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Historic Interpreter-Intern, Living History Farms, Urbandale, Iowa

  • 12 Jan 2018 2:09 PM
    Message # 5679311
    ALHFAM Webmaster (Administrator)

    Job Title:         Historic Interpreter- Intern

    Department:   Interpretation / Education

    Reports to:      Education Director


    • Averaging 30 hours per week, May 21 – August 12, 2018
    • Generally 8:30 - 4:15 Monday through Saturday, 11:30 – 4:15 Sundays
    • Schedule includes both weekend days with days off occurring during the week
    • Occasional evening work may be necessary, although is very rare.


    Historic interpreter interns assist Living History Farms in achieving its mission: to educate, entertain, and connect people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences. 

    This position involves explaining through demonstrations and interactions with the public the history and trends in agriculture and rural life in the Midwest.  A majority of the time, this person will be working outdoors, while wearing clothing issued by Living History Farms that reflects the clothing of the time period.  

    The intern will work at some combination of the following: historic Flynn Mansion, 1700 Ioway Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1900 Horse-Powered Farm, Tangen House, Elliot Millinery Shop, Advocate Printing Office, Walnut Hill Broomworks, and/or the Wallace Exhibit Center.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:                               As part of the internship, students will be asked to…

    ·                Greet and interact with museum visitors in an open, friendly manner.   

    ·                Interpret historic events and facts for museum guests of all ages.

    ·                Demonstrates and interprets daily historic activities (may include food preparation and food preservation, gardening with hand tools, crafts or sewing, use of period machinery etc.) for school tours, day camp groups, adult tour groups and the general public.

    ·                Encourage general visitors, especially children, to participate in interactive activities, including scheduled hands-on activities.

    ·                Perform appropriate work, indoors and outdoors, in a variety of conditions consistent with the historical time period and the interpretive activity, and within the variations of Iowa’s climate.  Most buildings are not climate controlled. 

    ·                Read assigned materials, complete assigned papers and projects, and attend academic seminars, in order to successfully complete all requirements for earning academic credit.

    ·                Maintain a professional demeanor at all times, especially when interacting with the public, but also including during training sessions and with other staff.

    ·                Complete required number of interpretation hours (360 hours).  Any time missed will need to be made up in order to successfully complete the program.

    QUALIFICATIONS and SKILLS:                         Successful candidates will…

    ·                Like working with the general public, and people of all ages, especially children

    ·                Possess excellent communication (verbal and written) skills

    ·                Display a willingness to learn, and a “can do” mentality

    ·                Approach situations with creative, analytical and problem-solving skills

    ·                Demonstrate exceptional customer service skills

    ·                Enjoy working in a dynamic, fast-paced, team-oriented workplace

    ·                Demonstrate an ability to work independently, following through on tasks to completion

    ·                Be comfortable working outdoors, sometimes in adverse conditions such as heat, rain, etc.  (Most buildings are not climate controlled)

    ·                Able to perform physical tasks (lift 50 lbs.) with physical mobility

    ·                Have experience with computer programs, such as the Microsoft Office package 

    ·                Successfully pass a criminal background check

    ·                Possess a high school diploma or GED required, and be classified as a sophomore or higher at their college or university

    Position status and benefits:  

    ·                Classified as temporary, part-time hourly, non-exempt, with hourly wage of $6.35

    ·                Work week averages 30 hours including weekends, days off generally fall during mid-week

    ·                Six hours of college credit through Graceland University tuition free

    o   In order to receive the credit, the intern must successfully complete all required internship assignments, including a project and required number of interpretation work hours.

    o   Fees associated with tuition paid for by Living History Farms

    o   Intern must pay for transfer of college transcript to his or her original school, if they are not a Graceland University student

    ·                Formal reviews will occur at the mid-point and at the completion of the internship; coaching and feedback given more regularly

    ·                Interns will also receive:

    o   A general introduction to field of museum studies

    o   An overview of the types of careers available in the museum field

    o   Job-specific training, relating to the intern’s assigned work locations

    o   Consistent supervision from the museum’s staff

    o   Constructive and timely feedback, in a mentoring situation

    o   Valuable experience working with the public

    o   A chance to see classroom theories in a real world setting


                Download, complete, and return official intern application (available at www.lhf.org).

    Include the following:

    ·                Cover letter stating what you hope to gain from this internship

    ·                Resume

    ·                Three references

    Return to:        Daniel Jones, Education Director

    Living History Farms

    2600 – 111th Street

    Urbandale, Iowa, 5322



    All application materials must be received by NOON on Friday, February 16, 2018

    We will select candidates to interview, with interviews taking place in early March.  Applicants must be classified as a sophomore or above to apply.


    Contact Daniel Jones, Education Director & Internship Coordinator, at 515-278-5286 ext. 157, or via e-mail at djones@lhf.org.


    Living History Farms is an interactive outdoor museum which educates, entertains and connects people of all ages to Midwestern rural life experiences.  It is a privately run, not-for-profit organization on 500 acres located in Urbandale, Iowa.  Historical interpreters dress in period clothing and recreate the daily routines of early Iowans on three farm sites spanning the years 1700-1900 and an 1875 town.  More than 100,000 guests visit Living History Farms annually, one third of who are associated with school visits or educational programs.  The season typically runs approximately May 1 - October 19.  For more information, please visit www.lhf.org.   Living History Farms is a Character Counts!(c) organization. 

    Posted:            12/27/18

An organization of people who bring history to life

ALHFAMc/o Old Sturbridge Village,
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA 01566

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