The Maryland Zoo Communications & New Media Intern, Baltimore, Maryland
Do you see a baby koala and melt? Do you Instagram your spirit animal and then rave all day about its cuteness? Do us a favor and take your obsession to the next level by becoming a communications intern for the Maryland Zoo. You can combine all of your social media habits and love for animals into an unforgettable experience by learning the ins and outs of the Zoo’s Marketing Department. So if you love animals and have a strong interest in mass communications, business communications, digital media or advertising, check out what the MD Zoo has to offer.
What It’s Actually Like
The Maryland Zoo Internship strays from your typical desk job. “Zoo internships are a fun way to learn about and explore a specific profession in a safe and supported environment,” said Volunteer Manager Kristi A. Giles. Don’t worry about running to get your superior a cup of coffee. Instead, you’ll work with a close-knit group of employees, either on the zoo grounds covering the latest news or in an innovative office space surrounded by approachable employees of the Marketing Department. You could do anything from setting up a media event to catching a baby giraffe’s first wobbly steps.
Cool Stuff You Get To Do
“Communications interns get to do cool stuff such as be one of the first to photograph the Zoo’s baby African pygmy goat kid, Zod, or the new male cheetahs, Refu and Wgasa, create entertaining Facebook posts about a typical day at the Zoo and update important web content encouraging viewers to help support conservation in their own community through building bat boxes or recycling cell phones,” said Giles. It’s not everyday you get to stand face-to-face with a cheetah (More like glass-to-face—you don’t want to end up being their tasty snack). “Interns at the MD Zoo become a part of the zoo community and get an inside look at how zoos operate,” said Giles.
What You’ll Learn
From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., you’ll consume yourself with all things media such as: video creation, editing and archiving, marketing and promotion and social media coverage. Interns work daily with skilled designers while conducting multiple tasks. “Communication interns will learn about web development for a non-profit organization, use of social media to support a mission statement and as a marketing tool, develop their photography and writing skills and learn about the zoo’s animal collection and conservation efforts,” said Giles.
How To Prepare Your Application
Yes we know this is your dream internship, but how can you prove it to the higher ups? For starters, express yourself thoroughly in your cover letter. They want to know what you can offer them and how you will benefit their organization. Do you have a website, online portfolio or writing samples that can showcase your work? If not—make one! “Students should be prepared to share strong examples of their work that reflect their potential in the field. For zoo internships, students should demonstrate an interest in nature, wildlife or conservation in their resume or cover letter,” Giles said.
Skills That Impress Them
The Maryland Zoo values applicants with experience in writing and editing and strong communication skills. Show them why you’re the right fit with a detailed portfolio. Giles said, “Students with a sincere interest in obtaining their dream internship, need to pay special attention to the requirements of the application process including due dates, what is to be submitted and how to submit their application and follow these requirements exactly.” Revise your application before you submit it. Nothing impresses this employer more than doing the task right the first time. Employers need to get an accurate representation of what you can offer them. Showcase your work through an e-portfolio by using helpful sites like Squarespace or Weebly.
Do you want to run around filing papers all day or do you want valuable career experience while doing something pretty wild? Giles said interns will see a new animal arrival, document a special event, see an animal training demonstration or enrichment activity, attend press conferences and special events and meet interesting and unique people with a passion for animals. Can you imagine the looks on your friends’ faces when you brag about these cool perks?
Unpaid position, work 8–12 hours a week
Fall 2016 application deadline is July 31.
You’ll find more information about deadlines and the overall submission process here.
Ready to start your career journey by nailing that summer internship? Check out four steps that make it easy here.