facebook twitter flickr you tube pinterest


Mara Eisenbarth ’17 lands internships in Australia and Arizona

Mara Eisenbarth ’17 lands internships in Australia and Arizona

By Alli Bates ’16

Having multiple internships before senior year is a major accomplishment for a student. Otterbein Zoo and Conservation Science major Mara Eisenbarth ’17 has landed two high-profile internships, with one helping to prepare her for the next.

Eisenbarth began her professional experience with the Perth Zoo in Australia during spring semester 2015. This summer, she will be working with Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona. The breadth of experience from these internships will provide Eisenbarth with a solid foundation for both her education and her future career.

“Instead of focusing on one location in the Perth Zoo, I was able to sample the entirety of the job and really get a feel for what my future career will look like,” said Eisenbarth. “I was basically the keeper’s shadow, which was perfect because I was able to do and experience everything they did throughout the day.”

Eisenbarth worked alongside a team of keepers and attended all their meetings. She said the meetings were very interesting and informative because they showed her every aspect of the job, and not just the physical work.

Eisenbarth was in Australia for four and a half months. Besides the work at the zoo, she especially loved how friendly the people were towards newcomers.

“Everywhere I went, people were friendly and seemed genuinely interested in having a conversation even if we were strangers. I would be standing in line somewhere for food or something, and a conversation would just start with the person in front of me,” said Eisenbarth.

The most challenging part about her internship was trying to retain everything that she learned. She started a blog to keep track of all the lessons and experiences she was collecting. She does wish she could have written more often but her time was too full with working at the zoo and exploring the country.

As she joins the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona, for the summer, she will carry with her the same enthusiasm as she had arriving in Australia, but now with more knowledge of the industry and new skills to add to her work.


Learn more about Otterbein’s Zoo and Conservation Science program.