The Ultimate Internship FAQ
Have some questions about what it’s like to intern for the largest animal rights organization in the world? Well, look no further—we have answers!
How do I apply?
To be considered for our general internship program, head over to the position listing, and be ready to submit the following:
- A cover letter
- A résumé: Tell us about the animal rights club that you started, your volunteer work with an open-admission animal shelter, or even that summer you spent in Madrid.
- Three letters of recommendation: These should be from teachers, managers, etc.—accolades from your mom won’t cut it!
- A video, a PowerPoint presentation, or something else that shows off you and your personality: This is your chance to wow us!
How long am I expected to intern?
All great things must come to an end eventually, but we’re looking for a minimum of four to six weeks. We want to make sure that you have a meaningful learning experience, and anything shorter than four weeks wouldn’t be beneficial to you.
How much will I get paid?
Because of the extensive hands-on time you’ll spend with your mentor and how much you’ll learn, our general internship positions are unpaid. However, for individuals who have more experience and are able to work independently, we do offer advanced internship positions with hourly pay, and we have traveling intern positions that offer weekly stipends.
Can I get college credit for participating in an internship?
Yes, it’s possible to get college credit for participating in an internship with PETA—in fact, we encourage it! Almost all our interns earn school credit for their internships, and we look forward to working one on one with you and your school to provide you with the best educational experience possible. Requirements for receiving internship credit vary by school, so we recommend that you check with the career services office at your school.
I’m interested in interning, but do I qualify?
We want interns who are ready to learn more about animal rights issues, are eager to experience firsthand what it’s like to be an activist, and want to see how a nonprofit organization works. Whether you’re new to animal rights activism or a seasoned veteran, we want to work with you!
Here are some basic requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- You must support PETA’s philosophy. (Get familiar with the issues by clicking here.)
But what if I live outside of the U.S.?
Both PETA and the PETA Foundation accept interns from around the world. For our friends traveling internationally, our organization does not participate in J-1 Visa sponsorship or other exchange visitor programs. If you have been accepted, you will receive a letter confirming your internship.
If you’re interested in interning outside of the U.S., feel free to check out some of our international affiliates for more information:
Am I required to be vegan?
Out of respect for animals and the work that PETA and the PETA Foundation do, all interns are required to be vegan while on PETA and PETA Foundation property. This includes diet (no meat, dairy foods, eggs, honey, or other animal foods), personal-care items (no products that are tested on animals or contain animal ingredients), and clothing (no leather, silk, down, wool, or other animal-derived items).
How do I get to the office?
Interns are responsible for any travel expenses related to their arrival and departure from the office at which they’re interning.
What does the day-to-day life of a PETA intern look like?
Each internship is unique in the experiences it provides. You’ll get to work with (not for) staff members to sharpen your skills as an animal rights activist. You’ll help raise awareness of animal rights through public outreach or direct animal care, improve yourself with in-office trainings and seminars, enjoy delicious vegan lunches, and so much more.
You can always count on being part of grassroots activities such as demonstrations, community outreach, and tabling events; conducting online research; assisting with viral promotional postings; and getting the animal rights message out locally, nationally, and internationally through various efforts. There will be times when interns help with preparing mailings, making phone calls, and the like—which are all a part of learning what it’s like to work at organizations like PETA and the PETA Foundation. And while tasks may vary day to day, interns will also complete internship-long projects planned in consultation with their mentors when they start.
Goals are a big deal to us, and we expect all interns to come up with some of their own once they get familiar with our organization. We will work with you on accomplishing your goals and strive to ensure that you get the educational experience you’re looking for.
How many hours would I be expected to intern each week?
For the most part, we’re pretty flexible. We want to make sure that you get a great learning experience, so let us know what works best for you, and we’ll see whether that’ll work. Typically, interns work around 30 to 40 hours each week, but participation in various efforts outside normal business hours may be requested.
Will I be able to travel?
One of the many highlights of interning with PETA or the PETA Foundation is the opportunity to travel with campaigners. This option depends on the events that are planned during each internship.
I heard a rumor about free food. Is it true?
It’s no rumor! PETA and the PETA Foundation provide interns with a free lunch Monday through Friday (while you’re in the office); however, interns are responsible for buying and preparing their own food outside of business hours.
What’s the dress code for the office?
Because of PETA’s high visibility, we strive to present a professional image. Interns should dress neatly and not wear clothes that draw attention to the “messenger” rather than the message. Office attire is business casual. This will be discussed in more depth with those who are accepted into the internship program, but do know that the wearing of any animal products (e.g., fur, leather, wool, silk, and down) is prohibited while interning.
I really want to get a job at PETA—does interning help me out with that?
We cannot guarantee that you will be offered a position if you intern, but you will get the opportunity to network with staff members and prove to us that you’re a great fit for a position. Quite a few staff members were once interns, so interning is a great way to get your foot in the door.
What’s your office culture really like?
Want to learn more about what our staff, interns, and volunteers really think of PETA and the PETA Foundation? Check out our PETA Life Tagboard here, Glassdoor, the Official PETA Life Instagram, or the Official PETA Life Twitter. Here, staff, employees, and interns can give you the inside scoop about what it’s really like to work for PETA and the PETA Foundation.
Where will I live?
Currently, we offer housing for interns who work at our Norfolk, Virginia, office. If you have any questions about housing, please e-mail IWantToIntern@peta.org for more information.
Where are PETA’s offices located?
Norfolk, Virginia: PETA’s headquarters, the Sam Simon Center, is home to the Human Resources Department, Community Animal Project, Operations Department, International Grassroots Campaigns Department, Special Projects Division, Literature Department, Merchandise Department, and much more.
Washington, D.C.: You’ll find part of PETA’s Communications Department, Legal Department, Special Projects Division, and International Grassroots Campaigns Department at this office, the Nanci Alexander Center.
Oakland, California: The Oakland office is our hub for development and fundraising, but it is also home to members of the International Grassroots Campaigns Department.
Los Angeles, California: This office, the Bob Barker Building, is home to peta2—PETA’s youth division—as well as members of the Communications Department, Marketing Department, Special Projects Division, Corporate Affairs Department, Audio/Visual Department, International Grassroots Campaigns Department, and more.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Shoot us an e-mail at IWantToIntern@PETA.org.