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A Summer of Transition and New Experiences!

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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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