Is your firm or organization interested in hosting an Ignite participant for a paid summer internship?
LAF maintains a list of approved internship providers and works with each Ignite participant to arrange a paid, 10-12 week summer internship in landscape architecture for each year the student remains in the program. The internships are a chance for each student to explore different career paths in landscape architecture — including those in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors — while developing their skills, resume and portfolio, and professional networks.
Ignite participants are matched to potential internships based on aligned interests, skills and experience needed to successfully participate, and other factors such as location. As part of the process, Ignite students interview with internship providers before the matches are finalized.
LAF values the many ways in which a landscape architect can practice and participate in fulfilling and impactful work. In addition to private practice internship opportunities, LAF is also seeking internship providers from non-profit organizations, parks and gardens, community-based organizations, industry, and local, state and federal government agencies.
Internship Provider Requirements
To be considered for the Ignite program, internship providers must apply and meet the following three requirements, which support the goals of the program and a positive internship experience.
Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
In order to provide a healthy, supportive, and safe environment for Ignite students as well as other BIPOC employees, the firm or organization must have a commitment to DEI that it demonstrates through specific actions, such as initiatives, trainings, or policies that go beyond the minimums required by regulation.
Paying a living wage
Internship providers must pay the Ignite intern a living wage that is at or above the amount in the MIT Living Wage Calculator for an individual adult in the city or county in which the internship takes place. The wage is paid directly to the intern by the internship provider. Providers are not limited to paying this amount; they may pay a higher wage and/or offer additional financial support.
Internship work and experience
Because the internship is meant to develop the student's skills and serve as career exploration, internship providers must provide the appropriate tools, resources, and support that the Ignite intern needs to succeed. The internship should offer broad exposure to the firm or organization's work and help to build the intern's skillset and network.
If you are interested in becoming an internship provider but have concerns that you cannot meet one of the above requirements, please contact Valerie Carter at vcarter [at] lafoundation.org to discuss.
Provider Application and Evaluation Process
Each year from November through January, LAF accepts applications from internship providers for the following summer.
LAF is now accepting applications for summer 2023 internship providers. The application is accessed and submitted though Google Forms and consists of 8 sections. Interested organizations must submit their complete application on or before Monday, January 23.
LAF reviews each application to ensure that the applicant meets the requirements to be an Ignite internship provider and will follow up if there are any questions or areas that require further discussion. LAF provides each Ignite student with a list of potential internship providers for them to consider and narrow down to their top 2-3 choices, who will be contacted to set up a web-based interview with the student. These interviews take place in March or April, with follow-up from LAF to finalize a match and make final arrangements for the internship, which begins in May or June.
Unmatched Internship Providers
The internship component of Ignite is an opportunity for students to explore a variety of ways to practice so that when they graduate, they have a broad understanding of the landscape architecture discipline and the impact they want to have in their careers. To address this goal, LAF is working to compile many different internship opportunities to provide distinctive experiences and suit different interests.
LAF cannot guarantee that a firm or organization that applies to be an internship provider and meets all criteria will be matched with a student. The LAF Ignite program will have 4 student participants in its inaugural year and will gradually build to 15 students. As such, LAF expects to have many more internship opportunities available than students, particularly in the early years.
If you are selected as an internship provider but not matched with a student, your application will be kept on file with the option to renew for the following year without the need to re-submit a full application.