Internship Opportunities

The Utica Zoo offers a variety of internships for anyone interested in how a zoo operates. These internships range from animal care to education to business. Look below for more information!

Animal Care Internships

This internship is catered towards college students and graduates, 18 years or older, who are interested in playing a direct role in caring for various hoofstock, carnivores, primates, birds, reptiles and invertebrates. The Utica Zoo is currently looking for candidates that are self-motivated, flexible, and have excellent time-management skills. 

Position Description

The selected candidate will be working full-time assisting keeper staff in all aspects of caring for the zoo’s collection. Our internship offers the opportunity to rotate through our 7 animal areas: 

  • Children’s Zoo
  • Asian Realm
  • North Trek Trail and African Alley
  • Ambassador Animals
  • Commissary
  • Primate and Large Reptiles
  • Vet Services

*areas subject to change!

Daily Duties Include, but Are Not Limited To:

  • Daily cleaning and disinfection of animal areas
  • Developing and safely implementing daily animal enrichment
  • Record keeping and animal observations
  • Communicating with staff about animal issues
  • Exhibit maintenance

Will Have the Opportunity To:

  • Observe animal training sessions
  • Shadow veterinary rounds and procedures
  • Learn restraint and handling techniques
  • Present formal and informal interpretive educational programs for guests and outreach audiences
  • Design and apply individual projects

Applicants Must:

  • Be enrolled in college/university or have already graduated with a degree in zoology, biology, or a related field.
  • Have experience working around exotic and/or domestic animals. 
  • Demonstrate strong communication skills and have the ability to work both independently or with a team. 
  • A negative COVID-19 test and proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required prior to the start date.
  • Additionally, we require a negative TB test within the last year.
  • Applicants should have the ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions and can stand for long periods of time, stoop, climb, and lift at least 50 pounds.
  • Accepted applicants must provide proof of a current driver’s license and proof of health insurance coverage. 
  • Interns must be able to tolerate the presence of animal fur, feathers, and bedding.

Work Schedule

Flexible start and end dates offered. Interns must be flexible with their schedule, and have the ability to work weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

Compensation

All internships are unpaid. Interns are expected to provide their own housing and transportation (public transportation is limited in the area immediately around the zoo). Housing recommendations in the area are provided upon request.

How to Apply

Application to the program requires both a resume and an appropriate cover letter. These documents should be sent via email to Jessica.Lindsay@uticazoo.org. The cover letter should include your areas of interest, goals and what you can offer the zoo. Statement of area interest does not guarantee placement in that area. Interns will be placed in accordance with the needs of the zoo’s animal collection.

Business Interns

The Utica Zoo is a non-profit organization and – as such – requires a lot of administrative work to keep it going. If you want to learn the ins and outs of what makes the Utica Zoo tick, definitely look into applying for one of our Business Internships. 

Assists with the daily operations of Zoo business. The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated, self-starter looking to gain experience in Business, Non-Profit Administration, Human Resources, or related field.

Duties/Responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • Assist in managing and coordinating administrative functions for the Executive Director
  • Assist with word processing, collating, database entry, general office work/projects
  • Assist with writing grants for short and long-term fund-raising.
  • Support with monitoring the budget, analyzing variances to budget, and making recommendations for adjustments as needed.
  • Help with researching, developing, writing, and updating policies, procedures, methods, and guidelines; communicating and enforcing organization values.
  • Provide exceptional and engaging customer service in all interactions
  • Other projects as assigned

Skills/Qualifications:

  • Requires a minimum of 1 year of completed undergraduate study
  • Interest in the fields of business and non-profit administration
  • A commitment to strict confidentiality
  • Self-motivated and detail-oriented; strong analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities; ability to work independently as well as on a team; flexibility
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Customer service experience strongly preferred
  • Proficiency with MS Word and Excel

Assists with the daily operations of the Communications/Public Relations department. The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated, self-starter looking to gain experience in Public Relations, Graphic Design, or related field.

Duties/Responsibilities include, but not limited to:

  • 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 maintaining all databases pertaining to donor management.
  • 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
  • Help produce and collect photography necessary for use in zoo materials.
  • Provide exceptional and engaging customer service in all interactions
  • Other projects as assigned

Skills/Qualifications:

  • Detail-oriented and the ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to communicate clearly verbally and in writing, and edit work for spelling and grammar
  • Highly skilled with Microsoft Office and graphic design software
  • Knowledge of social media and web design
  • Ability to accomplish goals with energy and drive
  • Positive attitude and strong work ethic with the desire to work as a team member

Assists 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 in creating accurate and complete databases compiling a master list of all parts of each event
  • Assists with creation and distribution of thank you letters for volunteers, donors, and vendors
  • Reconciling ticket sales on site and at other locations
  • 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

Skills/Qualifications:

  • Requires minimum of 1 years of completed undergraduate study
  • 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

Interns are accepted on a rolling basis. Resumes with appropriate cover letters should be sent to Kyla Jacobs. Email: info@uticazoo.org.  Mail:  Utica Zoo, One Utica Zoo Way, Utica, NY, 13501.  Fax: 315-738-0475.  Preferred contact is through email.  The cover letter should include your areas of interest, goals, and what you can offer the zoo.

Education Interns

Are you a college student interested in pursuing a career in environmental or formal education? Gain experience this summer at the Utica Zoo! Our hands on education internship offers students the opportunity to teach people of all ages about the importance of the natural world and promote positive conservation practices.

Summer education internships are full-time (32-40 hr/wk). These positions are unpaid and interns are expected to have their own housing and transportation; Housing is also available through our local community college if needed. Proof of a negative Tuberculin test is required (must be within 6 months of the start of the internship).

Interns are required to participate in daily education presentations and will also be assisting with ZooMobile programs, zoo camps, and birthday parties. Preference is given to students with public speaking experience and/or students enrolled in environmental science, ecology, outdoor/environmental education, elementary education, or any science education program.

How to Apply

Send your resume along with a cover letter to Kathleen.McGill@uticazoo.org. If you have any questions or want more information about the internship position, feel free to contact the Utica Zoo Education Department at 315-738-0472 ext. 36.