To enhance the learning component of the internship we have set aside one day a week for interns to come together as a group to learn about various aspects of managing a public garden. These days include field trips, hands-on activities, and the application of newly learned skills. Topics have included stone wall building, arboriculture, wildflower gardening, nature photography, botanical illustration, native plant identification and more.
For botanical collections, natural areas, and the wildflower garden interns, most of the work day is spent outdoors. Interns are given a wide variety of tasks, work under the direction of various staff members, and rotate through various collections or natural areas. For the education and marketing interns, work often takes place in a highly collaborative office environment. Additionally, interns, along with various staff members, deliver programs outdoors and at off-site locations. There may be occasional group work days (separate from the Learning Mondays) when all the interns work together to accomplish a given project – often one that requires many staff members as well.
During the course of the internship, supervisors and the intern coordinator will work with the interns to identify their areas of interest and will try to provide them with work opportunities that meet these interests. If there is a staff member who has expertise in an intern’s interest area, efforts will be made to pair them on work days.
Capturing Your Experience
On many of the Learning Mondays interns might have some time to work on journals, blogs, or projects to help them remember and assess what they are gaining from their internship. Students should expect to do some amount of this work on their own time. Interns document the growth of their knowledge and skills via photographs, field journals, blogs, or portfolios, then share these documents and projects with supervisors and staff at the end of the summer on Farewell Friday.