C. Keith Birkenfeld Teen Internship Program

This internship introduces students to the skills and tasks required to operate and maintain the SS VIRGINIA V, a US-Coast-Guard-inspected vessel and National Historic Landmark, and also provides students with an introduction to career opportunities in the maritime industry. Students are paid an hourly wage for their work shifts and attendance at required events during the internship, and will have the unique opportunity of helping to operate one of the last wooden-hulled passenger steamships anywhere in the country.

The internship program runs July through August, and includes hands-on training and work shifts, job-skills training, career exploration events, and networking opportunities with other students and maritime professionals.

For more information, contact Margaret Saunders at margaret@virginiav.org or call (206) 624-9119.


  • 4 shifts in engineering (typically includes lining up pumps, performing oiling rounds, engine maintenance, etc.)
  • 4 shifts in deck (typically includes handling lines, stewarding passengers, navigating the ship during cruises, etc.)
  • 4 shifts in maintenance (typically includes varnishing, painting, small woodworking projects, etc.)
  • completion of one career exploration project during the course of the internship
  • attendance at additional skill-building workshops, career exploration events, and industry networking opportunities


Internship runs through July and August 2020.

Once students are selected for the internship, they will work with Virginia V Foundation staff to schedule work shifts based on their availability and the ship's cruising schedule. Interns are required to fulfill their four onboard shifts in each of the three ship departments - twelve (12) shifts total - before August 30th, 2020. Shifts range from 4-6 hours depending on the event or tasks to be completed. Evening and/or weekend availability is often required.

Attendance at additional pre-scheduled weekday events will also be required; please contact us with any specific questions about the intern events schedule.

Student Outcomes

During the course of the internship, students will:

  • Receive practical experience in all aspects of operating a steamship like the SS Virginia V, including deck, engineering, and maintenance tasks.
  • Participate in fun hands-on learning experiences at a variety of local maritime organizations including Northwest Seaport, the Center for Wooden Boats, Seattle Maritime Academy, and more.
  • Learn essential soft skills for success in the workforce, including resume and cover letter writing, interview prep, and networking.
  • Connect with key contacts in the local maritime industry and learn about career and education opportunities available to them post-internship.
  • Have the chance to meet and socialize with other students interested in maritime career pathways.
  • Receive a wage of $15.00/hr for their time spent working onboard shifts and attending required intern events.

Following their internship, interested students are encouraged to continue volunteering aboard the Virginia V as crew members, and can receive post-internship support and mentorship if they choose to pursue a career in the maritime industry.


Applicants must be 16 years or older. Download application below. Submit completed application to Margaret Saunders at margaret@virginiav.org with "2020 Internship Application" in the subject line.

For more information on applying, feel free to contact Margaret Saunders at margaret@virginiav.org or call (206) 624-9119.

Applications will open Wednesday, April 1st, 2020. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 1st, 2020. Applications received after this date may be considered on a rolling basis if intern positions are still available. Students selected for follow-up interviews will be contacted shortly thereafter, and final intern selection will be completed by late May.

2019 Internship Application

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