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Student Volunteers

High School Intern Position Description

Gallery Assistants

POSITION TITLE               Gallery Assistant, High School Internship Program

PROGRAM                           Museums/Education

SCOPE OF WORK:             

This is an internship program for teens who want to learn about and become involved in the daily operations of the museum while interacting with visitors in a variety of ways. Students will learn entry-level interpreter work either at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum (Onamia, MN) or at the Minnesota History Center (Saint Paul, MN). Responsibilities include engaging, educating and entertaining visitors as well as presenting historical information to tour groups and the general public.


  • High School Junior or Senior
  • Organized
  • Available to work a varied schedule of weekend and weekday hours
  • Enjoy working with the general public, especially children.
  • Feel comfortable working with large groups of visitors during busy time periods.
  • Have well-developed communication skills: verbal, interpersonal, and public relation skills
  • Be friendly and courteous.
  • Be able to understand and react to the various ways that visitors, especially children, learn in a museum setting.
  • Have the ability to make visitors feel welcome and answer their questions in a pleasant manner.
  • Applicants must provide their own transportation to and from the work-site. Bus cards or parking permits are available for students working at the History Center.
  • Be prepared to critically engage with staff and gallery assistants in conversations during internship meetings and field trips.

HOURS: Applicants must be willing to work 10 hours per week between June 16-August 23.


  • Greet and welcome visitors, handling check-in information and group orientation as needed. Consistently applies high customer service standards in interacting with visitors.
  • Answer general questions about directions, programming and the building itself for patrons of the historic site or museum
  • Provide an initial and informal opportunity for interactive learning by stationary interpretation, coordinating historic games, special programs, demonstration, activities, and other “value-added” experiences in the exhibits.
  • Performs related work as apparent or assigned.


1.   Help provide a human presence in the galleries and facilitate informal interaction between staff and visitors.

2.   Provide a hands-on experience for the visitor.

3.   Provide friendly security with your presence.

4.   Learns and effectively presents program-related material prepared by professional program staff.

5.   Learns and effectively applies a variety of presentation methods and interpretive techniques so that tours and programs are presented to an individual or a group using the appropriate technique


  • Researching assigned topics
  • Limited cleaning, maintenance, safety, security and other tasks as needed in support of ongoing operations


After an initial phone screening interview, applicants then will interview in person with the High School Gallery Assistant Selection Committee.  Gallery assistant positions are limited for this program. 


Training on the following activities will be provided to gallery assistants:

  • General information about gallery program activities, lay-out, and procedures.
  • Gallery emergency and evacuation procedures will be explained as well as how to provide guidance and assistance to visitors with special needs.
  • The various ways that visitors, especially children, respond and learn in an informal setting will be discussed.
  • The mechanics of operation will be demonstrated and practiced.
  • Introductions will be modeled and time allowed for presenters to fashion one of their own.
  • Interpretive techniques for encouraging visitor anticipation.
  • General information about gallery programs and procedures.
  • Internship meetings will introduce other museums’ styles, basic museum studies philosophies, etc.


Students who are accepted as interns to this program must be available for the following high school cohort meeting dates:

  • Orientation on Monday, June 16, 2014 (Mille Lacs Indian Museum)
  • Field Trip 1 on Tuesday, July 15 (History Center)
  • Field Trip 2 on Saturday, August 16, 2014 (Mille Lacs Indian Museum)

Field trips are all-day events. Transportation to the appropriate sites will be provided, and details will be sent out ahead of time to participants. Parents must sign and return the Field Trip Authorization Forms in order for students to participate in this program requirement.


This is an opportunity to gain customer service experience, learn about museums, and discuss professional career paths with your peers through a rewarding internship program.


Shona Ramchandani, Bill Dinon, Travis Zimmerman & Jean Nierenhausen