Web Engineering Intern, Art Institute of Chicago

Experience Design is seeking a McMullan Arts Leadership intern to join their Web Engineering team. The intern will collaborate with a small team of full-stack developers and a product manager on a small project using data from our public API to demonstrate new and creative uses of our public data.

The Web Engineering team is situated within the Experience Design department—a creative studio embedded in the museum. We are a team of designers, developers, and producers, dedicated to human-centered design, rich storytelling, and open access initiatives. With a digital palette that reaches from mobile to in-gallery experiences, we create experiences that open portals to the museum’s and library’s collection.

Internship Outcomes

  • Experience collaborating with various teams within the museum
  • Learn about and practice working in Agile software project workflows
  • Understand how APIs work, build software with APIs, and add functionality to APIs
  • Write code in open source code repositories that you’ll be able to share after the internship ends
  • Develop a proof of concept of a public-facing tool or feature
  • Have opportunities to explore emerging technologies
  • Learn how to write technical documentation and track progress on technical projects
  • Grow skills in presenting technical projects to a non-technical audience
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work remotely to develop public-facing proof-of-concepts and features. Explore implementing ideas in code via backend and frontend programming. This may include writing code in PHP, Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as database and API integration. Manage code in Git.
  • Conduct research to explore potential tools to use for implementing code solutions.
  • Track issues and solutions in our ticketing system, Jira. Work with the team to organize project tasks using the Agile development process.
  • Collaborate with designers when working on visual and experiential aspects of the project.
  • Communicate with other developers in setting priorities.
  • Work with the team to identify and get help with solving potential issues.
  • Write technical documentation for new features. Present new feature development to internal stakeholders. Potentially write and/or present about the project to an external audience.
  • Embrace the museum’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable institution; adhere to the museum’s shared values; and treat colleagues and visitors fairly and respectfully. Support institutional initiatives towards transparency via open data and open source code. Help ensure that our content and applications meet or exceed web accessibility standards.

About the McMullan Arts Leadership Internship

The McMullan Arts Leadership Internship program is part of a museum-wide effort to provide students from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in the museum field, the opportunity to gain experience, career awareness, networks, and skills that will together position them to succeed as future art museum leaders. Those selected join an intern cohort and have access to a range of programs to support their development in addition to their specific departmental placement. Mentorship is provided throughout the intern experience. Interns are also encouraged to remain connected to the museum and to other interns as part of an alumni network.


  • Undergraduate or graduate student; recent graduates (within one year of graduation) will also be considered
  • Demonstrated understanding of HTML / CSS and JavaScript
  • Excited to learn new technologies, software systems, and skillsets
  • Self-motivated; able to utilize various museum resources available for self-improvement and education
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and displays a genuine enthusiasm to learn more about web engineering and design thinking


Application must include the following materials:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter that addresses the following:
    • Why do you want to work in this internship at the Art Institute of Chicago?
    • What qualities do you have that you think museums need more of?
    • Barriers to pursuing a career in the arts and museums can take many forms, and we recognize that members of underrepresented groups experience greater challenges in the museum career pathway. Discuss what challenge or challenges you face (identity-based, socioeconomic, educational, other) as you consider a career in the arts and museums, and how this internship could play a role in surmounting those obstacles.

To apply: Visit artic.edu/careers to find job posting and apply online. Upload all materials into one pdf document and list your last name and “Academic Year 2021” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_AcademicYear2021.pdf.) The application will close on June 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM CDT. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early application is suggested. Selected applicants will be asked to interview via video call.

Internship Information

Length of Program: September/early October 2021 (start date between September 10–October 10) through May 2022 (end date between May 1–May 15)

Compensation: Paid / $16.00/hr / Part-time / Temporary

Schedule: This is a part-time, 30-35 week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work approximately 10–14 hours per week, for a total of up to 490 hours over the course of the internship. Work days will occur between Monday–Friday; with the start date and work schedule determined upon agreement between the candidate and Web Engineering. We highly encourage the student to attend virtual intern professional development programs, which will occur on select Fridays at 11:00am CDT (unless otherwise noted) throughout the internship term.

Format: The internship will be fully virtual, with opportunity for onsite work dependent on current health and safety considerations as well as individual comfort levels. Applicants based in or attending school in the Chicagoland area during the internship timeframe will be prioritized. Internet access and appropriate technology will be necessary to complete this internship, but technological accommodations can be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago based on necessity.

Number of openings: 1