It’s In The Detail: Justice Leach’s Internship at Fredrick Meijer Garden

Even if I didn’t get the internship here, I was going to volunteer here so I could at least be part of the organization and learn some stuff about them.”

During her summer 2019 internship at Fredrick Meijer Gardens, Ferris State University Business Administration student Justice Leach learned that it takes hundreds of small decisions to make one big idea a reality.

Leach worked with the human relations and volunteer departments during her internship as HR and Volunteer intern. She worked on wellness programs, the enrichment committee, and daily HR responsibilities.

As a Business Administration student, Leach did not see herself planning events; therefore, when she was asked to plan a staff outing, she took it one-step at a time to ensure success. While planning the event, Leach said she had to figure out logistics before she could move onto the creative details.

“You send out multiple reminders because otherwise people forget about it. It helps because when you send out generalized email to someone, they don’t usually read it the first time,” said Leach. “It helps to include pictures because otherwise they just see a long paragraph. It was a matter of making sure the event was posted multiple times and that it was visually appealing to everyone.”

Leach did not originally apply for the HR and Volunteer internship. During her interview, she explained that it is important to be a leader, but it is also important to know when to follow and let someone else lead. Her interviewers were impressed and offered her a different internship from her original application. Even though it was not what she had originally wanted, she took the position because she wanted to be a part of the organization more than she wanted a specific position.

“I wanted to be a part of Fredrick Meijer Gardens because of the fact that they are a non-profit and I wanted to understand what a non-profit was like,” said Leach.” So even if I didn’t get the internship here, I was going to volunteer here so I could at least be part of the organization and learn some stuff about them.”

Leach’s advice to students is to pick an organization where you would like to work even if you cannot get an internship in your exact major. Becoming part of the organization and having people there that know you can be an advantage in the future when you apply for a job there. If you cannot get an internship there, then see what kind of volunteer opportunities they have, or what events they host.

Attention to detail was one of the most important things Leach learned at her internship. Being able to make all the small decisions that lead to a big idea ensures that nothing is forgotten.

“If you have this big idea there’s going to be about 1800 little ideas that need to be taken care of for the one big idea to happen. Like for the recycle coordinator, we meet every couple of weeks and the big thing they were working on was what colors the recycling and waste containers need to be, which didn’t even occur to me because why do you need to know the colors? But it’s because people recognize them. So, if you don’t have those colors people aren’t going to recognize them. It’s just kind of amazing how many details need to go into something in order for it to work.”

The College of Business at Ferris State University provides career-oriented education, responding for over 100 years to the changing needs of the business world. The curriculum prepares graduates to deal with real issues as members and leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. The Business Administration program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. ACBSP is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence