Membership dollars go to supporting many incredible things at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum – including our summer interns! These summer internships provide students with real-world experience in horticulture, research, curation, conservation, field services, visitor engagement, administration and much more. Interns work on impactful projects at the gardens and arboretum while taking advantage of career building learning opportunities. Here are some interns sharing their experiences at Matthaei-Nichols and thanking members for their invaluable support.

intern blurb

Dear Matthaei-Nichols Members,

Please accept my thanks for your support of my internship at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum!

I am a student at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts studying the environment with a sustainability minor. I have really enjoyed learning about the natural world and how the built environment and human impact is changing our earth.  The state of our planet can be a depressing topic, but it has encouraged me to advocate for change, to use my bike more, and to produce less waste. It’s also driven me towards pursuing an environmental career.

In my free time I enjoy being outside, hammocking or throwing a frisbee with friends.  I love swimming, going to the beach, or floating down a river in a tube.  I love camping and discovering new places. Almost everything I just described involves me being outside in nature, which is another reason why I decided to become an environmental major. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without trees to hammock from or clean lakes to swim in!

This summer at Matthaei, I look forward to meeting more like-minded individuals and friends.  It will be a great opportunity to learn from experts who have been working in the field for many years and for me to build upon my own skills.  After graduation my hope is to find a job in the green and sustainable building sector.  I want to learn more about how we can build better buildings that are affordable while also having a small (or non-existent) footprint.  After working for a few years, I plan to head back to school for a graduate degree in architecture. Maybe one day I could be designing beautiful and sustainable buildings for people to enjoy!

Again, I want to thank you because this internship opportunity is critical to my professional development. It is encouraging to know that there are people like you who have thought to support students like me. I plan to continue this tradition of giving back to the next generation!


Shawn Farrell


Dear Matthaei-Nichols Members,

I sincerely thank you for supporting Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum through your membership gifts as well as generous individual donations. Without your help, these special spaces would not be possible.

I am currently a student in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in the honors program. I intend to dual major in art history and organizational studies and minor in the Ross School of Business. When I’m not in class, I like to read, hammock, cook, and go to museums. This summer, I hope to be able to take the knowledge I learn as a Visitor Engagement and Services intern and be able to apply it to my studies in the coming school year.

Some of the events I’ve helped with so far this summer include Shakespeare in the Arb box office ticket sales, peony bloom season at the Arb, and several events around the botanical gardens as well, such as Things with Wings and a program for entering freshmen in the STEM fields. I’ve grown to be good friends with several interns on the team and I’m excited to see what the rest of the summer holds for me!

After I graduate, my goal is enroll in a joint MBA and law program. It’s heartening to know that there are people out there like you who have a passion for supporting education. This internship opportunity has been extremely valuable to me and would not have been possible without your support.


Anita M. Michaud