Volunteer Career Experience

Practicums and Internships at Sunset Zoo

Are you looking to receive college credit for a career oriented volunteer experience? Sunset Zoo offers short and long career experiences for volunteers. You may participate in a 120 hour experience (10 hours per week for 12 weeks) or a 400 hour experience (34 hours per week for 12 weeks). All positions are volunteer based (un-paid), gaining real-world experience in the zoo & aquarium industry at an AZA accredited facility.  

Who can apply for a career experience?

In order to participate in a career experience at Sunset Zoo, you must be: 

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Currently enrolled in college and have completed at least 15 hours or be a recent graduate, within the last 2 years. 
  • Participants must be able and willing to work weekends and holidays.
  • Provide a negative TB test (administered within the last calendar year) prior to start date
  • Be proficient in the English language

How do you apply for a career experience?

In order to participate in a career experience at Sunset Zoo, you will need to complete the online application. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CareerExperience 

Materials you will need to complete the application include:

  • City Volunteer Application
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Unofficial transcript
  • A 250 – 500 word essay explaining in which area(s) you would like to gain experience and what you hope to accomplish by focusing on that area of interest. Please limit your essay to a maximum of 3 areas of focus.
  • School-related paperwork required to receive credit

 Areas of focus for the Career Experience

Sunset Zoo offers career experiences in several areas. For your major area of focus, you will choose from one of the following options. Click on each area of focus to learn more about the responsibilities for that position. 

Participants in the Volunteer Career Experience will also gain experience with maintenance, program development, office/administrative work, and agency research within their respective area of interest and/or in other departments within the zoo.

All volunteers will develop and complete a primary project that will enhance zoo operations and/or knowledge.

Application Deadlines and Admission Notifications

For the 2023 – 2024 school year, here are important dates to know. Start and end dates are flexible in accordance with school calendar.


Application Due Date

Interviews Conducted

Notification of Acceptance

May 30 – August 12, 2023

April 24, 11:59 PM, CST

May 2nd - 6th 

May 9

Sept 5 – Dec 1, 2023

July 31, 11:59 PM, CST

August 7th – 11th  

August 14

Jan 29 – April 28, 2024

December 1, 11:59 PM, CST

December 11th -15th 

December 18

May 28 – August 9, 2023

April 19, 11:59 PM, CST

April 29th - May 3rd

May 6

Contact Information:

For additional questions please contact Nicole Wade by phone 785-587-2737 or email zoovolunteer@cityofmhk.com.