Biologists have a wide variety of specialties, so picking a career field can be a challenge. Doing internships during the summer or the school year are an excellent way to pursue a unique biology interest and get the dirt on what really goes on out in the field. Pick a special interest like fish or roses, and find out what scientists do when they study their passion.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Check with the career center at your school first. They post internships electronically and in the office and have access to an array of current information.
Expect an opportunity to learn and perform a variety of tasks when committing to an internship. The required duties could include field work, paperwork, volunteer work or animal anatomy work.
Look for biology internships in early spring at the local state parks, forests or campgrounds. These internships are offered through the Forest Service or the State Departments of Agriculture, Natural Resources or Conservation.
Contact national associations that oversee your particular field of interest, such as the Nature Conservancy, American Fisheries Society or the National Wildlife Federation. They are likely to offer internships or have information on societies that do.
Find plant biology internships at a botanical garden, greenhouse, nursery or horticultural center. Winter and spring are exceptionally busy at these locations and they are always looking for extra hands during holidays, spring breaks and weekends.
Research and seek out the experts in your area of interest. Do not be afraid to email or call them to inquire about internships in their field or under their tutelage. They could say no, or it could be the opportunity to learn and work for someone you admire.
Think outside the box and create a biology internship with a local farmer or veterinarian. Check with your department head before beginning to assure proper internship credit is awarded.
Tips and warnings
- Counting organisms through a microscope or being confined in an office all day may not suit you. Internships are a great way to find out before you commit to a career.
- Know the aspects of the job before accepting a biology internship. The job may require a tough exterior or a cast-iron stomach that you just don't have.