2011-07-07 17:18:40.000 – Brian Clark, Observer / Educational Specialist
Through the wide variety of ways that I interact with our members, guests, etc. I have heard a lot of the same questions over and over again through the years. One of those frequently asked questions is something along the lines of ‘What kind of background or education do you have to have to work there [the summit]?’. The answer to that is never simple, because between our full-time observer and intern positions, we are looking for a wide variety of qualifications. We have had some interns that have just graduated high school, and we’ve even had a relatively recent full-time observer that had an art degree, specializing in oil paintings (that particular former observer has gone on to study meteorology at a graduate level, by the way).
The background of our interns tends to be particularly diverse. That’s partly because the only real hard and fast requirement for an intern applicant is about as basic as it gets: you have to be 18 years of age or older. Sure, we may be looking for applicants with a particular background depending on projects that we have going on at the time. As you may expect, we also tend to attract a lot of applicants with a meteorology or atmospheric science background, or students that are working on degrees in those type of fields.
The reason I bring all this up is because the deadline for applications for a fall internship is rapidly approaching, July 15. The fall internship starts sometime in August and runs through the end of December, which is a particularly interesting time of year to experience Mount Washington. This is because the folks that end up filling those positions will start their experience while we are still in full summer mode on the mountain. That means lots of tourists, tours, and working in our museum gift shop. By the time they finish up in December, we are fully into winter with all the snow, ice, cold, and snow tractor rides that come along with the winter season on Mount Washington.
Overall, an internship experience on Mount Washington is a once in a lifetime experience. I can speak to this on a personal level, having completed an internship during the winter of 2006. I also think that that the numerous former interns that have become full-time observer over the years (including 4 of the 6 current observers) speaks highly of the program.
So, if you (or someone you know) would be interested in such an opportunity, be sure to send in an application before the 15th (the end of next week). Head on over to the Jobs and Volunteering page on our website to submit an application, or to get more information on our internship program.
Brian Clark, Observer / Educational Specialist