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Central Houston Landscape Management Intern Finds His Passion and Career!

This guest post was written by Ryan, about his intern experience with us this summer.

This summer I’ve had the opportunity to Intern at Yellowstone Landscape’s Central Houston Branch.  During this time, I focused on experiencing the landscape maintenance and enhancement division.  Coming into my internship as a graduating senior from Sam Houston State University, I knew I was interested in landscape, but I didn’t know Yellowstone Landscape would make it my passion.  The company prides itself on positive interactions with others, and they make sure to start within.  Since day one, the staff has gone above and beyond to provide me with the tools to be successful and I have never dealt with a more well-rounded, fully functioning group.  It is not specific to a single department or branch either, it’s throughout the entire company.

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Charleston Interns Adapts His Skills and Excels in Irrigation

This guest post was written by Malik, about his intern experience with us this summer.

My summer with Yellowstone Landscape is the best internship experience I’ve had during my college career.  As an Agriculture Mechanization major at Clemson University, I wasn’t sure what to expect with an internship in the landscape/horticulture industry and if I had the knowledge needed to be successful despite being a Turfgrass Science and Management minor.  After talking to Charleston Branch Manager, Remington Phillips at a career fair, I realized I could adapt my skills and excel.  With an interest in irrigation he made it happen and offered me an opportunity to come on board as an Irrigation Intern and I couldn’t have been more excited!

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Arbor Intern Adds New Skills to His “Tool Belt”

This guest post was written by Colby, about his intern experience with us this summer.
 
From a very early age, I’ve had a love for trees!  Hardwood species can live hundreds of years, bearing witness to history that future generations only study.  After a few diligent seconds of deliberation, I chose to major in Forest Resource Management, minoring in Business Management, at Clemson University.  This summer, I am interning with the Charleston, South Carolina branch in their Arbor Division.  Charleston is home to the Angel Oak, which is estimated at 400-500 years old, dating this tree to be an acorn at the time of Columbus’ arrival to the New World.
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Finance Intern Broadens His View of the Landscape Industry

This guest post was written by Raymond, about his intern experience with us this summer.

Now at the halfway point of my internship, I am given a chance to stop and reflect on my experiences and the skills I have developed.  I am majoring in Agricultural Economics at the University of Florida where I first met my Mentor, Timo, during an Agribusiness Career Fair.  I attended the fair totally ignorant of the landscape industry with preconceived notions of an industry comprised of a handful of men with a truck.  Those views were shattered after Timo went out of his way to have a conversation with me.  His friendly demeanor and knowledgeable conversation dispelled those notions and ultimately convinced me to join the Yellowstone finance team for the summer.

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Port St. Lucie Intern Builds Confidence and Skills

This guest post was written by Rose, about her intern experience with us this summer.

Interning at Yellowstone Landscape’s Port St. Lucie branch has been the best decision of my life.  As a horticulture student from Auburn University, I knew this industry was where I wanted to be but wasn’t sure where I fit.  Yellowstone and all the people I work with have helped me find my way!

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North Houston Interns Finds Family Away From Home!

This guest post was written by Gladys, about her intern experience with us this summer.

As a Plant and Soil Sciences student at Sam Houston State University and with an avid interest in biology and chemistry, I was unsure what I would learn with this internship.  One thing I did not expect was the comforting feel of family that Yellowstone provides.  There is the father figure, Greg, who is all knowing and who the other managers look to for guidance.  Then, my Mentor Nick, who is like an older brother and who has gone above and beyond to teach me everything he knows as well as look out for my best interest.  Not knowing what to expect from such a prestigious company was frightening but that all disappeared when the entire branch rallied around me during my first intern video-conference meeting.  They knew I was nervous to be in front of a computer filled with strangers (the other Interns), yet they stayed with me through the entire meeting helping me to relax and smile.  

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Orlando South Intern Embraces Diverse Experiences and Languages!

This is a guest post, written by Paula, about her intern experience with us this summer.

It has been an absolutely incredible summer interning with Yellowstone Landscape.  As a Plant Science major at the University of Florida, I look forward to entering the horticulture industry once I graduate.  After researching several landscape companies for my internship, Yellowstone was my top choice – and I made the perfect pick.  The people I have met not only take pride in caring for the landscapes of properties ranging from Disney resorts, vacation home communities, and HOA’s – but they also care immensely for each other.  It’s one thing to do what you love every day; it’s another to do it with people who love it too.  As a person whose horticulture background came strictly from books and not the “real-world,” this made all the difference in making my experience as an intern educational, practical, and enjoyable.

I have had many incredible experiences at Yellowstone that it is hard to pick a favorite!  One of my most memorable moments was the day I spent with Petra, an Irrigation Technician, at one of our largest properties in Orlando, Reunion.  It was my third time with irrigation and my two previous mentors were excellent at showing me the ropes.  I learned how to test a residential irrigation system, identify broken sprinklers and dig them out to repair, and how to work with irrigation boxes that house the valves for the property.  However, my day with Petra was different as she took identifying broken irrigation systems to a whole new level!  She did not need to test a system in order to discover broken heads, but rather, looked attentively for other signs of damage.  The biggest key indicator – erosion!  Often, a broken head would spew water uncontrollably, causing a buildup of sand and soil over the plant material and hardscape. Yet this wasn’t the only thing that made the day with Petra unique – our entire day was spent conversing in Spanish.  It was as if I was completing a “Study Abroad” experience in one day! I am fluent in Portuguese, and am conversationally-fluent in Spanish, so differences in language is not a barrier to me.  But Petra made it a unique experience, because she explained each irrigation part, tool, and scope of work, just as one would in English, but in Spanish.  She would point to a nozzle, an elbow, a shovel, and call them by name in Spanish.  She would speak slowly and clearly, often repeating the words with me until I was able to call out the pieces by myself.  This in turn, helped me tremendously to familiarize myself with the names of these important tools in Spanish, so that I can better assist a new team of irrigation techs that may not be strong in their understanding of English.  This just goes to show that it’s not just plants in the horticulture business!!

My internship with Yellowstone has helped me hone in on the skills I have learned in school such as; plant identification, professionalism, agribusiness management, landscape design, and plant chemistry.  It has also trained me in skills I would not have learned in a formal education such as; pest and weed management, irrigation, landscape installation and how to use a variety of equipment.  Above all, I have learned how to stay competitive – as both a company and as an individual – in this fast paced industry.  The crews I worked with are some of the hardest-working people I have ever met, and Yellowstone gives them a reason to keep returning.  Finding motivation like this is hard for any company, but it seems to come so naturally here – and after a whole summer with Yellowstone Landscape, it’s easy to see why.  I can’t wait until next summer to continue learning and make my mark!

 

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A Summer of Transition and New Experiences!

This is a guest post, written by Kevin, about his intern experience with us this summer.

I left Southwest Virginia to live on my own for the first time in my life!  I didn’t realize that it would be this easy to connect with a new cast of characters in an unfamiliar setting.  I am lucky, because the Yellowstone family didn’t hesitate to welcome me to their team.

Growing up in Virginia, I worked during the summer for my dad’s small landscape company, gaining great field experience through the years.  However, I went to Virginia Tech University to study Mathematics and Data Analytics.  I have spent the better part of these past three months, working as an IT/Data Analyst Intern at the Yellowstone Landscape corporate office in Palm Coast, Florida.  At the beginning of the summer, I was given the opportunity to work under not one, not two, but three Mentors, each of whom have taught me different skill sets.

I am humbled every time I learn something new, excited every time I shake a friendly hand, and surprised every time I accomplish something I think is impossible.  My experience has definitely been atypical of most Yellowstone Interns because I am not working in the field.  Instead, I’ve been assisting with the daily IT communications and business analytics of the corporate office.  I have set up “skype” meetings for managers and our bi-weekly Intern “catch up sessions”, worked on several resource analysis projects and researched the best programs for a mapping system to track business.  Whether setting up a computer for a new employee, creating a spreadsheet for a Branch Manager, or traveling to another branch to fix a fax machine, I’ve been thinking on my feet every day and building my “problem solving” skills. 

I quickly learned that facilitating a business spanning five states and employing several thousand landscape professionals requires a well-oiled headquarters.  Between Finance, HR, Operations, IT, and Systems Management, there isn’t much downtime.  As an intern, I tried my best to keep up with the pace, learning along the way. 

Of my experiences, one of my favorites was the Intern Symposium, held in early July.  Starting with a sailboat ride on the waters of St. Augustine, then team building activities and meetings with corporate officers, the three days went by entirely too fast.  At the end of it, not only had the interns become great friends, but we also learned a lot about the inner workings of Yellowstone Landscape.  The attention and appreciation we received during the symposium spoke volumes to how much this company values its employees. 

As I wind down my summer, I am trying to take in as much as I can.  I am already envious of the next group of wide-eyed Interns spread out amongst the many branches of Yellowstone Landscape.  I hope they are ready for an action packed summer that will go by way too fast!

 

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Houston Design Intern Gains New Experiences the “Second Time” Around

This is a guest post, written by Krystin, about her intern experience with us this summer.

As a Landscape Construction and Landscape Architecture dual major at Mississippi State University, I have looked forward to a “design” internship since I chose my career path.  Returning to Yellowstone Landscape for a second internship was a great choice because they have given me the opportunity to build my skillset through a variety of experiences.  Last year my internship focused on landscape maintenance and installation which gave me a great foundation.  This year I worked with the company designer, sales team and maintenance division, attended a MUD conference in San Antonio where I interacted face to face with potential clients and worked from start to finish on a large scale design project.  These opportunities have improved my presentation and communication skills with clients and employees of the company.

My intern project, an apartment complex called Buffalo Pointe, is the largest project I have worked on, estimated at 40K worth of improvements.  The client wanted a tropical atmosphere for the entire property and a completely new Zen Garden, replacing plants that were not doing well.  I was also given the opportunity to share my ideas and designs with the clients.

Attending the MUD conference gave me the chance to gain a better understanding of what the sales team does and work on my communication and networking skills.  Attending with the Business Development Managers from the Houston Central Branch gave me insight into how hard they work to build relationships and gain new business.  I was also given the opportunity to design the booth with ideas I had researched, as well as answer questions pertaining to Yellowstone Landscape and the services the four Houston branches offer.  Being at the conference gave me the confidence to approach customers knowing the sales people would be able to answer any questions I couldn’t.   

This internship has given me a chance to experience different aspects of the company and strengthen many skills I was unaware needed strengthening.  Taking the leap of faith with a last chance offer has been one of the best decisions for my education and career path so far!

 

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Atlanta Intern Develops a New View of the Landscape Industry

This is a guest post, written by Dennis, about his intern experience with us this summer.

Coming into this internship without any previous experience in the landscape industry seemed quite daunting, but the East Atlanta branch made me feel like part of the team from day one.  As an Agricultural Operations student from the University of Florida, I was unsure of what to expect and was anxious to learn what the industry was all about.  A common misconception I had about the landscape industry is that it only cuts grass and trims hedges, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  This internship has opened my eyes to a much larger, more complex business than I ever thought landscaping is.  After riding around with my Mentor on the first day it was apparent I had much to learn and at the same time I would be able to apply my classroom knowledge to this industry. 

Throughout the summer I have experienced many different aspects of the industry such as; maintenance, construction, installation, irrigation, fert-chem, management, and sales.  This has taught me that learning all aspects of the operations side of the business is essential to becoming an effective Account Manager. 

My favorite experience was a start to finish construction and installation project.  After going through the projected price summary with the Atlanta General Manager and the project Account Manager, I was able to go into the field and see how the plan would be executed.  When we first arrived to this new apartment complex, I realized that we had our work cut out for us!  The first task was to remove a sizeable amount of large rocks from the clay where we would be grading and laying sod.  After that was done, I was able to put my skills of operating a bobcat into use by grading the clay behind the leasing office of this apartment complex.  We had to grade so that water would flow into the drains away from the building.  As I worked, the Crew Leader would give me tips on more effective ways of operating the bobcat, which helped speed up the process tremendously.

The Yellowstone Landscape internship program has taught me far more than what I expected.  Not only did it teach me the various operations within the landscape industry, it also has helped me develop professionally.  I am grateful for the many opportunities and lessons learned working with each member of the Atlanta Yellowstone team.  These are lifelong lessons and skills I will be able to use throughout my career.  

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