The Enid A. Haupt Internship is funded by an endowment furnished to Smithsonian Gardens (SG) in 1992. The Internship encourages the study and profession of horticulture and provides a year-long practical training experience. One intern will be selected annually to train at Smithsonian Gardens. The internship offers two separate projects: six months spent with SG’s Horticulture staff and six months spent with SG’s Education/Outreach staff.

Under the Horticulture staff, the intern will participate in the planning, planting, cultural maintenance, ordering and production of the Enid A. Haupt Garden. During the second phase of the internship under the guidance of the Education/Outreach staff, the intern will participate in horticultural programming; develop education and outreach materials for the public, volunteers, staff and online communities; and create interpretive materials for use in the gardens.

Towards the end of their internship experience, the intern will be required to create, submit, and present a report to SG staff summarizing what they have learned during their experience and outlining what their next career steps might be.

This program accepts current and recently graduated undergraduate and graduate students studying horticulture or related fields. Selection is based on an evaluation of the candidate’s application and the relevance of their academic background and career goals. The internship is full time only (40 hours per week). When working in the garden the intern will work from 6:30am to 3pm Monday through Friday with some occasional work on weekends and/or evenings to support events. When working with the Education/Collections department the candidate will work from 8am to 4:30pm.

Desired Qualifications

To maximize project-learning outcomes, applicants should already have the following starting qualifications:

  • Ability to cooperate as part of a collective team, while also working independently to achieve team goals.
  • Self-starter with passion and the ability to plan, organize, and establish priorities to meet goals and achieve results according to a timeline with set deadlines.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, horticulture maintenance duties such as planting, watering, weeding, and pruning.
  • Knowledge of a diversity of trees, shrubs, perennials, annual plantings, and tropical plants.
  • Proficient in using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and have working knowledge of WordPress.
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, social media engagement techniques and management.
  • Ability to communicate information effectively verbally and in writing.

Physical Demands

The intern must have the dexterity and physical ability to perform grounds maintenance work. The internship requires frequent walking (sometimes on uneven ground), standing, bending, stooping, kneeling, sitting, pushing, pulling, and climbing. The intern will frequently need to handle objects weighing up to 30 pounds (occasionally up to 50 pounds) unassisted and heavier items with the assistance of others or with the use of a lifting device. Training will be provided in the safe operation of power equipment.

Work Environment

Work is performed both outside in a public garden and inside an office suite. The working environment outside can be cold, hot, wet, and dirty. The horticultural work involves manual labor; exposure to adverse weather conditions (particularly heat and humidity); and exposure to dust, dirt, and possibly some controlled horticultural chemicals.  While the work may expose the intern to cuts, sunburn, insect bites and stings, or injury from power equipment, SG’s safety culture emphasizes the constant need and responsibility for working safely with the help of personal protective equipment supplied by SG.


A stipend of $600 a week paid on a b-weekly basis will be awarded to the intern. Housing is not provided.


Requirements for applying to the Enid A. Haupt Internships include:

  • Online application
  • A current CV or resume
  • College transcript(s) – Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. If transcripts or other materials are not in English, the applicant must provide translations
  • Names and email addresses of three references (two references must be academic)
  • An essay (maximum 3 pages) including the following:
    • A statement of your interest in the Enid A. Haupt Internship and what you hope to gain from the experience; please indicate how you found out about the internship
    • A description of the impact that a funded internship would have on you and your education
    • A short biography describing your background, personal history, interests and academic major/minor

Application Process

To apply for an internship with Smithsonian Gardens, fill out an online application using the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system (SOLAA).

Select “Smithsonian Gardens” from the drop-down Office/Museum/Research Center list.