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Finance Intern Broadens His View of the Landscape Industry

Raymond-cover

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.

 

As an Intern in the finance department, my experience is a bit different from the other interns; the biggest being the luxury of air conditioning!  My Summer has been a series of projects meant to analyze and address changes that Yellowstone is considering.  Although a bit tedious, the most educational project was analyzing one of Yellowstone’s current purchasing practices and possible alternatives.  While I learned a lot more about using Excel to manipulate and analyze large data sets, the real educational experience of the project came from outside of the spreadsheets.  Sure, my analysis showed that following a certain plan of action would save the company money and for a classroom setting that probably would have been enough, but I learned about all the other parts of the decision-making process. My eyes were opened to the plethora of IT, Legal, and Operational concerns that go into something as seemingly innocuous as a simple purchasing policy.  As part of the project, I sat in on monthly leadership meetings with my Mentor while he presented my analysis and his recommendation to the leadership company-wide.  This allowed me to learn about the considerations and plans the company has in mind and how it would shape my work for the rest of the summer.

My internship at Yellowstone has opened my eyes more than I expected.  Prior to coming here, I had considered myself to be well-versed in using Excel, certainly more so than any of my friends in school, but I was shown just how much more I could learn to tackle problems that I hadn’t ever solved before.  The work I am doing has spurred me to begin learning Visual Basic, an Excel programming language, during my off time.  After finding a great online resource to learn the program, I am spending five hours a week to improve my future work as well as the work I have already done.  More importantly, my internship at Yellowstone has broadened my view of the landscape world.  Landscape wasn’t an industry I had ever considered, either professionally or personally prior to this summer.  That said, I am blown away by the amount of information and data that is used in the decision-making process of a successful company of this size.  My time in Bunnell has taught me a lot professionally and personally and I am excited to take my next steps.

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