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Internships

Internships

College students interested in gaining knowledge in the specific fields are invited to inquire about internships at the Virginia Living Museum. We offer unpaid semester-long internships, providing the opportunity for hands-on experience within our Aquarium Care, Development, Volunteer Services and Veterinarian Care areas. Students will gain practical experience for entering the job market. For more information, email the Volunteer Department or contact our Volunteer Office at 757-534-7428 or view the Internship positions below.

Applicants for Aquarium  and Veterinarian Internships must submit an unofficial copy of their transcript with current GPA visible.


Aquariums Internship

The Virginia Living Museum takes applications for Aquariums Internships on a rolling deadline. For best consideration, please submit a complete application package by July 15 for the fall semester, December 15 for the spring semester, and April 15 for the summer. 

Summary of Internship:

The Aquarium Internship is an unpaid, experiential learning opportunity that will take place over the course of one semester. Interns will have the unique opportunity to assist in the daily husbandry and maintenance required for the museum’s live aquatic collection and their corresponding life support systems. Currently the museum holds over 100 aquatic species in its collection, including threatened and endangered species like sturgeon and sea horses. Interns will gain experience in the husbandry and maintenance required to sustain these species. The intern will train for and be a part of the Touch Tank exhibit volunteer schedule. The intern may also be called upon to assist with administrative record-keeping.

Length of Internship

The Aquariums Internship is offered on a one semester basis (10-14 weeks). Spring Internships begin January/February, Summer Internships begin May/June and Fall Internships begin August/September each year. The internship may include some weekends and possible offsite events.

Number of hours required

4 hours per week in half day shifts (either 9-1 am or 1-5 pm) plus one regular shift at the Touch Tank. Morning shifts are strongly encouraged & preferred due to the nature of the work.

Qualifications for this Internship:

Interns must be at least 18 years of age and be current college students majoring in Biology or related fields (ex: Marine Science, Environmental Science, Zoology, etc.) Candidates should have a strong career interest in the field of Ichthyology, marine biology, aquatic ecology or desire to obtain experience in aquatic husbandry. Candidates must be able to work independently or with minimal supervision, be reliable, on time, and be open and honest. College students who have recently graduated may also be considered.

The intern will gain experience with the following:

Daily and weekly duties that are required for maintaining a live aquatic collection, local aquatic ecology, and behind-the-scenes duties/responsibilities of a public zoo/aquarium setting, and how to work independently and be responsible for weekly tasks. Most notably, interns will have the opportunity to relate their current college courses with everyday aquarium work procedures (ex. chemistry, ecology, etc.).

Duties:

The intern will perform the following tasks:

  • Water chemistry and water quality monitoring 
  • Exhibit cleaning/maintenance (ex. gravel washing) 
  • Food preparations and feeding 
  • Public feeding programs 
  • Complete New Volunteer Training Orientation (if not a current VLM volunteer) 
  • Complete Touch Tank training course & volunteer regularly at the Touch Tank
  • Other duties as assigned, based on good performance, proficiency and motivation

Please note this internship does not deal with marine mammals.

Projects:

A reflection paper due at the end of the semester to include:

  • The intern’s development over the course of the internship (ex: new knowledge, skills gained, professional direction, emotional growth, etc.)
  •  Driving forces that contributed to the success of the intern over the course of the internship
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the program

Length: 1.5-2 pages, 1.5 line spacing, Times New Roman, 12 point font

Expectations:

The intern is expected to adhere to the following policies: 

  • Be dependable and responsible 
  • Be able to manage time (be on time, watch time for public programs, etc.) 
  • If not able to come to shift, communicate that with Volunteer Services as well as Aquarium staff. 
  • Communicate well with staff, fellow volunteers and guests 
  • Have an appreciation, even passion, for aquatic nature and conservation 
  • Be comfortable keeping busy, and getting clothing wet/dirty at times 

Interns are expected to adhere to the museum-wide volunteer attendance policy and may not miss more than 50% of their total number of shifts. Additionally, they must adhere to the Aquarium Department’s attendance policy and have no more than three last minute callouts. It is imperative that their supervisor has no less than three days notice of any absence, unless the absence is due to a valid emergency situation. Aquariums Staff holds the right to dismiss any interns who do not adhere to this attendance policy.

The Aquarium Department will make every reasonable effort to ensure the intern’s success and therefore must expect commitment and a desire to learn. Interns are trained by staff and are expected to learn and perform many of the daily tasks required to run the aquarium and often work independently. Often these duties are mundane and repetitive, but are necessary and thus must be performed with care. Hard work and dependability result in greater freedom and more responsibility. Conversely, poor effort and/or irresponsible behavior will result in reduced opportunities or termination of the internship.

Evaluation:

The intern will be evaluated at the mid-point and end of the semester according to the following criteria: 

Interns will be watched and evaluated by staff during the course of their internship with formal evaluations taking place at the mid- and end-point of the internship. Staff will monitor and judge their progress through the levels of volunteering, motivation, improvement and dedication. As interns improve, they will be rewarded by being provided with tasks that require more skill and responsibility. Conversely, poor effort and/or less responsible behavior will result in reduced opportunities or termination of the internship. The evaluation tool that will be used is the museum’s intern evaluation form.

Feedback:

The intern’s project for the semester will also act as the main source of feedback. This 1.5-2 page reflection will outline the development of the intern, the driving forces contributing to their success, and the strengths and weaknesses of the internship program. This reflection paper will be given to the Aquarium Curator for further consideration.

How to Apply:

Submit cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and volunteer application to the Volunteer Services Office. Be sure to specify “Aquariums Internship” on the application. Applications can be found at www.theVLM.org under the Join tab. and follow links to the volunteer pages.

Development Internship

Purpose

To provide support for the Museum’s Development Office, for a variety of membership and special event tasks.

Duration

Internships are available all year, 1 to 3 days a week based on mutually agreeable dates/times, by semester. Option is open for a two semester term (including summers). Internships are non-compensatory.

Duties

Assisting with a variety of Development support to include:

Special events – fund raisers, donor cultivation/stewardship projects, graphic arts

Writing basic Museum solicitations to donors

Researching potential corporate and individual donors, obtaining (by phone or internet) contact names from potential corporate donors

Data Entry – Input new member and sponsor information as well as updating current information into Development

Database (Raiser’s Edge.)

Labeling and collating Museum member packets

Miscellaneous office tasks (copy, addressing envelopes, stuffing envelopes)

Qualifications

Interested in truly learning and helping the Museum. Energetic.

Punctuality & dependability – if you are not able to attend when scheduled, it is required that you inform Volunteer Services of your absence.

Enrolled in college; Business/Communication/Marketing/Psychology major a plus.

Computer skills: Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Office programs; Database experience a plus (we use Raiser’s Edge).

Ability to learn new software programs.

Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

Training

New Volunteer Orientation

On-the-job training with Development staff.

Supervisors

Directly supervised by Development Services Manager and Development staff.

Also reports to Volunteer Services staff.

Please submit a cover letter, resume and official VLM volunteer application  to the Volunteer Services office. Be sure to specify “Development Internship” on top of application. No walk-ins.

Non-Profit Internship

Summary of Internship

Through our non-profit internship, students will be immersed in and have the opportunity to learn what it entails to run a thriving non-profit organization. They will be exposed to various functions of the business. These will include strategic planning and the role of our Board of Directors in coordination with the Executive Administration department, key fundraising practices with the Development department, museum promotion with the Marketing department, and volunteer management with Volunteer Services. Internship students will have the opportunity to work alongside other departments and aspects of running a museum as well; these experiences may include event programming, rental event experience, guest experience, educational programming and exhibit development.

Duration

One semester; approximately 10-12 hours weekly, on a mutually arranged schedule. 

Responsibilities

The intern will experience and participate in some of the operations and duties that are integral to museum daily operations. The experience will be tailored to the individual and can include (but are not limited to) any of the following:  

  • Grant research
  • Museum digital marketing
  • Interviewing, Onboarding, scheduling  and overseeing volunteers
  • Exhibit development and installation/take down
  • Observing classroom programs
  • Interpreting pop up boxes for our guests
  • Assisting with event planning and development

After the first weeks of the internship, the student will be asked to develop a project based on their individual interests.

Qualifications

Full-time undergraduate student majoring in non-profit management, museum studies, communications, marketing or related field.

Self-starter; ability to work independently 

Excellent communication & interpersonal skills

Organized; ability to follow through with tasks 

Computer skills (Microsoft Office)

Ability to meet the physical requirements; occasional light to medium lifting up to 30 pounds

Adherence to confidentiality policy

Interns are expected to:

Provide notification of absences in advance

Follow museum policy including dress code, cell phone policy, and other requirements

Fulfill a minimum of 140 hours of service; 100 of those hours must be on site.

All interns will sign a confidentiality waiver.

Feedback

Evaluation will be done at mid-semester with the Volunteer Director, and an evaluation at the end of the semester. The intern will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the museum as part of the mid-term and final evaluation.  It will be a two way conversation.

Send official VLM application (https://thevlm.org/join/volunteer/applications/) along with Cover Letter and Resume to Volunteer Services, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601 or email: volunteer@thevlm.org   Deadline for Spring semester 2020 is December 20, 2019.

Guest Experience Intern

Summary of Internship

The main goal of the internship is to expose college students to what it takes to run the front end of an educational attraction and how to attract new guests and members in order to raise revenue.  The Guest Experience Intern will be primarily assisting the Front Desk and Store Managers. Duties include running reports from Altru and Counterpoint, entering data into spreadsheets, assisting with scheduling and training of staff, developing recognition/ incentives for staff, answering phones and assisting with guest questions, light housekeeping. There may be an opportunity for the intern to assist with the membership manager or reservations supervisor, if warranted and desired by the intern.  This is an unpaid internship.

Duration

One semester. If intern’s performance is satisfactory after 1st semester, they can be invited back for the next semester.  (New interns will not begin in summer). Interns are required to work 9-12 hours weekly and will be arranged for a set schedule, ideally 3-4 hours a day over 3-4 days a week. Some weekends and events required.

Qualifications for this Internship

College student majoring in: Business Administration, Communications, Public Relations (other majors could be considered). MUST be outgoing, upbeat, friendly and comfortable talking with guests. Professional demeanor. Prior office experience preferred. Must be familiar with Gmail and Google Docs, Excel and Microsoft Office. Interns do not handle money or money transactions.

Experience gained from this internship will entail but is not limited to:

Management experience

Experience running the front end of a cultural educational attraction

Budgeting and Reporting

Building guest relations through exceptional customer service

Merchandising (store)

Potentially Membership

Inventory (store)

There is the possibility of representing the museum at vendor off-site events to increase admission.  

Duties the intern will perform:

Data Entry

Providing exceptional guest experience

Creating visually appealing merchandise displays (store)

Maintaining and tracking inventory (store)

Advertising memberships/attracting new members

Developing staff incentives/recognition

Will be Touch Tank and Trail Trained

May need to assist staff with opening and closing procedures. 

Projects

A long term goal for the Front Desk is to have How To and SOP documents typed and printed for all duties the staff perform. The intern would be instrumental in developing and completing these documents. The intern would also create a staff incentive and staff recognition program. This program would focus on increasing sales/revenue by establishing goals for staff with rewards for top sellers each month. 

Expectations

The intern has exceptional attention to detail, is a self-starter, professional and punctual.  We also expect the intern to assist with two or three off-site vendor events. 

Evaluation and feedback

The student will be given goals during their first week. Training will be done by managers and lead front desk assistants. After 2 months, the manager will check in with the intern and answer any questions or assist with issues. At the end of each semester the manager will conduct a formal evaluation.  The intern will be asked to provide feedback to the department as well, to ensure quality learning experience and to improve the internship for the future.

All interns will sign a confidentiality waiver to protect client and/or financial information. 

Send official VLM application (https://thevlm.org/join/volunteer/applications/) along with Cover Letter and Resume to Volunteer Services, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA 23601 or email: volunteer@thevlm.org   Deadline for Spring semester 2020 is December 20, 2019.

Volunteer Services Internship

Unpaid Internship, up to 15 hours weekly

General Statement of Duties

The Volunteer Services Intern will work closely with and assist the Volunteer Director and staff with the on-site management of volunteers. Assists in the oversight of volunteers while they are on duty and ensures that policies and dress code are followed. The Intern may also be called upon to assist with administrative record-keeping, as well as the recruitment, screening, placement, recognition, evaluation and retention of volunteers in the program.

Reports To

Volunteer Services Director and Volunteer Services staff

Qualifications

This position is open to students currently enrolled in an academic program of study through a college or university.

Preferred coursework in Organizational Psychology, Psychology, Management, Communications, Leadership or other related field.

Must be available for two semesters. Must also have the ability to work some hours during breaks and holidays. Some evenings and weekends required.

Desire to gain experience in supervising & coordinating volunteer activities.

Organizational ability, enthusiastic, friendly personality.

Excellent communication skills.

Ability to multi-task and adapt to fast-paced environment with multiple volunteer schedule changes.

Computer skills: Microsoft Word and other Windows programs. Familiarity with Volgistics database a plus.

Ability to interact positively within a variety of social, economic levels wherein volunteers may be recruited.

Ability to work with a minimum of supervision; excellent attention to detail, yet flexible.

Duties and Responsibilities

Ensure compliance with volunteer position descriptions and policies.

Monitor volunteer performance, especially with regard to schedule and duties, reporting and assisting with disciplinary actions when necessary, and as directed.

Assist in supervision of volunteers working as interpreters; maintain communication with volunteers working in other areas.

Ensure that open volunteer spots are filled in a timely manner.

Assist as needed in screening applicants, determining suitability for program as well as best placement in conjunction with other staff.

Assist in orienting new volunteers into Museum routine; monitor attendance.

Assist as needed with administrative record keeping.

Attend departmental staff meetings.

Launder smocks and towels as needed daily.

Interpret the Touch Tank as directed (training provided).

Perform other duties as may be assigned.

Rentals/Tourism Internship

Summary of Internship:

To work with the Sales Manager, learning the details of our Rental Business as well as the Tourism side of the position to increase the Museum’s profile & revenue.

Length of Internship:

Up to two semesters, and could include summer.  Approximately 10 hours per week at mutually arranged dates and times on a recurring basis.

Qualifications for this Internship:

Great for Hospitality, Logistics or Event Planning Majors. Candidate must be friendly, outgoing, very detail oriented and a self-starter.

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

Client walk-throughs which teach sales techniques

Will learn the rental process completely

Learn how to complete design layouts for upcoming events

Communication with clients, vendors and other Museum Staff

Duties:

Drawing up rental contracts

Following up with tourism contacts

Corresponding with clients/ setting up appointments

Refunding security deposits

Updating calendars & reports

The intern will complete a project of their choosing. Some options include:

Completing an comprehensive comparison between the museum and what other organizations offer /how they manage their rental business (60 mile radius)

Help with coordinating rental events and prepare an audit which would encompass considerations for sustainability, growth opportunities, revenue generation, conservation messaging, a 3 and /or 5 year plan for the event.

Expectations of Interns in this Internship:

The Sales Director expects interns to adhere to their pre-arranged schedule, to dress and conduct themselves professionally, to ask questions, to complete tasks fully and to communicate regarding areas/ skills they want to develop.

Evaluation and Feedback:

Students will have a “check in” at mid-term and an evaluation at the conclusion of the semester.  This may vary based on what is required by the college/university. The sales director will do monthly ”catch-ups” to discuss the position, the content learned, etc.  At the end of the internship, there will be an exit interview with a survey.

All interns will sign a confidentiality agreement as the student may come in contact with client or revenue information.

Application Instructions:

Submit official VLM volunteer application, resume and cover letter.  www.thevlm.org and click on “volunteer” for links to application and information.  Applications are accepted for Spring and Fall semesters yearly. Spring 2020 application deadline: Feb. 10 , 2020.  Fall deadline July 10, 2020.

Astronomy Internship

General Statement of Duties

Under the supervision of the Astronomy Manager, Astronomy Interns are responsible for the operation of the Abbitt Observatory, performance of planetarium programs for the public, and assisting with summer camps and other special astronomy events as assigned. As a member of the Astronomy team, you will work closely with education staff and volunteers to ensure quality experiences for our guests. This internship is designed to offer practical experiences for a person interested in a future career in either informal or formal education.

Internship Details

Number of available positions: 2
Interview Required: Yes
Minimum Time Commitment: 2 days a week for 8 weeks
Lodging Provided: No

Qualifications

Enthusiastic and strong interest in astronomy

Outgoing personality with strong presentation skills

Results oriented and productive in a fast-paced environment

Willingness and ability to learn in a self-directed manner

Exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills

Strong attention to detail, excellent management skills, ability to multi-task

Excellent oral and communication skills

Duties and Responsibilities

Operate solar telescopes in the Abbitt Observatory and educate museum guests about the Sun and the various events on its surface

Perform public planetarium programs on a variety of topics, including live sky shows

Serve as an astronomy resource for our guests, answering questions and providing more information as requested

Assist astronomy staff with summer camp activities as needed

Assist astronomy staff with star party events, including the operation of the museum’s telescopes for evening observing

Support, train, and coach volunteer ushers for the planetarium

Performs other duties as assigned

Essential Requirements

Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends.

Must be able to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word and perceive detailed information through oral communication as well as have the ability to make the discriminations in sound.

Physical requirements include medium work, exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, up to 30 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.

Must be able to stand for extended periods of time and move about on foot to accomplish tasks.

Must be able to stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.

Must have close visual acuity to operate a motor vehicle and perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data, transcribing, viewing a computer, and extensive reading.

The position is subject to environmental conditions for activities occurring indoors and outdoors.

Required Application Materials

VLM Volunteer Application: https://thevlm.org/join/volunteer/applications/

Cover Letter

Resume

3 Personal References

Optional: Letter(s) of Recommendation

Submit application and materials to:

Volunteer Coordinator
Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd,
Newport News, VA 23601

Email: volunteer@thevlm.org
Fax: 757-599-4897

No phone calls or walk-ins, please.
Application Deadline: May 14, 2019

Ozone Garden Research Internship

Summary of Internship:

Under the guidance of the Education Department, the Ozone Garden Research Intern will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ozone garden, helping to establish a citizen science data collection system, and collect and analyze data in a research based project to be presented at the end of the internship. This internship is designed to educate about the importance of ozone, its relationship to plant and human health, and develop research and public communication skills about ozone.

Length of Internship:

Summer only from May/June to Labor Day; 12 hours a week on set schedule.

Qualifications for this Internship:

The position is open for currently enrolled  high school and college students

Interest in learning biology, botany, plant pathology, atmospheric sciences or related fields

Motivation to learn about and perform further research on ozone and bioindicator plant species

Must be willing to actively engage guests of all ages through citizen science projects

The majority of this internship will take place outdoors during the summer – an ability to be outside, in the summer heat is required

Willingness to get your hands dirty  maintaining the garden

Must be organized, able to stick to a weekly schedule, and able to work with minimum amount of supervision

Basic skills using Microsoft Office Products, mainly Word and Excel

The Intern will gain the following experience:

Learn basic plant identification

Learn to identify and quantify ozone plant injury

Learn how to communicate scientific data to the public and engage in citizen science related work

Develop a research project from start to finish including: background research, data collection, compiling and analyzing data, and presenting completed research project

Develop research skills as well as presenting and communication skills

Duties:

Help maintain the health of the garden by keeping up with weekly watering, weeding, and pruning

Develop a schedule for weekly plant and ozone data collection

Compile and analyze collected data

Create and communicate a research project about data results

Help develop citizen science data collection system

Develop a schedule for weekly citizen science data collection

Compile and analyze citizen science data collection

Create a useful display of citizen science data collection for guests to view and interpret

Understand and utilize evaluation sheets to assess pros and cons of the citizen science data collection process

Attend bi-monthly meetings with supervisor to talk about progress with the garden, the research, the citizen science and overall value of the internship

Create a presentation based on data collected throughout the internship to be presented at the end of the internship

Expectations:

What expectations do you have of the interns in your department? (Example: managing events, teaching training classes, must work 100 hours on-site, etc.)

To maintain a schedule for research and citizen science data collection

Develop an end of the internship presentation based on analysis of data collected throughout the semester

Be proficient at collecting citizen science data, and  displaying that data in a format that is easy to understand for our guests

Culminating Project:

A research based project of the Interns choosing will be presented to the Education Department and others at the end of their internship.

Evaluation and Feedback:

An evaluation of the intern’s progress will take place at the halfway mark of their internship as well as at the conclusion of the internship. The museum’s standard Intern Evaluation form will be used.  The intern will also have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Education Department through bi-monthly meetings. These meetings will also assess the progress of the intern’s research project and evaluate any successes and/or challenges of the current citizen science data collection method.

Application Instructions: Please submit an official VLM volunteer application (available at www.thevlm.org), along with a resume, cover letter and unofficial transcript.  Application materials should demonstrate some prior knowledge of plants. Deadline to apply: May 5, 2019.

Ozone Garden Interpreter Internship

Summary of Internship:

Under the guidance of the Education Department, the Ozone Garden Interpreter Intern will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ozone garden, as well as develop ozone related educational activities that are engaging and promote conservation. This internship is designed to educate about the importance of ozone and its relationship to plant and human health, as well as provide experience in informal education and interpretation.

Length of Internship:

Summer only from May/June to Labor Day; 12 hours a week on set schedule.

Qualifications for this Internship:

The position is open for currently enrolled high school and college students

Interest in learning biology, botany, plant pathology, atmospheric sciences, education or related fields

Interest in education and interpretation

Have an outgoing, self-motivated personality

Must be willing to actively engaged guests of all ages through hands-on activities

The majority of this internship will take place outdoors during the summer – an ability to be outside, in the summer heat is preferred

Willingness to get your hands dirty  maintaining the garden

Must be organized, able to stick to a weekly schedule, and able to work with minimum amount of supervision

Basic skills using Microsoft Office Products, mainly Word and Excel

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

The opportunity to learn basic plant identification

Ability to identify and quantify ozone plant injury

Learn how to positively engage guests in a variety of hands-on activities while explaining different science topics

Develop new activities, test them on guests at the garden, evaluate their pros and cons and present results at the end of the internship

Develop science communication and interpretation skills

Duties:

Help maintain the health of the garden by keeping up with weekly watering, weeding, and pruning

Actively engage visitors with current ozone garden activities and utilize evaluation sheets to assess pros and cons of each activity

Develop new ozone garden related activities

Test new ozone garden activities and utilize evaluation sheets to assess pros and cons

Attend bi-monthly meetings with supervisor to talk about progress with the garden, the current activities, the new activities and overall value of the internship

Create a presentation based on evaluation of the activities to be presented at the end of the internship

Expectations of Interns in this Internship:

Proficient at interpreting ozone information to guests

To increase guest interest in the garden through hands-on activities

To develop a new activity for guests to better interact with the garden

Culminating Project:

The intern will create a new activity that will be presented or demonstrated to the Education Department and other staff members at the end of the internship.

Evaluation and Feedback:

An evaluation of the intern’s progress will take place at the halfway mark of their internship as well as at the conclusion of the internship. The museum’s standard Intern Evaluation form will be used.  The intern will also have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Education Department through bi-monthly meetings. These meetings will also assess the progress of the intern’s new activity and evaluate any successes and/or challenges of the current activities.

Application Instructions:

Please submit an official VLM volunteer application (available at www.thevlm.org), along with a resume, cover letter and unofficial transcript.  Application materials should demonstrate some prior knowledge of plants. Deadline to apply: May 5, 2019.

 

 


Application Instructions

Submit cover letter and resume to:

Volunteer Coordinator
Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd,
Newport News, VA 23601

Email or fax: 757-599-4897.
No walk-ins.