The Mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. We live our mission through our core values.
Opened in 1934, Brookfield Zoo is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Chicago Zoological Society is committed to developing people’s capacities and competencies, serving as a mentor and trainer, providing experiential learning opportunities to individuals seeking to understand, develop, and establish careers in the fields of zoology and conservation.
In fulfilling this role, the Society has a long-standing Internship Program that has been recognized as one of the top programs for college students in the country. The program, established in 1975, was one of the first in the nation to allow students pursuing careers in animal care the opportunity to work side by side with professional zookeepers, learning the skills and techniques necessary to manage exotic zoo animals. Since that time, the Internship Program, now called the College Experiential Learning Opportunities (C.E.L.O.) program, has evolved to include internships and research opportunities in a variety of areas and fields.
C.E.L.O. offers you:
Zookeeper internships are available with a variety of animals: Large animals, Domestics, Small animals, Birds, Reptiles, Hoof Stock, Amphibians, Marine Animals, and Nutrition. Specific opportunities vary term to term. Please check back often for available internships.
Other college experiential learning opportunities are available in a variety of non-animal areas including: Marketing and Special Events, Education, Human Resources, Public Relations, Development, Horticulture, Environmental, and Conservation Biology. Specific opportunities vary term to term. Please check back often for available internships.
Please note: Internships and work-study opportunities may not be offered in all areas every term.
C.E.L.O. program applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:
Tetanus Vaccine Required
For the welfare of employees and animals, proof of a current tetanus vaccination is required for all internships prior to the start of the internship assignment. In some animal areas, additional inoculations/tests may be required (measles, vaccine, TB test, etc.). All tests/vaccinations are at the applicant’s expense.
Students who want to be considered for an internship or participation in the work-study program must complete:
C.E.L.O. Cover Letter
To be considered for an internship or work-study with C.E. L.O. program, you must submit a cover letter including responses to the following prompts:
Please submit applications via mail (address below), fax: 708-688-7609, or email (.pdf files are best): firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513
Failure to provide any of the required application materials will disqualify you from consideration.
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The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit
organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land
owned by the
Forest Preserves of Cook County. AZA Accredited.
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Chicago Zoological Society, 3300 Golf Rd, Brookfield, IL 60513