Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute, and United States Holocaust Museum Partners with Internship Program



Photo Credit: Mama Sow
Students learn about the rare, exclusive internship opportunities available through the Paul Peck Institute


On Feb. 11, the information session for the Paul Peck Humanities Institute (PPHI) Internship  program was held at the Montgomery College Rockville campus.


The Library of Congress (LOC), Smithsonian Institute (SI), and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), are taking applicants for the upcoming internship season this summer. Here, students are given the chance to intern for one of the three respected institutions in the nation’s capital.


“This program dates back to the 1990’s,” said the PPHI internship program coordinator Professor Bette Petrides. “Montgomery College is the only two-year college that places students at these institutions.” When a student is enrolled into one of the institutions, the program strives to place them in an area or department where they show both an interest and the potential to excel.


“The LOC, for example, strives to put you in places where you will strive,” said Petrides. The LOC continues to accept more applicants and places those students rather quickly. The Smithsonian Institute places students in sections of the historical museums, the Folkways Center, and the Folklife Festival, among other sections.


Although the United States Holocaust Museum generally only takes one student per semester, it is a competition worth the effort: At the museum, interns have the opportunity to plan and install special exhibitions, rotate and maintain artifacts in the Permanent Exhibition, and conduct research for exhibitions.


“In these internships, students do everything from documentation to display,” Petrides adds. Students will assist new or ongoing research programs through archiving, collection analysis, and designing among other hands on tasks.


With such a unique internship, this opportunity comes with competitiveness and an enormous amount of stress on professionalism. Students are advised to clean up their social media accounts and overall cybernetic presentation. They are also advised to apply as soon as possible, given the approaching deadline for applications on March 3.


The application process involves a resume in a specific format, mainly highlighting academic achievement at Montgomery College. The 500 word essay will take the place of the formal interview. However students may be called and interviewed over the phone if their application is accepted by the institution of their choice. Key attributes which the three institutions look for are bilingualism and skills that students can use to both benefit the program as well as their extracurricular activities at MC.


“It is important for you to make sure that they know that you want to make a contribution. Our goal is for each applicant to gain experience from the application process,” concludes Petrides.


Internships span through one academic semester and involve an onsite commitment of no less than 20 hours per week during the summer. Students are assigned a supervisor at the site and a mentor at the college. Each intern is required to enroll in the three-credit honors course, HP275PA/PB/PH, which will correspond to their internship placement. Once a student is placed, he or she will receive a stipend that will pay for the class and transportation to and from work.


The Application Process:

To apply for an internship, students should download the PPHI Internship Application Materials, fill out the required forms, and then submit their application materials in electronic format (Word or PDF files) to Professor Bette Petrides, PPHI Internship Coordinator at [email protected]


Students must send an official transcript from the college directly to professor Petrides at this address:


Professor Bette Petrides

Campus Commons, MT 212

Montgomery College

51 Mannakee Street

Rockville, MD 20850


Before applying, students are advised to check their eligibility for the internship. For program requirements and application documents, please visit


Other information sessions will be held at the Germantown and Takoma Park Campuses:

Germantown Campus:  February 18, 2014, Noon-1:15 p.m., PK105

Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus:  February 13, 2014, 1-2:15 p.m., HC224

                    RSVP to [email protected]