BY OFFERING FANTASTIC INTERNSHIPS WE ARE INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS, CONSERVATIONISTS AND ZOOKEEPERS.
Our unique programme offers students the chance to work alongside some of our experts within various teams at the zoo, including our science and animal teams.
Through supporting future generations to develop their knowledge and inspiring them to want to act for wildlife, not only are we supporting them to develop their studies, we’re working towards our mission of preventing extinction.
Below we can up with Kim Russell, our one year science intern in social science…
WHAT 5 WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR PROJECT?
Investigating engagement with exhibit interpretation.
WHAT I/HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOUR PROJECT?
I have really enjoyed being able to work on, and manage a project as it evolved through each stage of completion; prior to this placement that was something I had not truly experienced and by doing so it has taught me many valuable skills. Also, the knowledge that the projects finds have the potential to influence real-word decisions is an exciting prospect.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WORKING WITH CZ?
One of my favourite things about working at Chester Zoo has been the staff, everyone I’ve met has been so friendly and supportive- without them my internship wouldn’t have been nearly as special.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WORK IN CONVERSATION?
From a young age I enjoyed learning about animals and the environment. As I grew older, I began to learn more about the challenges species face, many as a direct result of human actions, and I wanted to be a part of the community working to prevent further biodiversity loss.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
Once my placement ends, I will be returning to Manchester Metropolitan University to complete the final year of my undergraduate degree. After graduating I plan to enrol on a master’s programme that further develops the social conservation science knowledge I gained from my placement.
ADVICE FOR FUTURE INTERNS?
As clichéd as it sounds make the most of every opportunity that comes your way and get involved with as many different things as you can. By doing this I was able to participate in projects that weren’t directly related to my placement but developed a number of transferable skills that I was able to apply to my work. And of course, make time to head out into the zoo when you can!
HOW HAS YOUR WORK CHANGED UNDER LOCKDOWN?
Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to start any new projects because of lockdown. However, I have continued to develop my knowledge of social conservation science by studying relevant literature; as well as improving my statistical analysis skills by completing online courses.
ANY TIPS FOR BEATING LOCKDOWN BLUES/BOREDOM?
I think it’s important to stay in touch with family and friends, whether it be through group chats, video calls or virtual quiz/game nights. Also, as lockdown begins to ease, you could join friends and family on socially distanced walks.