Amanda is a student at Delaware Valley University and she is studying Zoo Science. She is a senior and is planning on graduating in May 2017.
What internship did you do over the summer?
Amanda was accepted to participate for an internship at the Cincinnati Zoo, which is located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What did you do at your internship?
At the internship she was able to pretty much do anything and everything that the keepers did. She was taught how to properly feed and enrich the animals at the zoo. Furthermore, she was able to observe training that the keepers did for the animals. Another job that she had to do was cleaning the cages and animals. “A lot of it is training so we can interact with the animals more closely in order to improve their husbandry.” Some animals they wanted to get used to people touching them, and other things such as stationing or backing away from the trainers on command. There was a lot of target training. They used a lot of normal human fruits and vegetables. Also grain and biscuits designed for exotic animals
What made you choose this internship?
She applied to a lot of zoos in order to keep her option open. She chose the Cincinnati Zoo because they were the first to accept her. Also, it is one of the best zoos to work in and a good resume builder. It has a very diverse collection and is extremely good at breeding animals. It is also the greenest zoo in the country.
What was your favorite part of the internship?
Her favorite part of the internship was being able to socialize with the animals, especially the camels and red pandas. She hopes to specialize in hoof stock when she graduates college, so working with the camels really helped her learn how to care for them. (what is hoof stock?)
How well did you get along with your co-workers?
She loved all of her co-workers that she had to work with during the internship. Although there were occasional differences in opinions. “My supervisor, and other keepers, put a lot of faith in my abilities, which made me feel very independent and like I was a real keeper.” There were differences on how much enrichment to use or different training techniques every now and then. They usually just accepted their differences or talked it out.
Would you go back to this internship in the future?
She would definitely go back to the Cincinnati Zoo in the future for a job or another internship. They have hoof at the zoo that she wants to focus on in her career. Working at the Cincinnati Zoo is one of her dream jobs and hopes to get a paying job at the zoo.
Did you do this internship for the experience360 program for DelVal?
She did not participate in the experience360 program for the Cincinnati Zoo internship. She actually did a different internship during last semester at Elm Wood Park Zoo. Her advisor helped her apply to the Elm Wood Park Zoo so that she could get the credit to graduate. “My 360 was different, as it was handed to me on a silver platter because I am a Zoo Science major. Just make sure you uphold yourself to very high standards, because the people you work with could be the reason you get a job in the future.” Her first internship at Elmwood was only once a week, whereas Cincinnati was five times a week, so Amanda got to know her keepers there on a much more personal level. They were friends whereas in Elmwood they were more co-workers. “I also felt more like a keeper at Cincinnati since I was there so much I learned the routine much more quickly and easier.”
If you weren’t required to do internships to graduate college, would you have done internships before you graduated?
If she wasn’t required to complete internships in order to graduate, Amanda would have still done the internships because in order to be a zoo keeper you have to have experience working in zoos. With the experience that she has she is now more likely to get a job working at a zoo because she can put the internships on her resume.