Lindsey Payne

Lindsey Payne
Wildlife Conservation Major
Vet Science Program
Australia's National Zoo and Aquarium
Canberra, Australia

Australia zoo makes intern's dreams come true

Lindsay says…

Internship duties? I cleaned animal enclosures, prepared food and fed animals. I made enrichment for a wide range of animals and learned about the benefits of having things such as toys, platforms, ladders, and bottles inside their enclosures for entertainment and educational purposes. I learned a great deal about what it takes for a zoo to be run properly. I saw instances where animals were sick, injured, born or even died and the procedures followed to care for those animals.

Best thing about internship? I still can not believe it . . . I have made two of my dreams come true: working at a zoo and going to Australia. I have had the chance of a lifetime that many people could never dream of. This internship has influenced me to continue on with my career aspirations; it has given me more confidence. This experience has helped me stay focused on school and try harder to succeed at becoming a wildlife ecologist.

How I found my Internship? Through the Career Center, I learned about Australearn's program for Veterinary Science. It seemed like their program would be the best way for me to explore wildlife ecology and see if it was truly the major I wanted. I was chosen to intern at the Australia National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra and was very excited to learn that the zoo has an active role in conservation and the improvement of animal care.

What I learned from my HSU education that prepared me for this internship? I am involved in a non-profit volunteer organization at HSU. Through working with them I have learned quite a bit about how to run a non-profit organization. I think that one day after gaining experience in the field, I might open up my own private zoo or most likely a non-profit organization. I can see myself working with endangered species and working on improving ways to help their survival in the wild in our ever changing world.

How the Career Center has been a support? Throughout my college experience, the Career Center has always been there for me if I needed help. They have helped me with finding a summer job and with polishing my resume. They also helped me prepare my graduate school applications. Furthermore, they helped me focus in on what it is I want to do and have shown me the way to get there.

Advice to current HSU students? I feel that taking this internship in Australia has opened my eyes more and given me a greater understanding of what others do who care just as much as I do about the well being of the world's wildlife. To hear what the other interns and the zookeepers want to do with what they have learned, and what their passions are, has inspired me to continue on with my own.