Pre-Vet Internship

AAB Pre-Veterinary Summer Fellowship

Mentor

Louis DiVincenti, DVM, MS, DACLAM, DACAW
Assistant Zoo Director – Animal Care & Conservation

Program

Eight-week, funded animal care, clinical veterinary, and research fellowship for pre-vet college students to occur between May and August. The successful applicant will earn $750 per week.

Please note: Housing will be NOT be provided. The successful applicant will be responsible for identifying their own housing. We suggest the Extended Stay America. A car is highly desirable as public transportation is limited.

Objective

Familiarize an academically qualified, pre-veterinary college student with exotic animal medicine and conservation by:

  • Completing a research project jointly identified between the student and Dr. DiVincenti (10 hours per week)
  • Assisting and observing the veterinary staff with implementation of the Zoo’s preventive medicine program including clinical rounds, chemical immobilizations, quarantine procedures, necropsies, diagnostic techniques and surgeries (20 hours per week)
  • Rotating through all of the Zoo’s animal care areas and learning husbandry practices for and normal behavior of animals including marine mammals, penguins, primates, elephants, carnivores, birds and reptiles (10 hours per week)

The Zoo’s pre-veterinary fellow will:

  • Gain first-hand experience with research methodologies employed in a Zoo based conservation institution. The student’s final report will be filed in the Zoo Animal Hospital Library.

  • Understand important aspects of a preventive medicine program essential for all fields of veterinary medicine.

  • Become proficient with routine laboratory diagnostic tests employed at the Zoo hospital.

  • Gain a working knowledge of husbandry practices unique to maintaining healthy exotic animals.

  • Learn about animal welfare as it relates to the practice of veterinary medicine and management of Zoo animals

Minimum qualifications:

  • Two years of undergraduate pre-vet studies must be completed by the start date of the program.

  • The successful applicant must have at least 100 hours of experience in a traditional companion animal (dog, cat, horse) and/or food animal (cow, pig, sheep) veterinary practice.

  • At least a 3.0 GPA

Please note: Applicants are objectively scored and ranked for this highly, competitive position.

Application Process

The completed application packet consists of the following materials:

  • Personal statement including why you are interested and what you would bring to the program
  • CV or Resume
  • College transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable)
  • Completed recommendation form from a veterinarian with whom you have worked

The application process is paperless. The applicant must submit the personal statement, CV or resume, and college transcript in a single email to aabprevet@senecazoo.org. Paper applications will not be reviewed.

Evaluators should submit their recommendation form as a PDF directly to aabprevet@senecazoo.org.

All materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. EST on the second Friday in January. Incomplete or late applications will be disqualified – no exceptions. Be sure your evaluator submits the recommendation form by the deadline to avoid disqualification of your application.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome by the second Friday in February.

Please review the FAQs below for additional information. If you still have questions, you can contact Dr. DiVincenti at louisdivincenti@monroecounty.gov.

AAB Pre-Vet FAQ:

What kind of GPA does the successful applicant typically have?

A 3.9 out of 4.0

Am I eligible to apply (meeting the January deadline) if my second year of prevet curriculum ends in May?

Yes. The successful candidate must have completed two years of undergraduate prevet coursework before June. If there is a tie between two applicants’ scores, the applicant with more coursework is awarded the position.

Am I eligible if I am graduating in May?

Yes. You must be a pre-vet undergraduate student at the time of application.

May I apply if I am a veterinary student?

No. The program is limited to pre-vet students only.

May I apply if I attend college outside of the U.S.?

Yes.

May I apply if I am preparing for veterinary technology?

No.

Do you ever accept more than one student or students outside of the summer schedule (May to August)?

No.

May I apply after the deadline?

No.

Will more than one recommendation help?

No. Please submit one recommendation from a veterinarian you have worked with.

Would a PhD advisor be acceptable for a letter of recommendation instead of a veterinarian?

No.

Will prior experience volunteering/working at a zoo, or traveling internationally be helpful?

No. The most important experiences for successful candidates are veterinary practice experience with both companion animal (dog/cat) AND large animal (cow/horse) private practice settings.

What months may I select for my eight week internship?

The internship can occur during any consecutive 8 week period in May, June, July or August at a time mutually coordinated between the successful applicant and Dr. DiVincenti.

Is housing included?

No. The stipend is $500 per week and housing is not provided.

Do I need a car?

Yes. There are no housing opportunities within walking distance to the Zoo.

May I volunteer for a pre-vet shadowing experience at Seneca Park Zoo?

No. We prioritize routine animal health procedures for the five weeks every summer during the Aab pre-vet program and cannot offer other shadowing opportunities.

What type of research projects have students completed?

Some have included:

  • Reproductive endocrine profiling of African elephants
  • Retrospective (12 Year) Analysis of Mortality in African black footed penguins
  • Cross sectional survey of amphibians for chytridiomycosis (PCR)
  • Nutrient and shell analysis of wild and captive Chittenango Ovate amber snails
What do I wear?

The Zoo provides scrub tops. The Aab Pre Vet fellow provides their own comfortable shoes and pants (long or short).

How is the candidate selected?

The admission committee uses an objective scoring system ranking applicants by experience in both traditional large and small and veterinary practices, letter of interest, veterinary recommendation and GPA.

May I apply more than once?

Yes. However, a new application must be submitted.

How many students apply?

75 to 100 qualified applicants apply each year.

How often and how much am I paid?

Biweekly payments of $1,500 for a total of $6,000, subject to state and federal income taxes.

May I also work weekends?

Yes. The Aab Pre Vet fellow may work with keepers in animal sections and the hospital on weekends.