The Malott Family Zoo Intern Program provides Chicago high school students with the opportunity to learn about Lincoln Park Zoo while educating others about animal and conservation science. Interns will meet in person at the zoo for a seven-week, paid program to investigate informal education techniques, consider how to communicate conservation messages to zoo guests, and create a culminating project. Interns also meet with researchers and Animal Care staff to learn more about potential careers in the animal science and conservation fields.
The application for the 2022 season has closed. Please check back in February 2023 for next year’s application.
To qualify, an applicant must:
- Be a City of Chicago resident.
- Be entering grades 10–12 or their freshman year of college in fall 2022.
- *Be 15–18 years old by July 5, 2022.
- 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.
*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 place during the first two weeks of the program. Planned absences that do not occur during training, and which 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 at the zoo?
Yes! The Malott Family Zoo Intern Program is currently being planned as an in-person opportunity for the summer of 2022.
When will I work?
⦁ The ZIP program will run from July 5–August 19 on Mondays–Fridays from 10– 4 pm. This includes a 30-minute unpaid break for lunch.
Will I work with animals?
No. Interns do not work with animals. However, they may experience special opportunities, like presentations from zoo professionals, to learn more about career paths associated with animals.
Will there be an interview?
In April, invited applicants will come to the zoo for a half-day group interview. You’ll get to see animals, meet zoo staff, network with fellow applicants, and tell us why you’re excited about this position.
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 Friday, April 8 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.
What do I need to participate?
Because ZIP will be an in-person program this summer, participants will need a reliable way to reach the zoo each day.
COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all zoo staff and volunteers, including teen interns. If you are selected for the program, proof of vaccination must be provided before May 15 in order to participate.