onsite experiences and points of contact play a key role in creating visitor interest, satisfaction and relationships and this is essential in building the museum brand image, building a membership base and cultivating sponsors and donations.

The Versatile Humanist internship within the Community Engagement section will provide:

1)  Familiarity with how the museum functions

Every organization operates an array of committees and task forces that help guide the institution through mission relevant decision making.  The intern will accompany the head of the Community Engagement department to key meetings that will give an overview as to how decisions are made within the museum.  There will be debriefing about these meetings afterwards in order to give the intern relevant/historical perspectives.

The Museum staff is composed of people from a variety of educational backgrounds who have had diverse work experiences.  To understand the potential for working in an institution like the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the intern should become familiar with the museum’s organizational structure and with key staff members, learning first hand from them how they entered the museum field.  Interviews will be arranged with a variety of staff including:

  • Museum Director
  • Science Historian
  • Marketing team
  • Exhibit Director
  • Exhibit Developer
  • Director of the Friends non-profit organization
  • Librarian/archives staff

2) Opportunities for hands-on work experience assisting with the development and delivery and evaluation of a variety of public programs

There are a variety of featured programs offered by the Museum that connect with various audiences and support other activities happening within the museum.  Most, if not all of the programs are livestreamed and recorded. Examples of these programs are:

  • Programming for enhancement of Temporary Exhibits – planned and marketed six or more months in advance
  • Issue-driven Programming
    • Town Halls– formal format/evening / planned and marketed six or more months in advance /large audience held in the WRAL Theater or Daily Planet Theater
    • Science Cafes – informal/audience focused/ interactive/planned 1-3 months in advance/highlight current topics in science and society held in the Daily Planet Café
  • Featured programs focused on science and entertainment
    • Adult Nights
    • Final Friday Films
  • Large Public Science Events

3) Opportunities to produce written pieces (online and in museum publications)

Possible topics:

  • An overview of a series of events within the Museum’s science cafe program
  • An overview of the role that this museum and museums in general play within their communities

Preferred qualifications

  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to write short articles or blogs
  • Flexibility in schedule (i.e. weekdays, possible nights and weekends)
  • Interest in the natural sciences