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St. Louis Zoo Internship

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by jackattack460, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. jackattack460

    2+ Year Member

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    Hello!

    I was just wondering whether any of you here have done an undergraduate internship at the St. Louis Zoo. I was particularly interested in the Zoo Med Conservation internship as well as the research internship.

    If any of you have done this, please let me know what kind of internship you did, what your schedule was like regarding hours and such, and how the overall experience was!

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. cheathac

    cheathac Purdue c/o 2021!!!
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    Don't want to hijack the thread but I was wanting to do one at the Indianapolis Zoo, but I've heard it's very hard to get in to so I'm not sure what I should do to be competitive for it? I was just wanting some experience in exotics/zoo to broaden my experiences. St. Louis would also sound like a cool experience.
     
  3. thecatastrophist

    thecatastrophist Illinois c/o 2019
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    It's probably going to be hard to find somebody who worked at these zoos specifically on here, but I know enough about zoo internships that I may be able to help a little.

    Hours vary from zoo to zoo, so you'll have to call the program and ask. My experience is that comparably sized zoo programs in nearby states to Missouri ask their interns to work about 40 hours, and when you work, that schedule will have you working what a typical keeper might (plenty of weekdays, but also some rotating weekends). However, some other zoo internships will ask their interns for less hours. That information is almost always available on the zoo's internship page.

    As for competition--yes, these programs are often competitive. My experience is that a lot of the programs look for a combination of motivation and relevant coursework, as these internships are usually geared toward college students. If you're applying to a larger program just to get some exotics experience for vet school but do not want to do that as a career, it may be a bit harder to get in because there's so many people out there who want to work with zoo animals in some fashion. I'd say just go ahead and apply--if it doesn't work out, apply to a smaller, more local zoo or get your foot in the door by volunteering at the zoo first. The small zoos are a bit less competitive but you can get just as valuable experience from them. Same thing goes though, if you want to know the specifics of what the zoo looks for, check the program's website.

    Indianapolis Zoo is a beautiful place. I just visited there last week!
     
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  4. cheathac

    cheathac Purdue c/o 2021!!!
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    Great! I just emailed the volunteer coordinator today asking what they look for as well as any advice as to what to do during the school year to make me a competitive applicant. If I don't get in there I was going to do an internship at a local wildlife rehab center or a very small local zoo. I 'm just leaning more towards veterinary experience than animal experience for applications.
     
  5. LyraGardenia

    LyraGardenia Kansas State c/o 2020
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    If you're needing veterinary experience, make sure you would actually be able to shadow/work with the vet(s) at the zoo you're looking at. I did a short-term internship at my local zoo, but I only worked with the keepers and never even met the vet there because she didn't come in on Sundays, which were the only day of the week I had available at the time. I mainly needed that internship for college credit, so it wasn't a huge loss, but at least the schools I've applied to don't seem to place much value on keeper experience since it's just animal, not veterinary.
     
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  6. cheathac

    cheathac Purdue c/o 2021!!!
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    That's a good point. I will try and clarify. If anything there is a nearby exotic vet clinic near me. Perhaps I could contact them and work out a shadowing deal? I'm just thiking ahead. I'm working on growing my vet hours in a SA hospital and diagnostic lab right now.
     
  7. pirateyoho

    pirateyoho Mizzou c/o 2019!!!
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    I did the conservation medicine internship at the St Louis Zoo. If that's the one you meant by "zoo med conservation," I'll give you a heads-up that it's more field work/veterinary epidemiology/research than zoo medicine, although I did get to meet the zoo vets and visit the zoo's hospital several times. I absolutely loved the internship, and it basically reaffirmed my desire to pursue conservation medicine as a possible career. I'd love to answer any questions you might have! :)
     
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    #7 pirateyoho, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  8. fehighke

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    Same thing goes though, if you want to know the specifics of what the zoo looks for, check the program's website.[​IMG]
     

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