Internship Program

An internship is a career-focused experience in research, business, industry, education, government, medicine, or social service that allows the student the opportunity to explore and clarify career choices in a particular field of interest while working with a mentor at a worksite for a defined period of time. Internships can be paid or unpaid.

Learning on the job can be uniquely beneficial. It requires the intern to use verbal, critical thinking, questioning and writing skills as well as meeting general workplace expectations. No matter what happens- success, failure, or adjustment- the student gains experience and acquires personal information to set lifetime goals.

For Mentors

Mentoring is an honored tradition of assisting another to develop personally and professionally. Often, mentoring a young person is exciting and stimulating and interns and mentors form life-long bonds of friendship. Certainly, mentors can gain some unpaid work assistance from their interns. The main gratification, however, is in knowing that you have helped a young person along the path toward being a contributing member of society.


Q: Who can do an internship?
A: SSFS sophomores, juniors, and seniors can do an internship.

Q: When should I do my internship?
A: In short, you can do an internship at any time your schedule allows. Most interns complete their internship over the summer, since their schedules are much more flexible and they can travel as necessary. Some interns choose to do their internships a little bit at a time throughout the school year.

Q: Can I get school credit in exchange for an internship?
A: Internships do not earn class credit, but they are recognized on the SSFS transcript. The internship is described within the “Comments” section of the transcript, which is the same place where you’d find any awards or special accolades.

Q: How can I find an internship?
A: Many internships in science and government can be found through established programs (see “Sources for Internships”) but many other internships are created only after someone expresses interest. For these sorts of internships, personal connections work best. Do you know anyone who already works in this field? Even if they don’t end up as your mentor, they can most likely direct you to someone else who can help you. Don’t be shy! If you never ask, you’ll never know.

Q: I’m already doing an internship outside of school; does it have to be part of the school program?
A: Many SSFS students do internships without participating in the school’s program. Perhaps they haven’t fulfilled the minimum of 60 hours, or perhaps they don’t want to go through the extra steps required to achieve school recognition. The choice is yours. Consider the Program Requirements carefully when deciding whether to pursue school recognition.

Program Requirements

The SSFS internship program helps students learn more about themselves, their future goals, and the working world. The program seeks to foster the skills of self-advocacy, independence, responsibility, time management, self-reflection, and public speaking.

To that end, the SSFS internship program asks students to complete three separate requirements:

  • Keep an accurate log of time spent on the job, with a minimum of 60 hours and verification by a mentor. (Download Time Log Sheet here)
  • Write an essay that reflects on the experience: What motivated you to seek out this internship? How did you get the job? What were your duties and responsibilities? What did you learn that you’ll take with you in the future? How does this affect the way you think about potential career options and goals?
  • Give a presentation that relays your internship experience to the student body. This will usually occur during an assembly in the fall semester.

Sources for Internships

There are many places to look for internships, and many different programs to apply for. Check the following as places to start:


NASA's journeys into air and space have deepened humankind's understanding of the universe, advanced technology breakthroughs, enhanced air travel safety and security, and expanded the frontiers of scientific research. These accomplishments share a common genesis: education. As the United States begins the second century of flight, the Nation must maintain its commitment to excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to ensure that the next generation of Americans can accept the full measure of their roles and responsibilities in shaping the future. NASA will continue the Agency's tradition of investing in the Nation’s education programs and supporting the country's educators who play a key role in preparing, inspiring, exciting, encouraging, and nurturing the young minds of today who will be the workforce of tomorrow.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (2012) National Space Club Scholars Program - The National Space Club Scholars Program is a summer intern program, for up to 36 high school students, with space scientists and engineers, sponsored by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (up to 28) and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA (up to 8) in cooperation with the National Space Club. The program is conducted for six weeks each summer, from late June until early August.

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research

National Eye Institute, Bethesda, MD & Rockville, MD NEI Summer Intern Program
The NIH Summer Internship Program (SIP) provides opportunities for students to spend the summer working with some of the world's leading scientists in an environment devoted to biomedical research. Students from across the country come to the NIH to obtain scientific research experience and mentoring from scientists and physicians across the 27 Institutes and Centers who study a broad range of questions in biology and medicine.

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research
Summer programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide an opportunity to spend a summer working at the NIH side-by-side with some of the leading scientists in the world, in an environment devoted exclusively to biomedical research. The NIH consists of the 240-bed Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center and more than 1200 laboratories/research projects located on the main campus in Bethesda, MD and the surrounding area as well as in Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Phoenix, AZ; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; and Detroit, MI. NOTE: the number of positions in Phoenix, Hamilton, Framingham, and Detroit is limited.
Internships cover a minimum of eight weeks, with students generally arriving at the NIH in May or June. The NIH Institutes and the Office of Intramural Training & Education sponsor a wide range of summer activities including lectures featuring distinguished NIH investigators, career/professional development workshops, and Summer Poster Day.

National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, Bethesda, MD
Summer Internship Program "...for students sixteen years of age or older who are currently enrolled at least half-time in high school or an accredited U.S. college or university. Students who have been accepted into a college or university program may also apply."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD
NIDDK Short-term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP) - High School Program - "Students will conduct their research in their home town, either nearby or within commuting distance of their residence. Students are not required to relocate in order to pursue their research internship."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD
Summer Program in the Neurological Sciences

J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD Internship Program
The Internship Program provides opportunities to inspire young scientists and other science professionals to work in all areas of the Institute. Interns are assigned to a mentor who is a member of the Institute's faculty or senior staff. A research program/work experience is tailored to each participant's education level and capabilities. Interns are required to present a summary of their research/work experience to the Institute's staff at the conclusion of their Internship. Students doing research at JCVI during the Fall or Spring semester should apply to receive credit from their high school or college.

BIOINSIGHTS is a full service bioscience training and career development company with expertise in medical communications and strategic management consulting. We offer training in a variety of areas including biobusiness, biomanufacturing, career development and job placement. Our medical communications services run the gamut from traditional medical and science writing to regulatory-compliant pharmaceutical website design to social media strategies and solutions. Please explore our website stay abreast of the latest news in the life science industry, look for a job or plan the next step in your career!


If you are interested in pursuing a career in medicine and working in a medical setting, doing support work can be a really valuable experience. It will let you see what it is like to be a medical practitioner, and it allows you to meet people who can discuss and mentor your career path with you. No matter where you work in the health profession, you will most likely not be able to have really close interactions with patients. This is because you have not yet completed medical training and because of various regulations, such as those protecting patient privacy. So be prepared for most of your work activities to be routine tasks. All potential mentors want to see prospective interns who show initiative and interest. So, as much as this sounds scary, you will need to go to the kinds of places that interest you, and ask if s/he will sponsor you. There are thousands of them nearby, in every field possible. Make sure you read through the course website before you go so you will know how many hours a week you will need to work, what the mentor will need to know, etc. It is all in there! Most large organizations and institutions have websites where they ask for volunteers. In the medical field, the term "intern" means someone who has medical school training, so "volunteer" is as close as you will get to being an "intern." Here is just a brief jump start:

1. Hospitals, including rehabilitation centers, etc. Every hospital and large organization has a volunteer coordinator or a volunteer office. They will have application packages for you. Tell the coordinator that you are applying as a student in the Internship program at SSFS.

  • Shady Grove
  • Suburban
  • Montgomery General
  • NIH Clinical Center
  • Bethesda Naval Medical center (soon to be renamed Walter Reed)
  • Jewish Community Center
  • Shady Grave Rehab Center
  • Check the phone book & drive around & look at building names- zillions of other places
  • Not as close, but do-able: GWU, Georgetown, NOVA, Washington Hospital Center, etc.

2. Medical Offices (Doctors, dentists, Physical Therapists, other Therapists, Optometrists, etc...) Doctors will want you to come with your resume in hand. Be prepared to discuss why you chose this field.

3. Public Health facilities: There are a lot of governmental offices that deal with health issues. Check the web sites of local towns & cities, counties, state and national. Many of them have listings on the SSL site asking for volunteers.

4. Volunteer Organizations. A zillion of them! Everything from those that support specific diseases and conditions (ie, Cancer Society). Again, they have websites and they ask for volunteers.

5. Professional Organizations and Societies: Local medical societies. Such as the local society for Occupational Therapists.

6. For-Profit Centers and Clinics.



Maryland State Archives - Employment
The Maryland State Archives is pleased to host high school, college, and graduate students in our internship program. Each summer, paid internships are offered to teach archival records management and historical research methods. Throughout the year, the Archives offers student internships for academic or community service credit.

Smithsonian Internship Opportunities
An internship at the Smithsonian Institution is a prearranged, structured learning experience scheduled within a specific time frame. The experience must be relevant to the intern's academic and professional goals, and to research and museum activities of the Institution. An internship is performed under the direct supervision of Smithsonian staff.
Internships, for the most part, are arranged individually. Information and applications may be obtained by contacting the appropriate internship coordinator. For additional info go to


Many of the items listed can be converted into an internship.

The Montgomery County Department of Police conducts an intern program to enhance the criminal justice and law enforcement programs of high schools, colleges and universities by offering opportunities for experiential and student service learning. The program is designed to meet both the academic and career objectives of students while providing useful administrative and operational support services to the police. Animal Services is part of the police department.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AT THE CLINICAL CENTER AT THE NIH In a medical setting, the term "Intern" means someone who has completed medical school. Some of these volunteer activities can be structured as internships.