Biology, Sports Biology, and Environmental Science Internships
Internships are a great way to gain hands-on experience. Think you may be interested in conservation science, but unsure what that means on the day to day? Internships can be life-changing in that they provide a great opportunity to both experience different real-world aspects of a job you are interested in, AND provide professional contacts that can change the trajectory of your career. The Biology/Chemistry Department has cultivated relationships with several institutions that will facilitate your ability to take part in these experiences. You can take internships for 1-3 credits, depending on how many hours you are working. Participating in an internship opportunity does not require that you take it for credit. You can also participate in a particular internship site without applying for the credits, but just to get the experience. We can help students find experiences with institutions outside the affiliation list if students are interested in other experiences without applying for credit. There are lots of ways to get hands-on experience, make sure to talk with your advisor about the multiple options.
Because we are not a department that grants a clinical degree, we do not offer clinical internships for credit. If you are interested in clinical experience, job shadowing may be a better place to start.
How to apply:
- Talk to your advisor! Start early—the semester BEFORE you want to do one! Discuss the type of experience you’re looking for, the amount of time you are able to invest.
- Fill out an Internship Interest Application. This is to help make sure we are matching students effectively.
- Upon approval of your internship request, go back to your advisor to contact your specific institution. Many institutions have their own separate application process, including interviews, so get in touch with them as soon as you are approved to do an internship.
Once you are accepted by your desired internship institution, you will complete a course by arrangement form, detailing the number of hours you are applying for (this gets turned into Springfield College to make sure you get the credits you’re going for).
You and your advisor will set up a semester schedule for journal entries, final writing assignment and the evaluation by your site supervisor.
Get out there and get your hands dirty! Take pictures! Make contacts! Let us know how it’s going!
Approved Internship Sites
Faculty member with more info
|Forest Park Zoo||M. Fowler||animal care, education||LINK||Springfield|
|Mystic Aquarium (Mystic CT)||M. Fowler||animal research; options for education and security among a few others.||LINK||Mystic, CT; housing options are available, but must work full time. Very competitive, but prestigious. Probably only summer|
|Sierra Club||J. Compton||environmental policy and advocacy||LINK||Many options throughout MA|
|The Nature Conservancy||J. Compton||conservation and environmental management||LINK||Many options throughout MA|
|Connecticut River Conservancy||M. Fowler||fieldwork, conservation/management||LINK||Greenfield, MA.|
|Trustees of the Reservation||J. Compton||conservation and environmental management||LINK||Many options throughout MA|
|Pioneer Valley Coral & Natural Science Institute||M. Fowler||education (high school student labs), potential for research projects||LINK||Holyoke, MA|
|Audubon Society||M. Fowler||conservation/fieldwork||LINK||Easthampton, potential for Hamden, MA|
|MassDEP||J. Compton||fieldwork, policy, advocacy (environmental justice)||LINK||Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee|
|Springfield Science Museum||M. Fowler||science education or aquarist/husbandry||LINK||Springfield|
|Con-Test Analytical Labs||M. Fowler||analytical chemical laboratory||LINK||East Longmeadow, MA; potentially paid|
Job shadowing provides a student with the ability to witness how a professional works in a real-life environment. At times, the professional will allow the student to participate in the work. Many students looking to observe some clinical aspects of a career will pursue these opportunities.
These experiences are not for credit, and are often short term in nature, but can give valuable insight into the day-to-day life in a particular career, as well as forming professional contacts for the future. The duration of these experiences can range from just a few days to several hours per week over several weeks. Students will arrange their schedule with the shadowing host.
How to get a shadowing experience:
The Career Center will have you fill out a form describing the shadowing experience you are looking for and will set up a meeting with a Counselor at the center. The Counselor can reach out to the employer on the students behalf. The Career Center can also help students with their resumes as well as prep them with tips for interacting during the experience. Additionally, the Career Center can help look for longer term positions (summer jobs etc).
Faculty do not set up the shadowing experiences, but can help direct you to some resources. We have a number of contacts that your advisor can direct you to (see some example institutions where students have shadowed below). Then you can reach out with the contacts provided to set up a shadowing experience. Keeping track of your hours throughout the experience will be a good practice to catalog your experiences to include on resumes.
Examples of previous shadowing placements:
Baystate Health (Nephrology, Podiatry, Anesthesiology)
Mercy Medical Hospital (Emergency Medicine)
UMASS Health Center, Worcester (Radiology)
Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT (Neurology)
ATI Physical Therapy
Rockingham Orthopedic Association
Newton Wellesley Orthopedic Associates
New England Osteopathic Surgeons
Private family dentistry