Do you have a soft spot for animals and want to take action right now?
Welcome fellow animal enthusiast! In this post, we’ll explore animal internships for high school students just like you.
First off, what are internships and why are they useful? They’re not exactly about volunteering, but they’re not quite jobs either. Unlike volunteering, which is focused on serving communities, internships are work experiences focused on training you. Internships can also be unpaid, and they are often a stepping stone towards getting a job.
If you love working with animals, then it’s a great idea to first volunteer locally or participate in service learning trips. Finding an animal care internship is easier once you pin down your passion and have a better sense of what you want to do. One example is Global Leadership Adventures’ (GLA’s) conservation programs where you care for native animals and the habitats sustaining them. As one parent explains, her daughter’s experience made a lasting impact:
“Her experience in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands has helped Megan look into her career path, and further solidify her passion to help in environmental needs throughout the world. It has given her the passion to bring her newfound discoveries and knowledge to college with her, where hopefully she can influence others to make a conscious change in their lifestyles, for the betterment of different environments around the globe.” (source)
And there are many other worthwhile avenues to get a first look at different types of animal care:
That’s all well and good, but how can you actually find internships? Here are some activities to get you started:
Dreaming involves thinking, writing, or drawing about whatever interests you. Topics can include what animals you care most about, where you would like to work, and what kinds of skills you want to develop at your internship.
Locating casts a wide net that covers all the possibilities available to you. You can also limit what internships you consider; for example, you might only look at intern programs that are close to home. Create a list or table if that helps you organize your thoughts better.
Exploring takes a closer look at your options and can even uncover new ones. Even if you find that there are no posted internships at your favorite animal care center, that doesn’t stop you from proposing an internship deal with the manager. You can take advantage of the possibilities available to you while also creating new ones.
By taking a proactive stance, you can negotiate your own internships that provide relevant, meaningful experience.
Which animals and animal care programs are you most passionate about ? We’d enjoy hearing your interests!
Contributed by Nick Fochtman