8 Animal Nutrition Internships

Vet selecting medications from shelf in veterinary pharmacy
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There are many internship options available for those seeking to gain experience in the field of animal nutrition. Whatever your particular interests are, one of the following opportunities should appeal to you.

The Animal Nutrition Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park offers animal nutrition internships that allow students to prepare diets for a variety of exotic species. They can also assist with research involving nutrient analysis, utilize specialized laboratory equipment, and log data related to the animals in into the center's collection. To qualify for an internship, applicants must be college juniors, seniors, or recent graduates from an animal science-related program. Candidates must also have completed at least one semester of a nutrition course. Direct contact with animals is not a part of this internship experience.

Alltech, a leading animal health, and nutrition company, offers a variety of internships in the areas of marketing and research. The research internship program is offered at Alltech’s Center for Animal Nutrigenomics in Kentucky. A wide variety of research options are available and can be tailored to the student’s specific interests in the field. Candidates must have completed two years of college and have at least a 3.0 grade point average.

Kentucky Equine Research offers both summer internships and year-long internships at their fully-equipped research facility in Versailles, Kentucky. KER publishes a variety of research studies relating to nutrition and exercise physiology. The summer internship program runs from May to August and accepts students that have completed at least two years of an animal science-related program. The year-long internship program can be extended to 18 months if the candidate’s schedule allows for it.

The National Zoological Park, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, offers animal nutrition internships to students in Washington D.C. Undergraduate applicants must have completed at least two years of study in an area related to animal science or nutrition. While one recent internship opportunity focused on studying the nutritional needs of desert tortoises, opportunities vary from one season to the next and another internship in clinical nutrition focused on the nutrient analysis of feeds and forages. This position carried a stipend of $300 per week (or $3600 for the 12-week session).

Nestle Purina, a leading pet food manufacturer, offers a variety of student internships in areas such as sales, marketing, product management, supply chain management, and business management. The Sales Internship Veterinary Channel is just one of several opportunities. This internship provides extensive nutritional training regarding Purina products as well as hands-on experience via field calls with a mentor. This 10-week summer program is a paid opportunity, with mileage reimbursement and housing assistance provided. Junior and senior students can apply and do not need to have a specific major.

ADM Alliance Nutrition (located in Illinois) offers several nutrition-related internship opportunities including options such as show feed sales, field sales, plant management, and research/livestock specialist. Candidates must be at least juniors in college and have a minimum 2.8 grade point average.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium (located in California) offers an animal food technician internship program that allows students to prepare fresh, frozen, and live dietary rations for the aquarium’s collection. In addition to basic food preparation duties, students can assist with feedings, maintaining USDA sanitary standards, and other staff duties.

The Audubon Nature Institute (located in Louisiana) offers a zoo commissary internship. This internship requires at least a 12-week commitment, with interns required to work at least four mornings a week. Interns are allowed to prepare diets, manage product inventory, provide quality control, and learn about the nutritional requirements of a variety of exotic species.

It is important to remember that many internship opportunities are not be advertised so it's wise to check with your local college, agricultural extension agent, zoo, and animal nutrition manufacturers to see what internship programs are available in your area. 

Additional animal nutrition-related internship possibilities can be found through an online keyword search or by viewing some of the other animal-related internship pages on this site including wildlife rehabilitation internships, animal behavior internships, zoo internships, avian internships, equine internships, or pre-veterinary internships.