http://mbgna.umich.edu

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Great Lakes Conservation Garden Intern

May - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Great entry level position for those interested in environmental sciences, conservation, land management, etc.

What I wish was different

I wish I had had more opportunities to understand the organization as a whole runs and addresses goals.

Advice

Go in with an open mind and be prepared to do unfamiliar and often uncomfortable tasks-they can be tiring, but represent the real "boots on the ground" work involved in conservation.
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Visitors Service and Engagement Intern

April 2018 - September 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Great team, really fun place to work!

What I wish was different

None

Advice

If you're interested in the non-profit world or environmental stewardship, this is a great experience.
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customer engagement

May - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Working with so many different people every day. I also enjoyed running weddings and being a part of someone’s special day.

What I wish was different

$10 an hour is not a lot, especially living in Ann Arbor.

Advice

To utilize the resources at the university. I was working with university employees who were are spending their time doing really cool things and it was awesome to have the opportunity to learn about it.
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Medicinal Garden and Horticulture Intern

May - August 2017 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

The work environment was very welcoming and encouraging. I learned so much about horticulture, conservation, and ecological reconstruction, subjects I had no clue about before then. I made some great friends and got to spend all of my summer outdoors!

What I wish was different

I wish that towards the end of the summer there was more work to do, because I was slightly bored by the end of the internship.

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Everyone is willing to teach you and it will make the experience 100 times better!
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Field Services

May - August 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

As the "Woody Plants" intern, I enjoyed working with trees and shrubs (and occasionally herbaceous plants) over the course of the summer. I had the opportunity to not only learn the names and identifying features of a number of plant species, but get to know their growing patterns and environmental roles as well. The landscaping work that my fellow Field Services intern and I completed was also pretty enjoyable.

What I wish was different

Though I am now able to identify a number of tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant species native to Michigan, I wish the internship provided more "plant identification" oriented workshops. This would have allowed my fellow interns and I to learn about the characters of a variety of plant species in a more focused environment. Oftentimes, I became familiar with specific plants species because we worked with them on a daily basis; whether this be through planting or maintaining, or eradication.

Advice

Be prepared for physical activity everyday of the week. The opportunity provided me with a plethora of new skills that plan to use in the future, but it was exhausting. At the beginning of the summer, I had intentions of doing a number of things at the end of each work day, however this was not the case. Upon returning home, I would crash: this would include either taking a nap, watching television, or playing video games for the remainder of the day. This was my experience, however; I would definitely recommend the internship for anyone who has an interest in the environment and plants!
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Field Services intern

May - August 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Working with other students and volunteers, on the job learning, ability to develop leadership skills and landscape design/maintenance skills

What I wish was different

better wages, more clarity of scheduling

Advice

take advantage of all learning opportunities
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