The Rosamond Gifford Zoo and Friends of the Zoo offer animal-related internships, as well as internships in our marketing, event planning and education departments. Unless otherwise noted, internships are unpaid.
Spend a rewarding semester or summer assisting our Marketing and Communications team with zoo communications and social media. To apply, please send resume, cover letter and two writing samples to J Gramza at [email protected]. Writing skills are a must, photo skills a big plus. Internships are unpaid.
Assist our events venue, Catering at the Zoo, with planning and marketing special events! Event planning internship inquiries should be directed to Catering at the Zoo, [email protected] Internships are unpaid.
NOTE: Animal Internships are NOT available during COVID-19. Please check back here for updates.
Blocks and deadlines for animal department internships:
DEADLINE FOR COMPLETED APPLICATION PACKET
Blocks may be flexible depending on student need.
The purposes of Rosamond Gifford Zoo's animal care intern program are:
- to provide practical, on-the-job experience
- to provide exposure to zoo operations and zoo careers
Interns are supervised and instructed by permanent, full-time zoo employees. A member of the department to which the intern has been assigned will serve as the intern's mentor.
Interns are required to keep a journal and complete a management project during their term. They will complete such readings and written assignments as may be required by the department to which they have been assigned. Schedule will be agreed upon in advance.
The internship term is generally 12-14 weeks with a minimum of 12 hours per week or 4 weeks with a minimum of 40 hours per week. Interns will work on a flexible schedule, which may include some weekends and holidays. The internship term and schedule is variable and may be adjusted to meet student needs.
Interns may arrange for course credit with their school advisor. Rosamond Gifford Zoo's animal managers can certify successful completion of internships and will issue a grade transcript to all interns completing the term.
Interns will receive no monetary compensation during their internship.
Interns can be dismissed for unacceptable performance of duties/responsibilities and/or for non-compliance with Rosamond Gifford Zoo regulations and procedures.
Requirements for Application
- All applicants must be minimum of 19 years of age.
- All applicants must have an overall 2.5 grade point average.
- All applicants if accepted must submit written results of a negative intradermal tuberculosis test within the last year prior to the start of their internship.
- All applicants must have verification of an up-to-date tetanus vaccination.
- Only completed application packets will be considered. A complete packet includes the following:
- A standard application form.
- A letter from the applicant detailing what he/she hopes to gain from the program, and how the internship relates to past experience, future plans, career goals.
- A resume including education and relevant experience.
- Two letters of recommendation from professionals evaluating the applicant's aptitude, preparation, and suitability to the program.
These requirements are to be collected by the applicant and sent as a complete packet to Seth Groesbeck, email@example.com, or mailed to the following address:
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Attn: Animal Department Internships
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204
Complete application packets for internships must be received by the deadline for the desired block listed above. Any applications received after the deadline date will not be considered. Incomplete application packets (missing any of the items noted 1 through 4 above) will not be considered.
Following the deadline for application submission, all packets will be reviewed by animal managers. Within 2-3 weeks after the deadline, all applicants will be notified whether or not they have been chosen for an interview. Interview arrangements will be made with selected candidates. After the interview process, prospective interns will be informed if they will be placed in the program. At that time, an animal area will be assigned and the schedule finalized.
Click here to download an Animal Internship Application.
NOTE: Job shadowing opportunities are NOT available during COVID-19. Please check back here for updates.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo's Job Shadow program offers a unique opportunity for high school students in grades 10-12 to experience a day in the life of a zoo employee. The student will spend up to one full day (8 hours) following an employee through their normal workday, helping perform their daily duties or observing when an activity requires. There may be some hands-on work with animals, under very close supervision of the keeper. Students will not be left alone with any animal at any time. If the student has a special interest in a particular animal or aspect of zookeeping (e.g. training, diets, etc) an effort will be made to accommodate the student. Job shadow candidates are accepted January-June and September-December.
Please review the following protocols established for the job shadow. Inquiries should be directed to Seth Groesbeck at (315) 435-8511 x8502 or [email protected]
- Applications for job shadows with Parental/Guardian Permission Slip should be submitted to the zoo 4 weeks prior to the desired shadowing date.
- If a shadowing arrangement is possible applicants will be contacted to schedule the job shadow. The work time will be scheduled by your mentor assuming approval of the shadow.
- The shadow should have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination and must have a copy of written results of a negative intradermal tuberculosis (TB) test from within the last year, prior to the job shadow experience.
- Minimum age: sophomore in high school. The shadow must be responsible, and exhibit good judgment and common sense. College students interested in a zoo career should apply for an internship.
- The shadow must be able to take and follow directions.
- Experience with animals (including dogs and cats) is recommended, but not required. However, students with a strong fear of animals should work in a non-animal department.
- Students should reconsider this program if they are allergic to hay, dust, or animals.
- Appropriate clothing must be worn. Dress for outdoor weather and getting dirty. Students will be working in wet conditions and should wear sturdy shoes, boots or sneakers.
Please mail completed application to:
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
1 Conservation Place
Syracuse, NY 13204