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Atlanta West Intern Leaves His Mark!

The following guest post was written by Bradley, about his internship experience with us this summer.

I am a Horticulture student at Auburn University. I found this internship program through a recruitment presentation done by Yellowstone Landscape Intern Coordinator, Lisa Hall in one of my classes last fall. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to further my horticulture knowledge by learning through experience in the field. After several interviews I found myself moving to Atlanta for the summer and so far, my internship has been a fantastic experience! There are countless lessons learned working in the field that cannot be taught in school and I feel much more prepared for a career in the industry.

An experience that I will never forget is my intern project. Every intern is required to come up with a project for the summer with their Mentor’s guidance. Mine was to create a small nursery area for the enhancement crew. This included constructing a shaded hoop house for temporary plant storage. This was on the Atlanta West’s wish list for a while, but their team did not have the time to put it together. When my Mentor, Matt, presented the idea to me during my first week, I told him I had the skills to do it! While I was confident I could manage most of the project on my own, there were times when I needed help. For instance, the nursery needed irrigation, but my only experience was a short time this summer working with the irrigation department. Needless to say, I needed guidance when it came to planning and installing the irrigation. Our Irrigation Manager, Tom, was crucial in helping me complete the job successfully as he guided me through the irrigation process. When the project was finished, I was very pleased with the results and happy to make a positive impact and leave my mark.

The great part about Yellowstone Landscape’s internship program is they provide many opportunities for interns to apply what is learned in the classroom to real-world experience. It is also a great way to expand knowledge and gain new skills in ways one might not expect. I highly recommend this internship to any student interested in becoming more prepared to work in the green industry and especially the landscape field!

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Marketing Intern Leaves Her Mark!

I am a Food and Resource Economics in Marketing and Management major at the University of Florida. I learned about this internship during the UF CALS Career Fair where I met their recruiter, Lisa Hall and during the interview process I was able to communicate with my soon to be Mentor, Marketing Director, Joseph Barnes.  Both Lisa and Joseph were very personable and excited to have me on board, and this is one, of the many reasons I decided to accept this internship.

At first, I was nervous because I had never worked at a company where English was the primary language spoken.  During my previous internships in Nicaragua, Spanish is the native language.  Coming to Yellowstone Landscape, was a totally different experience from the different business culture and language to seeing my work valued and used.  From the start everyone was so friendly and immediately made me feel welcome and at home!  Of course, I had to adjust, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. This company is really good at making every employee feel comfortable in their work space and I appreciate that.

At the start of this program there were goals set and a project to develop and present. My project was to redesign the Intern Webpage and create a recruiting video. I had a lot of fun working on this project and was able to utilize my creativity to develop a fresh updated webpage and a really cool video!

This internship has exceeded my expectations. I had the opportunity to work with various components of this outstanding landscape company and the experts in their field including; the sales team, Senior Account Manager Scott Barnes, Designer Helena Obrist and Vice President of Business Development Jim Herth. Working closely with each of them helped me discover the essence of what Yellowstone Landscape is all about.

I have learned so much over these past 12 weeks and I’m excited to utilize these skills in my next career opportunity. I am very grateful for this experience and I know that everything I learned from working at Yellowstone Landscape has helped me further develop my professional skill set.  

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Shadowing a Landscape Designer!

I recently had the opportunity to shadow one of our landscape designers, Helena Obrist.

Helena is a mother of two who started working for Yellowstone as an account manager in 2012. Later in 2018, she moved to a position in landscape design, which is originally what she went to school for. Her work requires her to meet with account managers to discuss potential landscape improvement projects that she could work on with them.

The account managers provide her with details about the property so that she can choose the best landscape improvement in that specific location. She designs feature areas for many of the landscapes that we work on, and she also gets involved with operations, creating maps that show where our crews must mow every week and when. This gives the workers direction and a time frame, and it also gives the client a schedule of when the we will be doing what.

Landscaper designers must be very careful with measurements of certain parts of the property in order for the design to be proportionate. Therefore, it is important to ask for them before the design is started. 

Once she is ready to start a design, a lot of Photoshop renderings are used to help the client see her vision, and then help our crews to create it. I thought it would be okay to only take pictures of the place and that’s it. But I found out, it is not what it seems like. When doing these types of designs, Helena must be very careful to make everything perfect, EVEN THE BACKGROUND. I saw Helena today taking pictures of the back of the property that we were working on. At first, I thought to myself, “Oh, maybe she just likes the view”. We were on a beach property anyway, but then I asked her why she was photographing behind the property. She then explained that when editing these kinds of designs, you really have to look on what’s on the back. If you want to take something out, you can’t just leave a hole in the picture, right?

I learned a lot shadowing Helena. She gave me valuable insight of what it is to be a Landscape designer and all the steps that lead into being one. Since I did not study Landscape Design, there was so much I didn’t know about this topic. It was very interesting having the opportunity to see it on a first-hand basis.

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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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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 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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Behind the Scenes of a Landscape Photoshoot!

Me: Look a pretty landscape. Let’s take a picture!

This is not how a landscape photoshoot takes place, but I certainly did think it was until I joined Joseph Barnes, our Marketing Director and Alex Shelver, our photographer on a property photoshoot last week at Old Palm.

Old Palm is a private residential Golf Club located in Palm Beach where we oversee the maintenance of all common areas and some of the private homes.

It was very interesting seeing how a landscape photoshoot takes place. It was very different from the ones I have been to in the past. For these projects, it's important to bring out the detail and effort the maintenance team puts into these landscapes.

I saw how our photographer, Alex, played with different angles to get the best pictures. He also used different cameras to get ground views as well as aerial views to shoot the entire property.

I learned that it is important not only to picture how pretty a landscape looks, but being able to capture the detail and effort it takes to get the landscape to look the way it does. But don't get me wrong, capturing how pretty a landscape looks definitely gets you some extra points.

Here are five tips I learned that might help you get the best images the next time you're shooting a landscape project.

#1: Golden Hour: Try taking your pictures in golden hour. This refers to the periods right after sunrise and right before sunset. It will give great diffused lighting to your pictures that will add depth and interest to your image.

#2: Use Leading Lines: This trick serves to guide the viewers through your picture. Try using trees or sidewalks in order to accomplish this. They will instantly guide the viewer's eyes without them thinking about it.

#3 Study: Before going to the photoshoot, make sure you study your camera. This will allow you to know all the features it brings and make use of them when necessary. Also, if you haven't been to this location before, make sure to do some research before you go and pin point the locations you want to photograph.

#4: Use your creativity: When shooting, be creative in every possible way. It is important that you try every angle you can think of to get the best picture that outlines what you're trying to highlight. Don't be scared of doing something different. Different is good and it can go a long way in these kinds of shoots.

#5: Crop: Don't be afraid to crop your pictures. Usually the cameras that are used to photograph these shoots are high resolution. So even when you crop it, it still looks good and does not decrease the quality of the pictures.

I learned that the "Pretty Landscape Picture", has much more into it than what I thought. The detail and the work that is put into these types of projects is very hard and it's what makes the landscape "pretty". I never really appreciated it until I started working for this company, but now I can see a pretty landscape and focus on details that make it great. 

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Shadowing a Senior Account Manager

This week I got the opportunity to shadow Scott Barnes who is a Senior Account Manager here at Yellowstone Landscape in Palm Coast. I saw what it is to be him on a day to day basis and let me tell you guys, it is not easy. I watched him manage several properties he oversees, as well as watching him mentor a fellow intern named Zach. I want you to visualize my day with Scott yesterday, so here is a quick summary of my day with our senior account manager.

 8:00 AM 

- I met Scott at the office and he then took me to an emergency irrigation job. 

- I had the chance to see him mentor Zach who is a fellow intern and I saw how he shares his knowledge in lessons he is trying to teach him. 

- It was also fun seeing how Zack works his way through his internship as well as what he does on a daily basis. 

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 10:00 AM 

- Next, we went to a property that hired us because they wanted us to redesign and mantain part of their property. 

- For me this was the most interesting part of the day. I got to interact with clients and watch Scott draw out some sketched of what their new landscape could look like. 

- Since this property was directly on the ocean we talked about the maintenance problems that landscaping might experience because of it, especially the plants and trees that are not native to the area. 

- We also talked about some of the measures we will have to take in order for the landscape to thrive. 

- This was an incredible esperienve and learned a lot from talking to the clients and watching Scott interact with them. 

- Overall, FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY. 

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 11:30 AM

- Cementery Time!!!!! Our next stop was visiting a client at Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home. 

- As dull as it may seem, going to the cementery was actually not that bad and not as depressing as I thought it would be. 

- We talked about the landscape maintenance of the cementery and some solution to a pest problem that they were experiencing. 

- This definitely was my least favorite part of the day, kind of creepy but still interesting seeing all the different types of properties that we work on. 

1:00 PM 

- After lunch, it was time to check on another job that Scott and his crews oversee. 

- I got to meet more of his crew members and it was nice getting to know them face to face. 

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 4:00 PM

- While we were on our way back to the office, we SAVED A TURTLE'S LIFE! 

Overall, this was a fun and creative experience. I had the opportunity to see how Scott interacts with his clients and his crew members. He was a great person to shadow and gave me important insight about his job.

 

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PO Box 849

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