AR Internship Experience

January 13, 2022   /   Office Culture

Each year, Asakura Robinson (AR) welcomes college and graduate students (and even an occasional high schooler) for a comprehensive AR internship program.

Over the summer and fall, these individuals participate in a variety of landscape, planning, and urban design projects and are exposed to a multitude of learning opportunities through exciting projects, problem-solving exercises, lunch and learns, on-site work, and team building efforts.

Unlike traditional programs, our intent is to provide interns immediate exposure to client-related work and get a real feel for what life at a fast paced, award-winning firm is like. As a result, our new teammates come on board with many of the same responsibilities as our full-time, first-year staff!

We believe this program benefits both the intern and the firm. While interns provide our leaders with great mentorship opportunities, AR provides career experiences for interns and boosts their confidence and skill level.

“At AR, our goal is to continuously evolve the experience our interns have at the firm,” said Houston Principal Peter Caldwell. “Past cohorts have had the chance to ‘Ask Me Another’ with our Managing Principals, join and lead discussions related to office culture, and research & present topics of their choosing. We often have to remind ourselves of who is an intern because they’re so integrated into our projects and teams that we often forget!”

This year we wanted to delve into stories from past and present interns, sharing their AR internship experiences and highlighting what our the program has to offer.

Chris Hong, Planning Intern 2020 // Current Position: Planner in the Minneapolis Office

I applied to the AR internship program because of the projects it featured regarding equity and environmental sustainability, which I didn’t see in other firms. The best thing about my internship was that I was given a main project to focus on while providing support for many others. This allowed me to feel really invested in a project during the short summer but still learn various other skills, work on projects in different areas of planning, and learn what work I find most gratifying. Because of this, I feel my internship prepared me for my first professional planning position and where I want my career to go in the future.”

Grant Huber, Landscape Architecture Intern 2019 // Current Position: Landscape Designer in the Houston Office

I was drawn to the firm after meeting two designers at a project meeting while I was a research assistant involved with a state-wide collaborative focusing on nature-play and Outdoor learning. Asakura Robinson’s involvement in this unique program was reflective of the firm’s ethos. As an intern, this diversity of engagements and projects and commitment to mission-driven work became more evident firsthand. I feel I was given exactly what an internship is meant to deliver from start to finish.

Today, I am a full-time designer in the landscape studio, working just as I did as an intern, simply at a higher level. My internship sparked a drive in my lifelong career interests and goals. As I finished my final year of school, the project experience I took away from my internship allowed me to better focus on research and my thesis project. As a designer at the firm today, I feel just as strongly that Asakura Robinson provides me a flexible and encouraging platform to pursue the necessary skills of a landscape architect while also following my personal aspirations and unique design interests.”

Gwen Jenkins, Planning Intern 2019 // Current Position: Associate Planner in the Minneapolis Office

I started my AR internship the summer between my first and second years in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Minnesota. I was lucky enough to remain onboard as a part-time intern during the remainder of my time in school, and was hired on as a Planner following graduation.

As an intern I always felt like a valued member of the team. I was given similar work to full-time entry-level planners, included in meetings, and encouraged to ask questions and have conversations with anyone at the firm. The experience made the transition to full-time employment feel seamless as I was already so familiar AR’s processes. Two and a half years into my time here, I am now an Associate Planner working on a variety of projects from park system master plans to small area plans. I’m looking forward to continuing my work here.”

Yuta Masakane, Landscape Architecture Intern 2019 // Current Position: Landscape Designer at Green Wise in Tokyo

“Since my main interest was green infrastructure as a countermeasure for the climate crisis and as a way to create spaces for wellbeing, I thought I would be able to learn about that from AR. As an entry-level landscape designer, the program at AR helped me a lot. Senior designers worked to understand my strengths and principals provided opportunities so I could maximize those strengths.

Now I’m working as a landscape designer in Tokyo. The design process I learned at AR is useful to the projects in Japan. I appreciated that I was able to see diverse projects in AR which expanded my perspectives.”

We are currently looking for Landscape Design and Planning interns for summer / fall 2022. Learn more about the positions by clicking on the title and make sure to apply early!

Landscape Design Intern – Houston or Austin.  Apply here.
Planning Intern – Virtual internship. Apply here.

Applications for both postings will be accepted until March 15.

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