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Austin Intern Enhances Her Problem-Solving Skills!

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

This fall, I will be a senior at Kansas State University where I am studying Landscape Horticulture and minoring in Business. I did my internship at the Austin Branch where I have been creating designs and learning about our industry with the help of my coworkers and Mentors, Matt and Robbie. I have met so many wonderful people during my time here and have had an amazing time in Austin. A few of my favorite experiences include; learning about plants native to central Texas, smart plant selection and problem solving.

Even though there are strict water regulations and additional restrictions from the climate and soil conditions, there is still so much room for creativity when it comes to choosing plants and problem solving. Coming from a state with a very different climate, I was nervous about what type of plant materials I would need to know. But that didn’t last long as I was shown many resources for looking up native and drought tolerant plants.  On my first day, Matt showed me a book called, Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: An Earthwise Guide for Central Texas. This book has been a helpful resource for learning more about the plants here, which allowed me to focus on the design aspect of my internship. Another great resource he showed me (that everyone can use) is https://www.wildflower.org/collections/; it is mostly focused on native plants for Texas, but has a lot of great information for native plants in other states as well.

This summer has brought a lot of sporadic heavy rains that have affected the plant life and brought some drainage issues to light. It has been interesting to learn different ways of solving these problems in real situations. Working with people I enjoy, makes problem-solving even easier when we can discuss ideas and come up with a solution together!

Texas has a strong appreciation for their native plants that I have enjoyed experiencing and hope to take that appreciation back to Kansas with me. Although I have enjoyed using and learning more about the Adobe programs, learning about the plants in this region and the design process has been both impactful and inspiring. This internship has been an amazing experience and I have many valuable new skills to take home with me!

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2018 Interns Thrive in Their New Career!

I’d like to introduce you to four 2018 Interns who are now employed in various positions at different locations. Read what they have to say about their time as interns at Yellowstone Landscape, and how their experiences helped them grow into their full-time position.

  • Paula, a University of Florida grad, returned to Yellowstone Landscape in January as an Assistant Account Manager in Sarasota, FL and was promoted four months later to a Business Development Manager! She loves working with her team and potential clients.  She enjoys generating hype about Yellowstone with new clients and sharing her passion and knowledge of plant management with many people.  Paula’s intern experience was very different from her current job.  In her internship she focused on the horticultural environment and maintenance which set the foundation for her success in sales. She explained, “You can’t sell a service if you don’t know it!”  Now, she can share with confidence what we offer, in the area of landscape management services to her clients. 
  • Ryan, from Sam Houston State University, is currently a National Accounts Manager and based in Orlando FL. He started with us as an Assistant Account Manager right after completing his internship last July.  He works side by side with Mark Smith, Senior Account Manager, helping him run his book of business, but has recently taken on more responsibility with his promotion.  He absolutely loves his job and the opportunity to learn and grow from a great team daily.  The cool thing about his job is the travel and the exposure of working with all our branches. He sees meeting and interacting with everyone in our company as a definite benefit!  Ryan’s intern experience in design, maintenance and irrigation was key for him to take the next steps and be ready for the responsibility of a full-time position.  The exposure to every working part of what we do laid the foundation for success!
  • Gladys also from Sam Houston State University, came on board in June and returned to the North Houston Branch where it is like returning home to family! As an Intern she learned about maintenance, scheduling and planning small enhancements.  Now, as an Assistant Account Manager, she is doing that on her own.  Her greatest challenge so far is switching to the role of manager and supervising the guys on the crews who taught her last summer.   Gladys continues to learn every day and loves her job.
  • Colby, a graduate of Clemson University, is at our Charleston Branch and is off to a great start, applying everything he learned during his internship to his new position as a Landscape Superintendant! Colby loves where he is at, and still has much to learn from the team.  He believes, “being an Intern with Yellowstone Landscape” was the best experience he ever had and there are great things ahead for him!

You can see these interns are excited to be back at Yellowstone Landscape. As these four former Interns apply their prior experience to their work today, they believe they are in the best place to give them what they are searching for in a career. They also believe the “close-knit” family feel this company gives cannot be found anywhere else! For me, as an Intern right now, it is amazing to see how they have thrived and continue to grow their careers.

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Charlotte Intern Gains Valuable Knowledge in a Different Region!

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

As a horticulture major at Stephen F. Austin State University I was introduced to Yellowstone Landscape through Lisa Hall, who came to my school to recruit students for their internship program.  After Lisa gave a great presentation and shared the many attributes of Yellowstone, I decided to apply for the internship position in Charlotte, NC.  Charlotte is far from my home in Austin, TX, but I was up for an adventure!

Having prior experience at a plant nursery and a minimal amount of landscape knowledge, I was eager to learn more about the industry.  This internship has taught me so many things, from working out in the field planting flowers, to being in the office working with the sales team.

Although all my internship experiences were impactful, the one that stood out the most was the time spent with the Charlotte sales team, Kelly and Mark.  During my time with them, they included me in measuring new properties, bid meetings, and allowed me to speak with clients.  In fact, they allowed me to design a small project in a prestigious neighborhood, prepare the bid and present it to the client.  It was exciting to make my first sale and the entire process and experience was impactful!  It was a great feeling to do something of value for the company.  Kelley and Mark also took me under their wing and made sure I always had a project or work to do and didn’t feel homesick.

My internship has been a great experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn the different aspects of the landscape industry.  I gained skills in landscape management, enhancements, sales, and design that I will carry throughout my college and professional career.  The close-knit team in Charlotte is unbeatable, and the experiences I gained at Yellowstone Landscape are incomparable!

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Landscape Construction Intern Builds New Skills With Additional Responsibilities!

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

As a student at Mississippi State University, dual majoring in Landscape Contracting and Landscape Architecture, I knew interning at Yellowstone Landscape's Houston Central Branch for a second year in a row would be a great decision!  Last year I worked with an Estimator and Project Manager and learned a great deal about the landscape industry.  I came back because I wanted to learn from every job role and diverse experiences this company has to offer and Yellowstone made it happen. I worked with Project Managers, Designers, Business Development Managers, Estimators and the purchasing department. This summer I worked under Project Manager, Jose Gonzalez, who took me under his wing last year and placed a lot of trust in me to complete any given task. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with and learn even more from him this summer.

One of the projects I worked on was Harries County Pct.1 Trail Improvement. This job included a trail install and improvements to four parks including the excavation of 4” of top soil, and installation of 80,000 linear feet of 4” edging, and 3,650 CY of decomposed granite.  I took measurements to estimate material quantities for purchasing and assisted with the installation of edging, fabric and aggregate. The site is looking great and in a few months will be complete.

For my "Intern Project" I built a metal sign for an entrance enhancement at a quarry in Hondo Texas. To start, I cut out a sample letter from metal that we had in inventory and prepared it to show the owner to see if it fit his vision.  After the design was approved, I looked at several vendors who could supply Corten steel and create the letters. The owner of the quarry had a boulder brought in for the letters to be mounted on and the finished product along with the plant materials looks amazing!

Working with Yellowstone Landscape this summer has improved my skill set in the field and in the office. I have been provided with the tools and knowledge needed to succeed professionally and I have gained a better understanding of what I want to do after graduation. I am very grateful for the opportunities provided to me by so many outstanding people and a great company!

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Information Technology Intern Builds Skills Through the Help of Others!

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

I am a sophomore at the University of Central Florida majoring in Information Technology.  Prior to starting my summer internship at Yellowstone Landscape, I had no experience in the field and was uncertain on which area of IT to focus.  However, after exploring different options I learned about Yellowstone Landscape through a close friend, who referred me to Lisa Hall, their Internship Coordinator.  Lisa shared with me the opportunities this internship offered, helped me with the interview and application process and has maintained an active role during the entire internship.  From weekly intern meetings to email-etiquette and professional development exercises, Lisa has shown that she really cares about the interns at this company and I am thankful for that.

When I began my internship in May, I was a little nervous to work at such a large company, but at the same time I was excited to learn what it meant to work in IT.  I came into the company with limited skills but with each week I became more proficient with networking and programming and gained vital communication skills from the IT team.  As a Help Desk Intern, I was given admin permissions that other employees don’t have access to.  These permissions include the ability to install software, modify the active directory, and remote into different computers across the Yellowstone network.

Everyone at Yellowstone Landscape is friendly and there is a great working environment.  My mentors; Erik, Melody, and Gabe gave me the knowledge I need to be successful in the IT field.  Erik taught me a lot about network & system troubleshooting as I learned from him that all problems have an answer and during the entirety of the internship I haven’t seen a single issue go unresolved.  I also assisted Erik with moving the network from an old branch location to their new facility.  Melody has shown me how to work the “Help Desk” and Active Directory.  The biggest lesson that I learned from her is that you are expected to fail, and it is important that you learn from your mistakes and apply that knowledge to future challenges and assignments.  Gabe has shared many programming techniques and has taught me that if you can’t figure something out then one of the best options is to research it.

Working with the IT Department has been a great experience and taught me a lot during the time I have spent in this fast-paced department.  This internship has been a great opportunity for me to get hands-on experience in the Information Technology world, and I am excited to apply these new skills to my classes next year and my career after graduation.

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Texas A&M Student Learns the “Ins and Outs” of Irrigation!

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

My summer interning at Yellowstone Landscape’s West Houston location has been wonderful and extremely conducive to learning.  As a horticulture student at Texas A&M University, I was very excited for the chance to use some of the skills I have learned in the classroom and apply them to the field.

Throughout my internship, I received the opportunity to focus solely on irrigation.  Irrigation was a subject in school that I have not become acquainted with so far.  The first few days of my internship I was nervous and unsure, but as I met more people and learned more things, I realized that I had no reason to feel that way!  Through the patient guidance of my two Mentors, Todd Wilson and Luis Cardona, certain goals were established, I became accustomed to what I was to do, and I fell into a natural rhythm of work.

One particular day, I had the opportunity to work in the field with one of the irrigation technicians, Jaime.  This would be my first day working out in the field, and I was a little anxious as well as quite a bit excited.  Jaime, quickly put my fears at ease.  On that day, I performed irrigation inspections as well as installed new solenoid valves.  I learned the ins and outs of installing these valves as well as other useful irrigation tricks.  Jaime’s good humor and familiarity with the irrigation process greatly aided me and helped me grow in confidence and knowledge.  Jaime was a special teacher because he not only taught me irrigation techniques but because he also taught me Spanish terms and phrases relevant to what we were discussing.  This experience taught me that it is not only important to learn irrigation, but also the native language of those who work with you.  It is extremely important to be able to communicate with everyone on your team as well as understand and get to know them.  This builds a level of mutual respect and compatibility when working together.

My experiences this summer, working with Yellowstone Landscape, has been instrumental to my overall understanding of landscape management.  I have learned that irrigation is a component that is often overlooked – primarily due to the fact that effective irrigation systems are never seen by the ordinary person appreciating a landscape.  Working with this team of extremely friendly and helpful people have been such a blessing on my journey.  I am extremely grateful for the patience and support from everyone, thank you!

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University of Central Florida Intern gains Knowledge about the world of Technology

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

I am a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, majoring in Computer Engineering.  I did not know what to expect coming into the IT Department at Yellowstone Landscape, but it absolutely blew my expectations out of the water!  I have learned so much about the working world in such a short time and gained a lot of knowledge about the world of technology.

My Mentors have been fantastic!  Melody Schlenker, the Service Support Manager, taught me about discipline and how important it is to be vocal and ask questions, and to stay on top of tasks when the office becomes busy.  My other Mentor, Senior Programmer, Gabe Perez gave me the foundation for learning and understanding the programs that I have been using throughout my internship and provided great support with my project.

My “internship project” focused on creating a form for Capital Expenditures which would increase efficiency for requests and approvals.  In the past, employees would email a request back and forth resulting in long wait periods and missing information.  The form gives a platform for people to submit their request and it automatically distributes to whoever it needs to go to.  This entire process taught me a lot about patience since I was learning a whole new program.  Through perseverance, problem-solving, and the help of my Mentor, Gabe, we created the form which has been presented to the company leadership and successfully launched.

Overall, I was, and still am surprised by how much I have learned.  I am excited to take these learning experiences and expand on them throughout my academic and professional career and Yellowstone Landscape has given me the platform to do this!

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University of Florida Intern Embraces Opportunities and Tackles Challenges!

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

Since beginning my internship at the Yellowstone Landscape Raleigh Branch, my eyes have been opened to an entirely different field in the world of plants. I no longer drive into my neighborhood or a shopping center without eyeing the Crepe Myrtles and inspecting the shrubs to see if any pruning is necessary.  I see annuals around the Bank of America sign and wonder when they were last watered properly.  Yellowstone Landscape has allowed me to gain a new perspective and appreciation for plants and their place in everyday life.  As much as science comes into play, the aesthetic quality and presentation of these grasses and shrubs is key in maintaining a successful landscape.  I have had the opportunity to take a full survey of this company and be involved in all aspects, both in and out of the office and have learned, no piece of the puzzle goes unnoticed.

One learning experience that continues to stick with me would be the day I spent with our head of irrigation, Raul.  We started out early in the truck and drove a quiet hour to Greensboro.  After an arduous morning in the field, running an irrigation audit, we planned to install a new irrigation system at one of our other properties.  The heat of the sun was unforgiving and the pain in my back was present all day.  We crouched down to remove the existing system and began to individually screw in all 24 wires which connect to their own zone.  Once we turned the system on, Raul realized he had never worked with a system as electronically advanced as this one and I was asked to take the lead.  I began maneuvering through the device and searching to figure out how to set the timers and frequencies for each zone.  I eventually was able to navigate through the system and set each sol properly per the client’s request.  We ran the system again and it performed flawlessly!

This day was particularly satisfying as it gave me the opportunity to tackle a problem that even my superior was not prepared for.  I was motivated to fix this system to achieve the desired results.  The Yellowstone team gave me the opportunity to learn and be challenged in a leadership position.  I felt confident solving the issue and supported by my Mentor to explore the problem, rather than see it as a roadblock.  This is a lesson that I will value in my work, as well as all facets of my life.  Each day I come to work eager to see what new learning opportunities lie ahead!

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University of Florida Intern Gains New Insights

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

My time as an Intern at Yellowstone Landscape’s Tampa Branch has been educational, as well as eye-opening! I learned about the dynamics in and out of the office, on a daily basis, from all of the Account Managers, but especially from my Mentor, Scott Crow.

Coming into this internship I had some landscape experience working for my Dads’ company and understood the labor aspects from pulling weeds to mowing fields.  But the two things I experienced here that I haven’t anywhere else were; working in an office environment and understanding what goes on in the shop when everyone is out on property.

May favorite area to work in was with irrigation.  Coming in I thought I knew the basics about how irrigation worked, but when it came time to shadow our irrigation manger, Rich, I was in for a challenge!  This was the part of my internship that I enjoyed and learned the most from. Not only because it was a new skill to learn, but there’s a satisfying feeling you get from fixing an irrigation problem.  I spent a week with Rich going around and inspecting different irrigation issues and learning all the basics of irrigation maintenance and management.  Whether it was tracking wire, troubleshooting the clock or patching leaks, there was always a unique problem that faced us.  After a week of absorbing all the information I could, I now have a better understanding of what goes into irrigation management.

On my last day with irrigation, I assisted with a “wet check” on a property.  Wet checks are done to identify problems with the system and then figure out what’s likely causing this problem.  The property we conducted the “wet check” on was newly acquired, so we knew that issues were bound to be found.  After running all the zones, I was able to spot certain issues such as; broken heads, busted mainlines, dead zones and improper use of devices.  Going through this exercise, I was able to see the issues first hand and got some great tips on how an irrigation technician would go about fixing them.

Overall, my internship at the Tampa Branch was informative, and I developed new skills and techniques in management and service.  I couldn’t have asked for a better management team to work with this summer!

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Central Houston Design Intern Builds Confidence Through Experience!

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

I am a Junior at Texas Tech University, majoring in Landscape Architecture and this is my first internship! The program at Yellowstone Landscape has helped me develop field knowledge giving me a solid foundation for school and my professional career in the future.

Working under Bryn Coubrough, Landscape Designer at the Central Houston Branch, has been a fun and educational experience.  From learning quick and efficient ways to use programs like photoshop, to plant identification of new materials at the plant nursery and tree farm, and shadowing meetings held with board members of HOAs, it was easy to apply my new knowledge to my intern project, Landpark!

Landpark is a commercial office building property located near the southside of Houston, TX.  The client wanted a complete redesign of the outdoor areas and I did everything from measuring the property during the site visit, creating a series of 3D photoshop renderings, and developing the AutoCAD plans.  Being responsible for designing a property for a “real” client is an exciting experience.  This project allowed me to make educated decisions with confidence, knowing that I am proposing a functional, aesthetically pleasing and sustainable design for the property.

I feel fortunate to have spent this summer working with Yellowstone Landscape.  This company, and the people in this work community have taught me a lot of things that will help me as I pursue my career, but they have also provided experiences that will help me throughout my life.

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