Southwick S Zoo Internship Essay

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

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. Spring Internships go from March-May; Summer Internships go from May-August; Fall internships go from August-November. Spring animal care internship positions are limited, so please email if interested.

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.

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)


Potter Park Zoo offers unpaid internships to college students or college graduates in animal related fields as well as those interested in education, hospitality, and marketing.

Animal Care Internship

Those seeking animal related internships are asked to read Potter Park Zoo’s animal care internship description and requirements here. Please submit your application here.


Summer Application Deadline: April 1st 

Fall Application deadline: August 1st 

Spring Application deadline: November 15th





Education Internship

The Potter Park Zoo Education Department is offering a limited number of unpaid full and part-time internships. Duties may include developing programs and/or activities under the guidance of education department staff, research, data entry, and additional department projects as assigned. For interns that qualify, there may be some occasional paid opportunities to serve as hosts for overnights or working with our Zookambi summer camp program.

Please Note: Education Department Interns do not participate in animal husbandry, nor do they have contact with exhibit animals. However, interns will have the opportunity to gain experience handling education animals.

Please click here to submit an online application, and send resume and cover letter electronically


Horticulture Internship

New this year! Click here to see the brochure on this amazing new opportunity!


Summer 2018 Application Deadline:March 31, 2018

Please submit your application here. Submit resumes and cover letters to Megan Weidman at by March 31, 2018 to be considered for the Summer 2018 semester. Interviews to follow in early April.




Hospitality Internship

New this year! Click here to see the brochure on this amazing new opportunity!


Please submit your application by emailing a cover letter, resume and writing sample to with the subject line “Hospitality Internship Application”


Summer 2018 Application Deadline:April 1, 2018



Media & Design Internship

New this year! Click here to see the brochure on this amazing new opportunity!

Please submit your application by emailing a cover letter, resume, online portfolio (including photo, video and graphic design if applicable) and writing sample to

Summer 2018 Application Deadline:March 31, 2018


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