Internships/ Work Experience

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    michael vipond

    I’m a second year Landscape Architecture student looking fo an internship or work experience in the uk but possibly abroad too. Has anyone done any internships/work experience and if so do you think it helped you get a better understanding of landscape Architecture? Can you recommend anywhere?

    Richard Kidger

        I think there is one in Switzerland, it on the Job board I think. there is also a few in Canada!!  I work for myself at the moment so I can’t help on the experience of internships, but i believe you have to take a leap of get in the door which is always good.   

    Richard Kidger

    I am heading into my second year at Penn State and being a US student I am not sure how the internship process over the pond works but I believe it is similar. With the way the economy is, not too many firms are hiring interns. So asking for recommendations where is a limited and personally bad approach. Because firms that actually have annual internships are the hardest to get. Public sectors here in the US are also great ways to get your feet wet in the LA design community. My suggestion and ONLY suggestion, well three (but two are of much lesser value) are to–


    1. put together the best resume and portfolio possible, both digital and physical

    2. Now that I think about it, this ranks pretty high on the important scale. KNOW YOUR COMPUTER PROGRAMS. KNOW A LOT AND KNOW THEM VERY WELL. I cannot stress how important this is. In the industry today, CAD is generally a MUST, with PS and SU usually necessary. Interns are generally used to do the dirty work of redlining and visual editing. Anyone who isn’t well versed in computers will generally not have a wide variety of internships to choose from. That is just the nature of the beast today in the industry.

    3. THEN MOST IMPORTANTLY–SEND YOUR LETTERS OF INTEREST/ PORTFOLIO/ RESUME TO ANY AND EVERY FIRM POSSIBLE AND THEN ACTUALLY FOLLOW UP UNTIL YOU GET A REPLY (WHETHER IT BE YES OR NO). With the “lack of experience” young students have (which I think is completely false in certain cases) many firms don’t even consider interns until they are in their 4th or 5th years. This is where volume matters and %’s come into play. The more firms you show interest in the better chances you have. I must have sent over 250 of these things in the last 1 1/2 years and got 2 internships out of it, but they were both awesome. But I’m not saying this is a homogenized method. You have to write, modify, and make each submission unique to the firm you are addressing. 


    I currently do have an internship, with the State of California, and I love it. I don’t love the state job or workers but I love the projects I am working on and it is an invaluable experience. I was lucky enough to work on a few real world projects then now I am in the process of creating 3 “Best Practices” reference documents for Landscape Architecture in a campus setting. It is a project which the state will draw resources from, for Landscape Design standards in future builds and I am fortunate enough to put my name on it.


    My main point I guess is that internships are extremely rewarding and boost your morale. But obtaining them is 90% of the fight. The hard work that goes in to getting one, makes actually getting one a million times better. good luck!




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