Project Description:

The Office of Facilities Management and Reliability is seeking intern candidates who are studying and enthusiastic about performing custodial cleaning, associated building services and labor tasks at the Smithsonian Institution. The interns will be under the direct supervision and mentorship of a Facility Service Supervisor, and will perform various tasks related to the cleaning and upkeep of our cultural facilities. The interns will be required to learn with supervisors and demonstrate practical understanding as well as learn the proper application of custodial training in areas identified by the supervisor. The candidate will assist and learn how to clean offices, exhibit space, restrooms, corridors, storage rooms, stairways or any area within the confines of the building(s) using brooms, mops, buckets, heavy duty vacuums and buffers and scrubbers. Responsibilities include learning proper techniques for dusting, scrubbing, sweeping, waxing and polishing horizontal surfaces such as floors and counters, cleaning mirrors, emptying trash and recycling bins, washing walls, windows, air vents, blinds and fixtures. The intern must have completed or be a current participant in a formal training program providing the knowledge and skill in performing facilities custodial work and must possess a valid state driver’s license.

Appointment Details

Term & Details – 11 Weeks
– Applications are accepted on a rolling basis
– Multiple opportunities available
Project Title Operations and Building Service Experience at the Smithsonian
Location Smithsonian Museums and Buildings
Stipend Most internships are paid by stipend
Time Requirement This is a full-time 40 hour per week internship
Housing Interns must secure housing prior to the internship start date
Travel Travel to and from internship site location is the responsibility of the intern
Mentor Will be determined by the location of the opportunities

Project Outcomes & Assignments:

  • Practical application of knowledge related to cultural facilities custodial work as demonstrated to supervisor
  • Hands-on performance of assigned facilities custodial tasks at entry level
  • Learning customer service when performing custodial duties
  • Meet weekly with supervisor for evaluation of performance
  • Create a weekly log that documents highlights of your experiences
  • Attendance at OFMR’s Senior Leadership Meeting at internship conclusion

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of custodial work at the Smithsonian
  • Demonstrate the use of custodial training in completing assignments
  • Develop and improve facilities custodial skills relating to cultural facilities
  • Develop networking skills with other custodial and maintenance professionals in Facility Management
  • Develop professional skills that will aid in the transition from student to employee


  • Student must be a current or recently matriculated student in a recognized training program related to facilities custodial work
  • Student must be in good current academic standing
  • Student must submit a complete application package
  • Student must be available for an interview
  • Student must be innovative and self-motivated
  • Student must provide and verify housing for term of internship
  • Student must have a bank account for direct deposit of stipend payments
  • Student must be available to participate 40 hours per week
  • Student must be a U.S. Citizen