Aperture Foundation’s internships offer the chance to engage, contribute, and work alongside editors, publishers, educators, and more. Offered year round, these internships provide a platform for motivated individuals to gain insight and hands-on experience in one of the foundation’s various departments.
About Aperture Internships
Aperture’s Work Scholar Program provides the opportunity for individuals to become involved with one of photography’s most influential organizations. Through hands-on experience in one of the foundation’s various departments, Work Scholars will learn about the foundation’s history and contribution to photography; work alongside Aperture editors, publishers, and educators to achieve department goals; attend gallery tours, educational lunches, and various field trips; and understand the business operations essential to a non-profit.
Click here for more information on how to become an Aperture Work Scholar.
The Elaine Goldman and John Benis Internship for New York City Students at Aperture Foundation is intended to provide experience in working for a not-for-profit arts organization for college students from diverse backgrounds who live in or attend school in New York City. The Elaine Goldman and John Benis Diversity intern will work in the Development Department, focusing on special event production. This is a six-month commitment that takes place in the spring of each year. To be eligible, candidates must be a permanent resident of New York, or a current student of or recent graduate of a college or university located in New York.
Click here to read more about the position and how to apply.
The Maryland Institute College of Art and Aperture Foundation are pleased to offer a ten-week summer internship to qualified MICA photography majors. Juniors or graduating seniors are invited to apply for this paid summer internship with Aperture Foundation located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The MICA intern will be exposed to the wide range of activities that define Aperture, from the editing, design, production, circulation, sales, and marketing of photography’s most significant publications to the creation of web content, educational programs for children and adults, and other business and development operations essential to a non-profit organization.This internship has been generously funded by MICA alumnus S. B. Cooper with R. L. Besson.
Click here to read more about the internship.
Work Scholar Program Testimonials
Since 1985, Aperture has provided training to over 500 young arts professionals through its Work Scholar program. Many Aperture Work Scholars have gone on to exciting careers, including artists Gregory Crewdson and Taryn Simon; curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Corey Keller; and associate curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Christopher Lew, as well as Aperture’s creative director, Lesley A. Martin; director of exhibitions management Annette Booth; and managing editor Taia Kwinter. Below is a selection of personal accounts from past Work Scholars describing how the program affected their professional and creative practice.
“I can honestly say that being selected to take part in the Work Scholar Program was my “golden ticket” into the art world. With Aperture having such a renown and respected reputation I received twice as many responses when applying to many art related organizations, specifically in the area of photography, that I was not being considered for before. I have recommended the program frequently over the years to qualified candidates who I believe would gain an unbeatable experience at a not for profit and who want to learn about photography. Aperture has a wonderful staff and I highly recommend applying to the program.”
—Jassell Boisselle; Magazine Circulation, 2009
“The Aperture Work Scholar Program changed the course of my life. I applied for the program while studying at the Goethe Institute in Berlin. I was just finishing up my college degree (a B.A. in English Literature) and knew I wanted to move to New York City to work in an editorial department. Melissa Harris offered me the position over the phone and I moved to New York in November 1989. New York quickly became home and the Aperture community my family. I met so many amazing people during my time there, some of whom I now call close friends. I went directly from Aperture to the position of editorial assistant, then assistant editor, at Art in America magazine and later transitioned over to a curatorial position at the Dia Art Foundation, then as Curator of Artists Space in SoHo. I am grateful for the course the Aperture Foundation set me on all those years ago. What an amazing opportunity.”
—Anastasia Aukeman; Editorial, 1990
“My experiences at Aperture were fundamental in opening my eyes to the many different ways I could engage with photography, both professionally and creatively. While I worked in development, our work scholar meetings laid a groundwork for my understanding of the day-to-day activities involved in making the organization run across all the departments, and it fueled my interest in photobooks and critical writing on photography. On top of all the professional benefits, I made some close friendships that have extended far beyond Aperture; that’s been one of the best unanticipated perks!”
—Ashlyn David; Special Events and Membership, 2010
“My time as a work scholar enriched my appreciation and my knowledge of the medium of photography. I gained critical exposure to artists and administrators working in the contemporary art field. I also sharpened my archival and cataloging skills, an area I would explore in my professional life following the program. I was handed a great degree of responsibility during my time at Aperture and I am very thankful for the experience and exchange of ideas amongst my peers and staff members.”
—Audree Anid; Finance & Administration, 2012
“Taking advantage of the opportunity that is the Work Scholar program at Aperture effectively began my career in art book production. Though I had previous experience in working with photographers, printing, file preparation, and various technical aspects of photography, along with a degree in photography, print production in the field of art book and magazine publishing was more or less new to me. The high-quality standards of Aperture Foundation, along with its multi-faceted nature and ever-ambitious, diverse, and growing list of publications very quickly and undoubtedly formed a strong basis for a fundamental understanding of print production. I honestly can’t think of a more effective means to have prepared me professionally than the Work Scholar program at Aperture. ”
—Luke Chase; Production, 2013
Work Scholar Program:
Aperture accepts qualified candidates at a range of points in their education and career paths. Most successful applicants have completed college and already gained some experience in their field of interest, or current students in a related field of study.
Elaine Goldman and John Benis Internship:
Candidates must be a permanent resident of New York, or a current student of or recent graduate of a college or university located in New York. If you are a New York City student we ask that you documentation from your college or university confirming that you receive or have received financial aid.
The Maryland Institute College of Art Summer Internship
The MICA internship is offered exclusively to juniors or graduating seniors of the MICA photography program.
Yes, Aperture’s magazine, books, and exhibitions have an international audience and we’re always excited by the contribution of international interns. Please note that Aperture is unable to provide visas or pay visa fees.
No. International interns are responsible for obtaining and paying for their own J-1 visas. As a small non-profit, we are unable to serve as “sponsors” for the J-1 visa or cover the cost of any visa related fees. Interns must contact a third party organization (if accepted, we’ll be in touch about recommended organizations) in order to obtain the proper paperwork.
We’re interested in reading something that you feel best represents the type of writer and thinker you are. This can be an excerpt of a school paper, a review of a show, or a reflection on a photograph. Try and think about the position for which you are applying and, if possible, match your writing sample to your field of interest (e.g., a press release for a communications internship).
Yes. If accepted, please provide the Work Scholar Coordinator with the relevant paperwork from your university.
No. All internships run in six-month or twelve-month sessions: January–June and/or July–December. The one exception to this rule is the MICA internship program, which runs a total of 8 weeks during the summer. To see if you qualify for the MICA internship please click here.
The Work Scholar Program requires a commitment of three days per week, one of which must be Wednesday, for six-months. The schedule for the three days is 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Once hired, your weekly schedule will be determined by you and your supervisor.
Unfortunately, Aperture is unable to provide housing for our interns. We appreciate the work you do for us and will try to be as much help as possible in providing advice for settling into life in New York, but we cannot be of financial assistance beyond the hourly pay.
No. We have a range of opportunities available, each requiring different areas of expertise and interest. We do ask that you have some demonstrated interest and experience in the world of photography. This does not, however, mean that you have to be a photographer. We’re excited about carving out a place in photographic history and we hope that our interns are too.
While interning at Aperture you will not necessarily be creating photographs for your own fine art portfolio. You will be participating in the various support roles necessary to publish, exhibit, and promote photography from around the world. Your own work may benefit from spending six months surrounded by photographs, photography books, and photographers, but you won’t spend much time developing your own portfolio during work hours. That being said, in addition to aspiring photographers, we want to see aspiring editors, curators, writers, publicists, etc.
Many of Aperture’s former Work Scholars have gone on to do great things! A few alums are now employed full-time at Aperture. Our Creative Director, Director of Exhibitions Management, and Assistant Editor, among others, were all once interns. However, interning at Aperture does not guarantee that you will be hired. Other former Work Scholars include photographers Gregory Crewdson and Taryn Simon and New York Times photography critic Philip Gefter. Many interns go on to work at other publishers or galleries around the world. Some end up using the various skills developed here to enter into fields completely unrelated to photography.