Human Resources Administrative Internship

PEN America is seeking a reliable, energetic, and detail-oriented intern who is interested in applying their learned knowledge to a real-world experience in human resources. The human resources administrative intern will directly assist the human resources manager with a wide range of projects related to HR compliance, recruiting, onboarding, and employee engagement programs and trainings, as well as office management and organization. This internship, based in New York, is designed to be both educational and practical. In this position, the intern will take the skills they have acquired in school and/or volunteer work and apply them in a professional setting. The intern will gain a better understanding of the role that Human Resources plays through hands-on application and interaction in a professional nonprofit environment.

The ideal candidate will have some exposure, knowledge, and/or understanding of the recruiting and hiring process and the importance of employment compliance, especially regarding consistency and confidentiality. They will also be familiar with the interrelationship of HR, finance, and the law as it applies to organizational employment regulation. A key component is the ability to move between projects constantly and prioritizing to complete tasks within a timely manner. The ideal candidate will bring many of these abilities to the role, with the opportunity to acquire skills and develop competencies crucial to a successful career in HR, management, or administration.


  • Post job openings, monitor the results of posts, provide research and suggestions
  • Collect and centralize data, which includes daily interaction with employees and interns, as well as extensive work in Excel
  • Prepare materials for new employee onboarding and coordinate tasks between departments
  • Manage social recruitment presence by creating interactive posts and adding content
  • Provide resources and information to staff as needed 
  • Schedule and execute all set-ups for meetings, trainings, employee events, and gatherings
  • Audit the office for safety hazards; seek opportunities to organize supplies
  • Periodically provide administrative support to finance, the front desk, or other departments
  • Additional responsibilities as needed


  • Current or recent enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree program, certificate, or vocational program with an interest and aptitude to work in Human Resources, or nonprofit management/administrative fields.
  • Proven ability to maintain confidentiality and apply discretion in professional and personal dealings
  • Punctuality is a must, as the intern will be expected to arrive on time and ready to begin
  • Professionalism, excellent interpersonal skills, and a can-do attitude
  • Demonstrated capability to work independently and efficiently, to prioritize and simultaneously handle multiple tasks, and to adhere to deadlines
  • Self-aware; able to communicate challenges and create partnerships and find solutions
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and internet applications
  • Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills; a creative thinker is a plus
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • An interest in PEN America’s work, or an interest in nonprofit work is ideal
  • Student Member of SHRM a plus
  • Bilingual a plus

This position will begin in September and will continue through the academic year. The ideal hours are 15-20 per week, 3 to 5 days a week, which includes Friday mornings.

This is an unpaid position. Interns who work more than 15 hours per week are eligible for a local travel stipend. PEN America internships are also eligible for college credit.

To apply: Please email a cover letter (one-page maximum) and resume to Shawnna Jannah, Human Resources Manager, at [email protected] with the subject line “PEN America HR Internship.” Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No phone calls or solicitations, please.

About PEN America: PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. For more than 90 years, we have been working together with our colleagues in the international PEN community to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Our strength is our membership—a nationwide community of novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other professionals, and an even larger network of devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission.