Employment at the Garden

Intern - Orchid

Job Status:
Paid Internship
Requisition Number:
Plant Collection
Reports to:
Director, Ornamental Plant Research
This seasonal position will assist with all aspects of the care, maintenance, and management of the Garden’s orchid collection. The intern will work under the direction of the orchid grower, curator, and other collections department staff. The intern will work in a variety of settings including indoor greenhouses, outdoor gardens, micropropagation laboratory, and an office setting. This 10-week position will start the week of 6/12/2022.
Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assist with the day-to-day care of the orchid collection to include watering, weeding, repotting, pruning, preparing material for display, and all other aspects of collections maintenance
  • Assist with the documentation and inventorying of the orchid collection
  • Conduct virus testing on collections plant material
  • Perform general landscape maintenance and installation including weeding, mulching, watering, deadheading, grooming perennials, fertilizing, planting, removing debris, pruning, edging, mowing, and maintaining tools.
  • Interns may have contact with visitors, and be comfortable speaking to them
  • Assist with micropropagation and tissue culture of orchids.


Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, and constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up trash when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.



Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Applicants should have an interest in the art of bonsai.
  • Basic understanding of plant health and basic plant care.
  • Applicants must be detail-oriented and driven to follow instructions relating to pruning, weeding, and other routine maintenance tasks.
  • Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*



Apply for Intern - Orchid using the link below:

Click here to apply.


Physical Demands:
This position will be required to work both indoors and outdoors in various weather conditions. Lifting, pushing, or pulling items more than 30 pounds will frequently be required during daily maintenance of the collection. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and use of office equipment.
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.