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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

McMullan Arts Leadership Internship, Exhibitions

The Art Institute of Chicago’s Exhibitions department is excited to offer a McMullan Arts Leadership intern position to work with their team.

The Exhibitions department oversees the administration of the exhibition program at the Art Institute of Chicago. In partnership with curatorial departments and internal and external stakeholders, we provide guidance and strategic leadership in the planning and execution of temporary exhibitions, from collection-based presentations to major loan exhibitions, on site and on tour to other institutions. We manage the program’s budget and schedule and provide project management while fostering collaboration, engagement, and equity across all teams and individuals.

The intern for Exhibitions will learn from team members how a large, encyclopedic museum schedules and manages exhibitions over multiple years and how various stakeholders are involved in executing these large- and small- scale projects. As they build this foundational understanding, the intern will collaborate with the associate director and department on reviewing, improving, and documenting exhibition processes and systems.

The intern will join a museum-wide intern cohort and have access to a range of programs to support their development in addition to their placement in Exhibitions. Mentorship is provided throughout the experience and connections with an intern alumni network will be established.

Goals of the McMullan Arts Leadership Internship Program

The McMullan Arts Leadership internship program is part of a museum-wide effort to provide students the opportunity to gain experience, career awareness, networks, and skills that will position them to thrive as future art museum leaders.

This program specifically aims to support students who encounter economic challenges when considering a career in the arts. Aligned with this goal, we aim to help shape a diverse group of leaders whose actions are informed by a wide range of perspectives, varying career paths, and values inspired by their own lived experiences.


In this position, the intern will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain practical experience in assessing processes and systems and strategizing ways to improve current practices;
  • Learn how exhibitions are developed at the Art Institute, from the initial concept to public opening;
  • Attend project meetings for exhibitions in development;
  • Grow in communication skills, time management, and critical thinking;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • Assess the current system for information and file sharing and suggest improvements or standardization to promote transparency across all team members
  • Review and document current processes and procedures for select aspects of exhibition management and planning
  • Create timelines, checklists, and organized file structures for upcoming exhibitions
  • Conduct early research and assessment for more widespread information sharing of exhibitions process
  • Attend weekly check-ins with the position’s primary mentor ( associate director) with the director of exhibitions joining periodically
  • Attend intern cohort professional development programs and museum practice seminars



  • Undergraduate or graduate student; recent graduates (within one year of graduation) will also be considered.
  • Due to onsite necessity, applicants must be based in the Chicagoland area for the summer and/or attending school in the Chicagoland area
  • Detail-oriented mindset and demonstrated organizational skills; ability to multitask and flexibly prioritize when appropriate
  • Diplomacy, discretion, and the ability to engage with diverse teams and individuals
  • Willingness to embrace the museum’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable institution
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Workspace
  • Superior interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to be open-minded and work collaboratively with colleagues across the museum


  • Awareness of and/or curiosity about art museum culture and current events in the field
  • Demonstrated interest in exhibition organization and project management


To apply for this internship, tell us your story. We want to understand who you are, what motivates you, how you think, and where you’re coming from. Please submit the following materials:

  • Résumé
  • In lieu of a traditional cover letter, please respond to the following questions in short essays (no more than 300 words per answer.) We encourage you to provide specific examples to support your answers or to illustrate your ideas:
    • What about this job description interests you the most?
    • With the mission of the McMullan Arts Leadership intern program in mind, what perspectives might you bring to this role that you think museums need more of?
    • How do you envision this opportunity helping you towards your professional goals?

To apply: Visit to find job posting and apply online. Upload all materials into one pdf document and list your last name and “Summer 2023” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_Summer2023.pdf.) The application will close on February 28, 2023 at 10:00 PM CDT. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early application is suggested. Selected applicants will be asked to interview via video call.


Duration of Program: 10 weeks / June 2023 (start date anytime during the week of June 5–June 9) through August 2023 (end date anytime during the week of August 7–August 11)

Compensation: Paid / $16.32/hr / part-time / Temporary

Schedule: This is a part-time, 10-week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work 14 hours per week, for a total of up to 140 hours over the course of the internship. Work days will occur between Monday–Friday; the start date and schedule will be determined upon agreement with the candidate and the host department.

Hourlong virtual and in-person intern professional development programs will be scheduled throughout the internship term that the student is strongly encouraged to attend. These programs will occur on select Fridays mornings at 10:00 AM CDT unless otherwise noted; we ask that the intern make this part of their internship schedule.

The internship will be a hybrid of onsite and remote work days. Due to onsite necessity, applicants based or attending school in the Chicagoland area during the internship timeframe will be prioritized. All museum staff, interns, and fellows are required to provide a COVID-19 vaccine attestation upon acceptance of the position. Internet access and appropriate technology will be necessary to complete this internship, but technological accommodations can be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago based on necessity.

Contact Info:
Academic Engagement and Research Department
(312) 857-7146
Job Type: Paid Internship
Location: Chicago, IL / Loop