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Make a Splash: Aquarium Internships

April 8, 2024

Make a Splash: Aquarium Internships

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Stephanie Graehling Stephanie Graehling

Gaining experience in any field is key to obtaining a job. Becoming a marine mammal trainer or keeper is no different. Whether the day entails documenting enrichment for the California sea lions (above, Ruby), assisting a keeper with a shark feed, cleaning sinks to prepare diets, or observing a medical procedure, the knowledge that one can learn from an internship at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium is unique and valuable.

Interns learn many technical skills relating to the science and practice of animal care. These include the importance of natural history, standards for food preparation, daily records, cleaning animal areas, and creating stimulating environments for the animals through training and enrichment activities.  Interns also learn professional skills that can serve them throughout their careers, such as how to work on a team, manage their time, and communicate effectively.

Interns also gain first-hand knowledge by assisting the animal care team with its daily duties in providing exceptional care for the animals.

The aquarium has had a strong success rate of individuals who have completed internships that have moved them forward in their careers. They have advanced to paid seasonal or full-time jobs within WCS or at another zoo or aquarium.

“Interning at the New York Aquarium changed my life,” says Bridget Israel, Senior Wild Animal Keeper (above with African penguins). “I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the beginning of the most fulfilling and exciting career I could have asked for. I am forever grateful to my mentors who guided me on my journey from intern to senior keeper.”

Interns are hired several times throughout the year. For more information go to our website.

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