Internship FAQs

Common questions regarding our internships are answered below. If you have any additional questions, please email Samantha Russak at: samantha@southwickszoo.com

Click HERE to return to the internships main page.

How long do the internships last?

Most Spring/Summer internships require 300 hours.  Animal Care interns are required to work at least 3 days each week, including at least one weekend day each week. Each day is about 8 hours long. Wild Adventure Program and Business/Operations interns have different start/end dates and work schedules than Animal Care interns. Fall internships have a similar schedule, but we can be flexible with dates.

Do you only offer internships during the summer when the zoo is open?
Our spring/summer internships are the most popular, however we do offer internships during the fall and winter. These internships typically focus more on caring for animals during the winter and assisting with ZooMobiles. They involve less visitor interaction since the zoo closes for the season after October.

Who can apply?
Applicants must be currently enrolled in college or recent college graduates. Applicants must also be at least 18 years of age.

Can I get time off for vacation?
All requests for vacation time must be submitted at the start of your internship. The deadline for Spring/Summer interns to request vacation time is June 9. The deadline for Fall interns to request vacation time is two weeks in advance of vacation.

What if the position I apply for is already filled?
Certain departments have fewer openings than others. If your desired position is no longer available, and we feel you are well suited for another, we may offer you an internship in another department.

Are internships paid?
Our internships are unpaid and are completed for college credit only. However, they offer valuable hands on experience in a fun environment.

Do you offer housing?
We have limited housing nearby the zoo. There is a small rental fee.

Can I interview over the phone if I don’t live nearby?
We can perform interviews via Skype if you are unavailable to attend one in person. Please make a note of this when you submit your application.

What is EARTH Awareness Day?
EARTH Awareness Day is an annual event at the zoo that takes place on the first Saturday of August. The purpose of the event is to give visitors a fun way to learn about various conservation and environmental issues. In addition to local organizations and vendors that will be located throughout the zoo, interns will be presenting their EARTH Awareness Day project. This project is a chance for interns to pick a topic that they are passionate about and share that passion with zoo visitors. The only “rule” for the project is that it needs to have an interactive component (such as a game, activity sheet, questionnaire, demonstration, etc.) so that visitors can be fully engaged with the presentation without feeling like they are simply getting a lecture. Staff in each department will help guide interns in developing and completing their projects throughout the duration of their internship.
(Note: EARTH Awareness Day is a requirement for all Spring/Summer interns)

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