My Internship in Washington, D.C.

I have an NMNH embossed padfolio, so I would say I am pretty powerful. And with my padfolio comes the responsibility of Activities and Events Leader, planning and coordinating behind-the-scenes tours, events, activities, and socials for all Natural History interns. This includes working with four other interns who are all fun and friendly (thank God!).

I love my internship—walking down Constitution every day and seeing the massive golden dome that sits on top of the Natural History like a beacon calling me home. In my third week, I feel settled in my role and confident in my abilities to execute my responsibilities. Every morning, I start with a mug of tea (a climate change mug that has the museum emblem on it no less!), and then I sit down with my colorful pens and create a to-do list for the day. It is mostly mundane tasks, like sending emails, updating calendars, and meeting with my supervisor. But sometimes, I get to write down a really exciting task, like tour of the Forensic Anthropology Collection. The curator, Doug Owsley contributed his forensic knowledge in the Jeffery  case, working on the first victim! I find the work that the Forensic Anthropology department does fascinating. It’s no Bones, but it is close enough. Since my job description includes walking tour groups through the expansive and confusing back hallways of collections, I also get to practice finding my way around the building and collections. Catch me casually walking through Paleobiology, or Entomology, or Mineral Sciences—just kidding, Mineral Sciences is protected by about 5 layers of security clearance which I (a lowly intern) do not have access to. My job is so cool though that I will one day get to lead a group into Mineral Sciences’ Blue Room, where they keep all the exhibit grade gems, jewels, gold, and other minerals! Again, with the great responsibility cliché.

Working at the National Museum of Natural History has been a goal of mine since Freshman year of high school, and now that it is finally real I feel myself needing to take a step back and really appreciate the opportunity that I have been given. It has been a whirlwind of two and a half weeks, but every day I am stunned by the exterior of the building and I pause to take in my surroundings and the fact that I am one of the lucky two hundred (out of thousands of applicants) who gets to intern at the NMNH.


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