Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the New England Aquarium's internship program—from the application process to time investments to job opportunties.

 

How long is an internship?
Are there set start and end dates for internships?
What is the difference between volunteering and interning?
When is the best time to apply?
Can I apply even if I’m not a college student?
What is your selection process for interns and how competitive is it?
Do you provide housing or transportation?
Can international students apply?
Are internships paid?
How are January term internships different from other terms?
Can I defer my internship to the next season?
Can I reapply if I am not accepted into the program?
Who should I address my cover letter to?
Can my letter of recommendation be sent separately?
Can I email my application?
I am studying abroad; can I still be interviewed if I’m selected?
Can I apply to more than one position?
Can an internship lead to a job opportunity?
I have interned before; can I apply for another internship?

How long is an internship?

Internships are 12 weeks long and require a time commitment of two to four full days per week. For most positions, a “full day” is roughly 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m.

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Are there set start and end dates for internships?

No, schedules are dependent upon intern and supervisor availability. Interns must complete a minimum of 12 weeks.

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What is the difference between volunteering and interning?

Our interns have a separate application process from the volunteers. We also expect that they come to us with a background relating to the positions for which they have applied. Interns generally work two to four days a week for a minimum of 12 weeks, and usually have more in-depth or demanding responsibilities because of their more relevant background.

Our volunteer applicants do not need to have a relevant background to volunteer, and we are mostly looking for interest, passion and curiosity! Volunteers commit one day a week for a minimum of six months. Although their duties may sometimes be less complex than an intern’s responsibilities, we rely heavily on our volunteers. Without them, the Aquarium would not run!

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When is the best time to apply?

We start reviewing applications on the priority deadline date for each term. After that date, we will consider applications on a rolling basis, if there is room. The dates of the priority deadlines for our internship terms can be found on our application requirements page.

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May I apply even if I’m not a college student?

Yes. While most of our interns are college students, you are welcome to apply as a recent graduate or career changer. We are usually unable to accept high school students. You do not need to be receiving college credit in order to participate in the program (with the exception of our Giant Ocean Tank Intern position). Boston, Cambridge and suburban youth may want to consider the summer teen intership program.

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What is your selection process for interns and how competitive is it?

After we receive an application, we will review it and possibly invite the candidate for an interview. If the candidate may be a good fit for an internship with us, we will pass on their application for a second interview with a supervisor. We hope to give final decisions roughly a month and a half to two months after the deadline, depending on the season.

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Do you provide housing or transportation?

No, the New England Aquarium is unable to provide housing or transportation to interns. However, our main building is easily accessible by public transportation. Applicants for positions at our Animal Care Center in Quincy, Mass., must have their own transportation.

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Can international students apply?

Yes, international students are welcome to apply. Please note that we cannot offer assistance with housing, transportation or visas.

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Are internships paid?

No, internships at the New England Aquarium are unpaid, however they are well compensated through hands-on experience and a unique learning environment. Our apprentice-style internships are ideal if you would like to gain experience working for a large non-profit, educational and conservation-focused institution. We also offer our interns many benefits, such as free Aquarium membership, and we are able to provide college credit.

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How are January term internships different from other terms?

January term internships are for a period of just four to six weeks, with a required time commitment of 125 hours. This usually means that January term interns work more days per week than interns in the spring, summer or fall term. Also, not all internships are available for the January term.

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May I defer my internship to the next season?

No, if you decline an internship offer you must reapply to be considered in the future.

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May I reapply if I am not accepted into the program?

Yes. We ask that you send in a full, updated application.

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Whom should I address my cover letter to?

You may address your cover letter to “Office of Volunteer Programs and Internships.”

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Can my letter of recommendation be sent separately?

Yes, your letter can be sent separately, just be sure to leave a note explaining this in your application materials. If you would like to include the letter of recommendation with the rest of your materials but your author is concerned about confidentiality, he or she is welcome to place the letter in a sealed envelope and sign over the seal.

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May I email my application?

We request a physical packet of all your application materials. If your current situation makes this difficult, please inquire about different options by emailing your request to vols@neaq.org.

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I am studying abroad; can I still be interviewed if I’m selected?

Yes, we are willing to conduct interviews over the phone or via Skype if applicants are abroad.

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May I apply to more than one position?

Yes, you may apply for up to three positions. Please list these positions in the order of your preference in your cover letter.

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Can an internship lead to a job opportunity?

Some of our current employees started as volunteers or interns, but it is very rare for interns to transition to staff. We consider interning to be an excellent professional development opportunity; however, volunteering or interning with us does not lead directly to paid work. Job openings are limited and opportunities are usually related to museum operations. Current job openings can be found here.

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I have interned before; may I apply for another internship?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for another internship in a different department.

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Still have questions?