A blog about scientific and medical visualization and all that’s involved.

Posts Tagged ‘NMNH’

Searching for Internships–Tips and Advices

Posted by Janet on August 4, 2009

Have really enjoyed reading about your internship, i graduated last year with an anatomical science degree and want to do somthing creative with it but have not found any jobs that combine the two…. this internship seems perfect tho! how did you find it?


Dear Louise,

These two links below list the current available internships at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Names and contact informations of the project sponsors are listed below project descriptions. Once you find an interesting project, you should contact the sponsor and have your resume (and portfolio if relevant) ready in case they ask for it. If your sponsor decides that you are a good fit for the project, he/she will contact you with further info.

As far as how I came across this opportunity, I contacted people I knew in the illustration field for advice and then looked online until I found those pages. A few questions to ask yourself:

-What skills do I have?
-Do other fields value these skills?

In my experience, thinking about your specific skills rather than what you want to be forces you to think outside the box and will open up more opportunities. For example, I am trained in medical illustration, but I have both traditional and digital drawing skills, I’m good with details, and can draw faces. Instead of looking strictly for medical illustration jobs, maybe I can draw portraits on weekends for extra income, etc. etc.

-What types of companies do I want to work for?
-Where would I like to live?

These two questions generally help me refine the search results. General searches often times will not point you to a specific position, especially if the title of the position does not match your search keywords. If there is a list of companies you are interested in, you can go directly to the company’s website and see if they have anything available at the moment. Adding a location after a general search will sometimes tell you whether there is a market for what you would like to do in that area.

Hope that helps,

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Smithsonian Internship

Posted by Janet on July 13, 2009

Third day at the internship, I’m still overwhelmed by everything this place has to offer. Even prior to the start date, the friendliness and efficiency of the staff members really stood out. Weeks ahead of time, I had already received detailed instructions about what to do on the first day. I followed directions diligently like a little kid on a scavenger hunt–“get off the Metro station…walk towards this intersection…go through this particular door, turn right, go through another door and receive a visitor’s pass…” Being nervous about missing the shuttle to the Museum Support Center in Suitland where I’m stationed, I arrived much ahead of time. Staff member Mr. Potter, who just happened to arrive at the same time, kindly introduced me to the cafeteria where employees can enjoy a morning cup of coffee before the museum opens. Mr. Potter then suggested that I kill time by visiting the Sant Ocean Hall. Here’s a glimpse of the exhibit at 8AM, without any visitors:


By the third day, I already met nearly 15 other interns. The majority are aspiring young scientists, but there’s a surprising number of illustrators like myself as well. An intern in my section is working her way to apply for a medical illustration program, and I just met another intern who actually goes to the same science illustration program I did four years ago. I’m excited to be surrounded by such a variety of people and all the resources this place has to offer.

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