Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Marketing Internship

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Marketing intern, Chaska, MN

When you have more than one passion, it’s awesome to find an internship that fits both. The marketing intern at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum works with both horticulture and communications. If your interests lie in writing or communications and you love working outside, this internship is perfect for you. Working with gardeners in the gardens and with the marketing department working on writing, editing and taking marketing photos are just a few of the many things interns get to do.

What it’s actually like

Working in the middle of a giant garden makes life interesting and beautiful. The arboretum itself has many facets, making it interesting to market. Much of the staff work towards research or garden maintenance, but marketing remains important because visitors bring revenue that the research does not. “Working with an extension of a R1 research university is a very reputable bullet point to add to your CV,” said Rob Woodworth, a previous intern. That said, marketing is not the main focus of the arboretum though still very important. Learning to work between different departments will give you a leg up in the job market/. Plus, working with gardeners and other students at the Arboretum really helps create a deeper base of knowledge.

Cool stuff you get to do

Much of the marketing content relies on photography, which means spending a large percentage of the day wandering around the gardens taking photos with nice cameras. Another awesome part of the job is working with videography, creating video marketing content and learning editing software. Woodworth enjoyed working with other people in the field and discussing sustainability. “I focused on the topic of Organizational Sustainability for my research project. That was certainly a highlight for me; getting to present my thoughts to the rest of the team I had gotten to know so well,” Woodworth said.

What you’ll learn

One of the most important skills you learn is how to write for modern situations. Writing for blogs, websites and marketing magazines represent an integral part of the Arboretum’s strategy. Marketing for the arboretum means a lot of social media, as well as managing Instagram or Pinterest. Another responsibility is web content. The marketing department manages a few blogs about gardening and nature while also maintaining the main website as well. Interns generally work on a blog specifically or creating content (like writing, graphics and photographs) for the general website. You may also work on the Arboretum magazine and email alerts, writing and editing content. These hit all the facets of marketing from the basics to new media.

How to prepare for the application

Good news: There isn’t an application. Go ahead and call the director of marketing to express your interest in the internship. Tell the director why you want the job, your strengths and what you hope to learn from the internship. Never hurts to keep a resume on backup, though.

Skills that impress them

Specific skills are not necessarily the most important part of this internship. Instead the marketing team hopes to help you learn as much as possible. Enthusiasm about doing your job is the most important thing, along with offering coworkers your help. Helping everyone in the office will open you up to every aspect of marketing and impress the big boss.

Cool perks

One perk is a membership to the Arboretum. Although you might not want to go to the Arboretum on weekends after spending all week there, it’s quite beautiful and a wonderful place to hike. “With more than 1,000 acres to explore, there is certainly no shortage of fun to be had. The comradery amongst team members is undeniable,” said Woodworth. “The team of interns felt much like family rather than co-workers…and that feeling was extended to our supervisors as well.” Plus, did we mention you can get some great Insta photos?

The deets

  • Unpaid
  • No time commitment. January internship or three month summer internship.
  • Generally at least 10 hours a week
  • Communication or related studies

Frances Stevenson is a staff writer from Luther College in Decorah Iowa. She is a senior graduating with an English and Environmental studies degree and the Features editor of Luther's student newspaper Chips.

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