Malott Family Zoo Intern Program

Calendar Icon Mondays–Fridays
Clock Icon 10 a.m.–4 p.m.


The Malott Family Zoo Intern Program provides Chicago high school students with the opportunity to learn about Lincoln Park Zoo while educating guests about animal and conservation science. During the eight-week, paid program, interns learn and apply informal education techniques, develop public speaking skills, interact with zoo guests, and create a collaborative project. Interns also meet with researchers and Animal Care staff to learn more about potential careers in the animal science and conservation fields.

More Information


To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Be a City of Chicago resident
  • Be entering grades 10–12 or their freshman year of college in Fall 2020
  • *Be 15–18 years old by June 22, 2020
  • Be legally allowed to work in the United States
  • Have proof of identity and authorization to work in the U.S., in accordance with federal law.
  • Be able to work outdoors in different weather conditions and remain stationary for extended periods of time.

*If hired, 15-year-old interns must obtain a student work permit. For more information, please contact your school or the Illinois Department of Labor.


Interns must be available for all days of training, which takes places during the first two weeks of the program. Planned absences that are not during training, and that have been discussed with a supervisor, are possible. However, long absences (such as a week-long family vacation) may disqualify a candidate from the program, as an intern would miss too many events and activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I work with animals?

No. Interns do not work with animals. However, they may experience special opportunities, like behind-the-scenes tours and presentations from zoo professionals, to learn more about career paths associated with animals.

Will there be an interview?

In May, invited applicants will interview in person with zoo staff. At this time, applicants will be asked to provide a current, unofficial school transcript.

Can I apply for multiple programs?

Yes! Applicants can apply to every program simultaneously. Please note: Eligibility requirements vary between programs.

How will I know if I’ve been accepted?

We will contact all applicants via email by the end of May, whether or not they have been selected for an interview.

Do I need to know a lot about animals beforehand?

No! Training is provided at the beginning of the program to introduce interns to the zoo and zoo animals.