"Give Back to Utica" Paid Internship

For several years the Utica Zoo has hosted a Give Back to Utica intern in partnership with the Community Foundation’s donor advised program. This intern can be a high school junior or senior or a college student from Herkimer or Oneida counties.

During 10 weeks over the summer, this paid internship will join the operations team at the Utica Zoo to assist with special events and admission days as well support outside groups who rent the zoo for their own programs. The rate is $13.50 for 20 hours per week.  Please send a resume and cover letter to include name, home address, school and if in college, area of study to HR@uticazoo.org by April 29th; selections will be made by May 5th.

The Give Back to Utica Fund is a donor-advised fund of the Community Foundation that supports summer internships in our community, which provides local high school juniors and seniors with experiential learning opportunities, encouraging them to stay in the area post-graduation.  Upon completing this internship at the Utica Zoo, the candidate will be expected to complete a one-page report of the work they’ve accomplished, what they’ve learned, and a thank you to the Community Foundation fundholder.

Visitor Experience & Special Events Intern:

Assist with the planning, execution and follow through of events held at the Utica Zoo. Also, assist with any visitor experience needs and services. The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated, self-starter looking to gain experience in hosting non-profit fundraisers, special events, securing donations, or related fields.

Duties/Responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Assists with recruitment efforts of donations for events, including silent auction items, supplies, and services
  • Administrative duties such as filing, making and returning phone calls, and organizing donations
  • Assists with securing food vendors, wineries, farmers market vendors, and volunteers
  • Assists with creation and distribution of thank you letters for volunteers, donors, and vendors
  • Assist in managing information on Zoo Website, and social media pages
  • Assist with writing and distributing press releases, PSAs, and other media contact
  • Assist with Graphic design for signage on grounds, maps, brochures, event posters, newsletter, advertising, and program books, ads for web and print and other promotional materials
  • Providing exceptional and engaging customer service in all interactions
  • Attends event meetings regarding planning and implementing the events; the night of the event being on call for duties as needed
  • Assists in breaking down the event
  • Conduct and assess face-to-face surveys with visitors as they enter/exit Zoo
  • Other projects as assigned


  • Per Community Foundation, must reside in Herkimer or Oneida Counties and be either in high school or college
  • Interest in the fields of Special Events, fundraiser planning and coordination
  • Self-motivated and detail-oriented; strong analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities; ability to work independently as well as on a team; flexibility; creativeness
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Customer service experience strongly preferred
  • Proficiency with MS Word, Excel and Publisher

How to Apply:

Please send a resume and cover letter to include name, home address, school and if in college, area of study to HR@uticazoo.org by April 29th; selections will be made by May 5th.

The Utica Zoo is closed for Thanksgiving (11/23)! Happy Thanksgiving from all of our staff and animals!

The Zoo will re-open on 11/24 at 10 am.