Join Our Herd
College & Alumni Internships
San Antonio Zoo’s internship program is designed to allow college students and graduates an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field.
Please refer to the schedule below for important dates, including application deadlines. Applications are processed 2-3 weeks after the deadline close. If selected, you will be contacted for an interview using the email address provided on your application.
Application Posted: November 1, 2023 – December 1, 2023
Orientation: January 3, 2024
End Date: April 26, 2024
Application Posted: February 1, 2023 – March 1, 2024
Orientation: May 24, 2024
End Date: August 23, 2024
Application Posted: July 1, 2024 – August 1, 2024
Orientation: August 29, 2024
End date: December 20, 2024
About our internships
- Internships are unpaid and housing is not provided.
- Credit hours may be earned depending on the university policy regarding internships.
- Must be currently enrolled and have successfully completed at least one semester of college.
- Alumni applications are accepted with a final transcript or degree certificate, within fifteen months of graduation.
- Interns will be required to log no fewer than 200 service hours per session.
- Applications are submitted online. The following documents must accompany your application:
- Cover letter
- School Transcript (Unofficial transcripts are accepted)
- Academic and/or professional letter of recommendation, personal references will not be considered.
- Incomplete internship applications are not considered.
- A $79 processing fee is due upon acceptance into the program. If needed, please inquire about financial assistance.
Unpaid Internship Opportunities
Animal Care Internships
These internships may include experiencing the daily operations of animal care, exhibit maintenance, animal behavior, and record keeping. When possible, interns will be placed in areas that match their goals and interest. Due to the competitive nature of these types of internships, it is best to be flexible with your selections. Animal Care internships are not research-based positions. A negative TB test and proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be required at your expense.
- Nutrition – Animal diet preparation
- Herpetology – Reptiles and Amphibians
- Aquarium – Fish, aquatic, invertebrates, and turtles
- Birds Section 1 – Variety of bird species and brooder
- Birds Section 2 – Variety of bird species and multiple walk-through aviaries
- Mammals Section 1- Primates, cat grotto, and hippo
- Mammals Section 3 – Hoofstock, tigers, and lions
- Animal Ambassador Team – Learn training techniques with a variety of animals
- Horticulture – Plant care and horticulture design
Non-Animal Care Internships
These internships may include experiencing the daily operations of the Marketing, Graphics, Education, and Revenue departments at the zoo. These internships are not animal care related.
- Marketing – Gain experience in digital marketing, public relations, event planning, and in-park marketing campaigns.
- Development (Fundraising) – Work with our Development Team on donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Also, gain experience in event planning, grant writing, and fundraising campaigns.
- Human Resources – Assist with engaging newly hired Zoo Crew. Learn aspects of H.R. including, but not limited to, talent recruitment, training, and benefit management.
- Capital Projects – If your focus is construction, architecture, or general construction management, learn how to manage large scale, yet detailed and specialized construction projects.
- Education Programs: assist with informal education for zoo programs including camps, overnights, and schools.
- Education – Guest Encounters: gain experience at exhibit encounter areas. Learn how to engage guest, delivering conservation messaging while inspiring them to secure a future for wildlife.
- Volunteers – interns will support volunteer activities and learn to coordinate myriad volunteer opportunities at the zoo.
- Will Smith Zoo School – Learn the benefits of connecting children to nature through hands-on experiences with children and guidance from teachers. You will collaborate on and implement developmentally appropriate activities for preschoolers, while creating and administering evaluations to measure experiences in outdoor learning environments.
A negative TB test and proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to apply for veterinary positions, at your expense.
All Veterinary opportunities are unpaid internships/externships. Housing is not available.
- Veterinary Externship: available to 4th year veterinary students from accredited institutions. Externships occur year-round, as space is available, for select candidates. Students are expected to commit to work 5 full days per week over a 4–6-week period.
- Veterinary Technician Intern: available to 2nd year or end-of-program veterinary technician students from an AVMA accredited institution. Internships occur year-round, as space is available, for select candidates. Students are expected to commit to work 5 full days per week for a minimum of 4 weeks.
- Animal Hospital – Animal Care Specialists: available to sophomore, junior or senior college/university students from an accredited institution. Internship opportunities will follow the yearly schedule set by the volunteer manager. Students are expected to commit to 3-5 full days per week for the 200 hours, including weekends.