Careers - Presenter
Have you ever thought of a career in a zoo? We explore some key roles at ZSL and what they entail.
Presenters and interpreters
Qualifications and experience required
Explainers and interpreters at ZSL zoos first and foremost look out for the human animals we look after - the visitors! You need to have experience of working face-to-face with visitors, probably in an attractions environment and ideally as a presenter (though a varied sales background would be better than nothing). Some understanding of the subject is important, but even more crucial is a lot of enthusiasm for it. Because you might have to deal with quite technical questions a relevant degree is best of all as it shows you've studied zoology or similar for a long time - but a strong personal enthusiasm goes a long way too. Since some interpreters work with animals, for those jobs experience of animal care is essential too.
What Zoo’s look for
Presenters and interpreters have to be good at putting themselves in other peoples' shoes. You need to like people and be committed to involving them in our activities, able to work with a range of people of different ages and levels of interest. A positive attitude and a smile are absolutely key!
What the work involves
The job is all about customer service, enthusiasm and an understanding of visitors' interests and needs. Live interpreters spend a lot of time out in the zoos, working with visitors directly, either chatting to visitors (formally or informally), being on hand to involve visitors in activities or exhibits, or presenting shows. Some of the team work with animals so their day will include some husbandry such as cleaning out, feeding and working with animals for enrichment and training.
Live interpretation training mainly consists of mentoring and feedback as you develop your presentation style and learn more of the presentations given to our visitors. Some general training is provided to help new staff understand our approach, and the team supports people to progress as animal keepers or research other attractions.
Applying for a job
Adverts for these jobs can be found on the ZSL website.