Student in scrubs holding an animal on a surgery table

Kings Park Animal Hospital - (Marissa Ruppel)

"I would strongly encourage anyone who wants to work with animals in the future to do an internship........  Some advice I would say is to never give up and feel like you can't do something, because I felt that way at the beginning of the internship and stuck with it and gained so much experience. I would also say to not be afraid to ask questions...."

The UVM Animal & Veterinary Sciences Internship Program is an opportunity for students to receive college credit while receiving supervised practical experience in an on or off-campus animal-related profession.

Good academics, coupled with sound experience from summer employment or internships are always attractive to prospective employers. Students who have experienced an internship secure employment after graduation (often with their former internship provider) at a significantly higher rate than other students. The UVM Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences Internship Program is committed to providing students with work-related experiences relevant to their educational and career goals.

If you would like help or additional information you are encouraged to make an appointment with Fran Kinghorn, ASCI Internship Coordinator, Room 107C Terrill Building.

Riverglen Tigers in West Fork, AR

Student holding a tiger cub

"I went to Riverglen not really knowing what to expect, but I came out with knowledge and experience unparalleled to any previous learning environment."

Tim Willard spent a month working at Riverglen Tigers, a tiger refugee sancutuary in West Fork, Arkansa.

The Whale Center of New England

Humpback whale breaching

"It is difficult to decide the best experiences here at the Whale Center because I have loved every minute of it."

Laura Cupicha spent her summer doing field research for The Whale Center of New England, a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, conservation, and education of humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine.

Moose Haven Farm Internship

Internship mentor holding fleece

"This summer has been one of the most valuable and rewarding times of my life."

Katerhine Carton-Bacon spent her summer working at Moose Haven Farm where she cared for sheep and goats.

More internships our students have done!

 Student getting kissed by a dolphin Female student working at a microscope

Sarah Henry
Participant in a veterinary experience internship

In her junior year, Sarah knew she would have to take certain steps to show vet schools that her interest was marine mammals even though she was at a school with a large, domestic animal focus. When she saw Sea Life Park, Hawaii, had a veterinary experience internship for the spring semester, she knew that was what she wanted to do. She went to their website and applied. Their internships are ideal for students who love marine mammals and want hands–on experience working with them. Internships may also involve research projects within an assigned group. Those working within the marine mammals and our Reef Life departments will also have the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of animal training through a unique phase training program. This allows individuals to familiarize themselves with the training techniques and terminology used at Sea Life Park Hawai'i. All of their animal related internships require interns to participate in food preparation for the animals of the park, so applicants must be comfortable working with frozen fish.

"This is the most hands-on marine mammal training...you will also meet a great team of people with all levels of experience who are willing to help further your education on your career path. My only suggestion is to take advantage of every opportunity while you are out there and go out there with the goal to work for everything you learn. This easily was the beginning of the rest of my life and a very important stepping-stone in meeting my challenge of becoming a marine mammal veterinarian." — Sarah Henry

Internships include Marine Mammal Care & Training, Reef & Sea Turtle Care and Training, Seabird Care & Rehabilitation, Veterinary Technician, and Educator Experiences.

Sea Life Park

Student hugging lion cubstudent holding lion cub

Zaya McSky
Intern at African wildlife rehabilitation center

Knowing she wanted to work with big game, Zaya McSky looked online and found the African Conservation Experience which places volunteers at various conservation centers all focusing and working with animals. Through talking with other volunteers, she also learned about a capture team, Wildlife Translocation Services. She decided to spend two months in Africa and combine the two internships. African Conservation Experience has been sending volunteers to Africa for over a decade. They offer students the opportunity to work on game and natural reserves alongside Conservationists, Zoologists, Wildlife Veterinarians and Reserve Managers. They welcome volunteers from all backgrounds and countries with no previous experience necessary. Volunteer placements are from 1-3 months, and you can combine 2 or more projects in one trip.


"Tambotie is an animal rehab center completely run by the volunteers. You will learn an amazing amount about the animals at the center and around South Africa. I made amazing connections with the other volunteers and the animals there which included lions and monkeys among many other for me. The director, Petronel, is an amazing woman with so much knowledge, who gives the responsibility of the center solely to the volunteers. It can be very emotional work at times, especially when an animal is lost, so just be prepared." — Zaya McSky

"You really get a feel of what it is to work with a game capture team. From the very beginning you are completely involved with catching the animals. They were amazing with allowing me hands-on experience. I got to inject giraffes and rhinos with Penicillin! Be prepared for a small amount of physical work as you have to run at some points while catching." — Zaya McSky, on Wildlife translocation services

African Conservation Experience

Student with mini owl perched on her handStudent instructing children about birds

Katelyn Wuebbolt
Cincinnati Zoo 

Even though Katelyn lived in New Hampshire, she often visited her grandparents and other relatives in the Cincinnati area as going to the zoo had always been a family tradition. During her summer of 2007 visit, she requested information about various internship opportunities available at the zoo. She was referred to the zoo's web site and filled out an application.

"As an environmental educator, I had the opportunity to be a part of two worlds, because I had the chance to work with both animals and children. I was responsible for a group of children each week ranging in ages from 3-11 years old. Those responsibilities includes teaching and care taking of the children; that incorporated classroom learning, zoo hikes, and live animal demonstrations. The combination of animals and children at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens was an absolutely incredible and unforgettable experience. There are multiple skills that I have learned through this internship that I believe will help me have a competitive edge in the job world." - Katelyn Wuebbolt

Cincinnati Zoo Internship Information:They offer three sessions a year, Winter, Summer, and Fall. An internship at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is very coveted and is a great asset to include on a resume.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s intern program offers a wide range of experiences in the areas of animal care, business, development, environmental education, group sales, horticulture, information technology, veterinary technology and wildlife research.

Animal Care (Unpaid) - Available during the summer session only:  Interns working in the Animal Care departments have the opportunity to work under the supervision of experienced animal keepers. Interns help to maintain the animal collection by preparing diets, cleaning exhibits, shifting animals, and monitoring the health of the collection. Working with the keeper staff, interns gain experience in providing for the needs of exotic animals in captivity and acquire better understanding of the requirements of these animals. Interns are assigned to a morning and afternoon animal area and are working from the hours of 8:00am to 3:30pm, generally Monday-Friday, but some weekends may be required.

Check the Cincinati Zoo volunter page for the most current internships.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220-1399

Phone:  513-281-4700

E-mail:  volunteers@cincinnatizoo.org

 

Academic credit & grading

Every internship experience is different. Therefore, requirements for setting up and carrying out internships for credit will vary. For example, expectations and requirements for a local internship for several credits that is part of your semester's course schedule will be quite different from a full-time internship carried out at a location that is off campus, out-of-state, or in another country.

ASCI internships may earn from 1 to 15 credits. The number of credits assigned to a given internship will depend on the:

  • Number of hours involved
  • Nature and quality of the experience
  • Responsibilities involved
  • Type and quality of the learning that is likely to take place

A rule of thumb for local internships that involve substantially new experiences and learning is one credit per 3-4 hours/week (average) of internship-related work during a full semester.  As indicated above, this can vary depending on the nature of the internship. When all requirements and expectations have been agreed upon an Internship Agreement is drafted by Fran Kinghorn and signed by the parties involved.

The majority of internships are established with "S/U" grading (satisfactory/unsatisfactory). In some cases a letter grade may be possible, for example, when the internship is carried out as part of an established internship program through an organization with well developed grading procedures.

Do's and Don'ts on finding an internship

  1. Do start early in thinking about and exploring internships and off-campus learning opportunities. Beginning in your first year start thinking about types of work and field experiences, training and skills that would be of value to you in your education.
    Some things you need to ask yourself before you start:

    • Is there more than one internship that you'd like to build into your program?
    • Do you want an internship for a few credits? or more? (a full semester's worth?)Do you want to 'go away' for an internship?...or will you stay at UVM?
    • Do you wish (or need) to be paid for the internship?

    If you would like to talk to someone who can help you identify your needs and goals, contact and make an appointment with a faculty member, career counselor, or Fran Kinghorn, the ASCI Internship Coordinator.

  2. Do get in the habit of "networking."
    Some suggestions:

    • Visit the UVM Career Services Office on campus and learn how to use their resources
    • Visit with the ASCI Internship Coordinator
    • Regulary visit and explore this ASCI Internship Webpage.
    • Surf the Web
    • Familiarize yourself with Internship and Career resources found in the UVM Library.
  3. Do contact people and organizations for information. For example, if you are interested in wildlife rehabilitation find out what organizations there are locally and nationally that are involved with this... write to them, phone them, email them... ask for their suggestions about internship opportunities in the field.

    • Talk with family, friends, faculty, students.... anybody who might know of something or someone.  Let them know what you are looking for. That's networking!
    • If you do see something of interest (here or elsewhere), DON'T procrastinate! Chances are you are not the only person interested. Wrte a letter, send an email, pick up the phone...take a first step!
       
  4. If you have been seeking an internship opportunity but have not been successful, or if you would like more information about locating internships, Do make an appointment with Fran Kinghorn, the ASCI Internship Coordinator.

Internship opportunities abroad

If you are a UVM student interested in studying abroad, you should contact UVM's Office of International Education to find out which abroad programs are currently approved by UVM. What's listed below are opportunities for hands-on experience. If you are a UVM student interested in receiving credit for any of these experiential learning opportunities, contact Fran Kinghorn before you leave.

Steps for receiving credit for an internship (UVM STUDENTS ONLY)

  • These steps must be completed BEFORE you begin your internship:
  1. Fill out an "Internship Worksheet"
  2. The Internship Coordinator will contact the internship provider and have them sign a required Memorandum of Understanding between their organization and UVM.
  3. The Internship Coordinator will determine the number of credits you can receive, write an Internship Agreement, and contact you to set up a meeting to review the requirements for receiving credit.
  4. You are responsible for obtaining all required signatures on the Internship Agreement before beginning the internship.
  5. Once the Internship Coordinator has the signed internship agreement back, an override will be done so you can register for the credits.
  • Spring/Fall Semester Internships: Students completing an internship during the semester can earn from .5 to 15 credits.
  • Winter Break Internships: For students completing an internship during winter break, the credits will be applied to your spring semester transcript.
  • Summer Internships: Students must enroll for 1 summer credit (click here to see summer tuition rates) and may receive up to 2 more credits on their fall semester transcript.

Why do an internship?

  • The UVM Animal & Veterinary Sciences Internship Program is an opportunity for students to receive college credit while receiving supervised practical experience in an on or off-campus animal-related profession.
  • Good academics, coupled with sound experience from summer employment or internships are always attractive to prospective employers.
  • Students who have experienced an internship secure employment after graduation (often with their former internship provider) at a significantly higher rate than other students.

The UVM Department of Animal Science Internship Program is committed to providing students with work-related experiences relevant to their educational and career goals.

Resources & strategies for finding internships

UVM Library Resources:

You can find the following two directories at the Bailey-Howe library. Do not hesitate to ask the reference librarians for assistance in locating other public information pertaining to internships.

  • National Directory of Internships (Raleigh, NC: National Society for Internships and Experimental Education, 1984 -    ) LOCATION: Ref. HD5712.2  .N37
  • Peterson's Internships, 19th Ed. (Princeton, NJ: Peterson's, c1994 - ) LOCATION: Ref. L901.I66

Contact with Professional and Trade Associations:

There are tens of thousands of trade and professional associations and societies around the country and the world serving virtually every field and area of interest.  People, companies, institutions, and organizations actively involved in any field or industry are members of such associations.
Associations are great sources of information and contacts. For example, if you are interested in a pet food company internship (either in sales or research) there is the Pet Food Institute to which big and small companies belong. Contact with the association by phone or email could very well yield leads and ideas for finding openings with one or more of its members.  Also, many associations have websites that are extremely useful, with links to their members' websites.

Indentifying and contacting associations in virtually any field is easy. Just browsing the two resources below is an education in the vast number and variety of animal-related associations that exist.  Great sources of ideas for exploration and contacts.

  • Encyclopedia of Associations, 35th Ed. (Detroit, Gale Research Co, 1961-   ) LOCATION: Bailey Howe Ref. (service desk) AS8 .E5 1999  v 1-4
  • Encyclopedia of Associations, International Organizations, 35th Ed. (Detroit, Mich, Gale Research, c1989-   ) LOCATION: Bailey Howe Ref. (service desk) AS8 .E52 2000

Internet Forums:

There are thousands of Internet forums on the web pertaining to every imaginable subject.  People all over the world with personal interest and professional involvement in a field belong to these forums and regularly post information, advice and help.  A message asking about internships sent to such a forum can put you in touch with people who can provide leads and information about internships.  If you Google "xxxforum" (ie., wildlife conservation forum) you are most likely going to find a forum to join. Try it!

Direct Contact with Businesses and Organizations:

Many small and larger businesses -- tack shops, stables, farms, veterinary clinics, etc. -- which have never had, or even thought about having an intern respond positively when contacted by students seeking internships in their 'line of work'. If you have a particular interest for example, in learning about the business of boarding kennels -- ask around to find out which are the most reputable and professional kennels in the area.  Contact, or better yet, visit, them and speak with the owner or manager. You'll be surprised at how many opportunities present themselves!

Finding financial support:

Some internships provide interns with a salary or wage.  Such internships are usually found in companies and businesses -- both large and small. Usually internship providers who provide a wage or compensation will make this known in any materials or information about the internship.
But, many internships -- the majority really -- do not provide compensation. What to do?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Sometimes a company or organization will agree to provide some compensation to individuals who express the need. It depends on the circumstances. It never hurts to ask.
  • Industry groups, professional organizations and associations in many fields are often willing to provide financial support for students wishing to do interesting and worthwhile internships in their field.  Try to think of such organizations either in the UVM area or near your home. (Ask professors, people working in the field, etc. for leads.)  Contact them to inquire about the possibility for financial support.  For example, if you are planning a dairy internship, you can contact the Vermont Dairy Industry Association to see if they would consider a request for support.
  • Likewise, many fraternal, religious, and community organizations often provide stipends to support the education of students who reside in their community area. Ask family, friends, etc. about these organizations.  Contact them to inquire about opportunities for support.  For example, community Rotary Clubs routinely consider requests for such support.
  • Contact UVM's Career Services office for additional ideas for finding financial support.
  • NOTE: UVM WORK/STUDY STUDENTS: Students with WorkStudy support here at UVM can work at non-profit organizations -- such as the Humane Society of Chittenden County -- and receive their work-study wages. This work can, in many circumstances, also be an internship and yield academic credit. Speak with Fran Kinghorn, ASCI Internship Coordinator, if you are interested in this possibility

 

Orphan baby raccoon being bottle fed