Overview of Horticulture internships: 2013

Myles Ayers, BWI companies, Inc.Myles Ayers
BWI Companies, Inc.

This summer I interned at a company called BWI (Bunch Wholesale Industry). BWI is a wholesale distributor for horticultural products. The company consists of 14 branches that are located in the Mid-South and Southeast United States. I was located at the BWE branch, which is in Greer, SC. During my internship I was involved with working in each department. My job consisted of working in the warehouse, creating routes for transportation, answering phone calls for customer service, and also working with inside and outside sales associates.  Interning for BWI was an experience that no one can compare to. I learned so much about the horticulture industry and the importance of communicating effectively with customers!  

Merritt Gantt Clemson Peach-breeding Program, Clemson, SCMerritt Gantt
Clemson Peach-breeding Program, Clemson, SC

My name is Merritt Gantt and I am a senior horticulture major at Clemson University. This past summer, I had the opportunity to work for the Clemson Peach-breeding Program at the Musser Research Farm. Throughout this experience I participated in the propagation, fertilization, pruning, harvesting and research of peach trees. The majority of my job consisted of working in the lab conducting various tests on harvested fruit. Some of these tests included measuring the acidity of the peach juice, the size, weight, and firmness of the peach, and several other analyses. All of the data collected is used in numerous experiments, which are being conducted in order to better the customer’s peach eating and buying experience. In addition to lab work, I also had the opportunity to travel to other farms. This allowed me to practice professional skills such as communication (talking with other farm managers) and business leadership. I enjoyed many aspects of the internship such as propagation and breeding research, however I do not want to remain in the peach industry. The internship did expose me to the fields of breeding, research, and propagation; all of which I find extremely fascinating and I hope to one day pursue a career in these areas.  

Alan Gibbon David Bradshaw’s Community Garden, Six Mile, SCAlan Gibbon
David Bradshaw’s Community Garden, Six Mile, SC

I spent my summer volunteering on an organic vegetable garden in Six Mile, SC. I helped Dr. David Bradshaw, a former professor of Horticulture at Clemson, keep a two and a half acre vegetable garden producing despite setbacks from herbicide damage and more rain than was necessary. I had the chance to be involved in every stage of plant growth. I took part in planting, fertilizing, cultivating, harvesting, constructing trellises, garden maintenance, and scouting for insects and diseases. Any crops we produce will go to people in the community who are in need of fresh produce but lack the resources to obtain it. This summer I had the chance to gain experience in organic gardening while obtaining plant knowledge from an incredible educator.  

Colby Hice Shamrock Landscaping, Fort Mill, SCColby Hice
Shamrock Landscaping, Fort Mill, SC

My name is Colby Hice and I am currently a rising senior studying Horticulture at Clemson University, and I also just recently finished my summer internship which I would like to tell you a little about. I spent this past summer in Fort Mill, SC working with Shamrock Landscaping, a single location company with both commercial and residential contracts. The first week of my internship was spent installing residential irrigation systems, and then for the next 3 weeks I was one of two servicemen for irrigation. Throughout the summer I worked with each department of the company including irrigation, maintenance, grading, planting, and hardscapes. My favorite overall experience was getting the chance to run my own maintenance and planting crew for a few weeks. Overall I gained plenty of new knowledge that will help me excel in a career in the landscape/green industry and I’m very thankful for the opportunity I was given with Shamrock.   

Alexa McCullen Carolina Panthers – Charlotte, NCAlexa McCullen
Carolina Panthers – Charlotte, NC

During this past summer, I worked interned as part of the grounds keeping crew for the Carolina Panthers. Because the organization is a member of the National Football League, there are extremely high expectations that we must meet. The property in downtown Charlotte includes the game field in the stadium, the three practice fields, and 30 additional acres of landscapes and hardscapes.  As a member of the grounds crew, I helped to maintain the 11 acres of lawn, tend 20 flower beds, water 161 large container pots, manage weeds, prune and trim shrubs, trees, and hedges, spread turf and ornamental chemicals, clear pathways of debris, and, on occasion, remove opossums from the stadium! Despite the heat and the hard work, I have truly enjoyed my experience! I entered my position with no experience and left feeling comfortable in the work place! I cannot wait to begin another internship and continue to learn as much as I have this summer!  

Paulina Peña San Pedro Columbia Farm, Toledo District, BelizePaulina Peña
San Pedro Columbia Farm, Toledo District, Belize

I spent my summer working on a small 10-acre farm and herbal medicinal trail in the jungle in the beautiful country of Belize. Throughout my internship at the San Pedro Columbia Farm, my work responsibilities were so different and fun compared to anything else I have ever done. On the 10-acre farm I had to chop acres and acres of tall grass, trees and other plants using a machete to clear it out for planting of crops. I also harvested fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs; I weeded, planted seeds and transplanted herbs and fruit trees. On the herbal medicinal trail, I weeded, planted seeds and transplanted medicinal herbs and made medicinal tea. Each day I got to experience something new and exciting and I learned so much! I gained experience working with tropical fruits and herbs and other crops. My experience in Belize was utterly life changing and a cultural experience of a lifetime. It was the most amazing experience of my life and it was better than I could have ever asked for.  

Bryan Sanders ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance – Hilton Head, South CarolinaBryan Sanders
ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance – Hilton Head, South Carolina

I am Bryan Sanders and I’m from Walterboro, South Carolina. I am a rising senior Horticulture major at Clemson University.  I experienced a wonderful internship this summer in Hilton Head, South Carolina. I have interest in a landscaping career and VallyCrest Landscapes guided me through the ropes in every way possible this summer.  I worked in many different company departments this summer starting with the company’s biggest department in landscape maintenance. I then moved from week to week through the installation, irrigation, season color (flowers), and spray technician departments. During my experience, I learned more and more every day but the most important thing I learned was to have an open mind and learn everything you can from the professional and experienced employees that are there to teach you!  

Drew Stevens Valley Crest Landscape Maintenance at Charleston branch Drew Stevens
ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance at Charleston branch 

My name is Drew Stevens and I went to work for Valley Crest Landscape Maintenance in Charleston, South Carolina. I spent the summer rotating among maintenance, installation, seasonal color, irrigation, and chemical applications. The whole experience was great because I got the chance to see how one of the largest landscape companies in the country works. I loved seeing how all the employees flowed together to get the work done. While at the same time, learning many new things in a hands-on experience.  

Hunter Warner Clemson Extension Service, Greenville, SC Hunter Warner
Clemson Extension Service, Greenville, SC 

My name is Hunter Warner. I am a horticulture student at Clemson University. I did my summer internship with Clemson Extension Service. I worked out of the Greenville Extension office. During the summer I completed many different tasks, as well as attending many different programs. Some of the tasks I was in charge of over the summer were a Borer Insect Study; helped with organizing the SCACAA conference, answered horticulture related phone calls/emails, went on nursery consultations, as well as many other tasks. Some of the programs I attended were the turf association conference, the watermelon field day, the SCACAA conference, your day radio, making it grow, junior master gardeners, and many more. I had a great experience with Clemson Extension Service. I highly recommend this internship. I obtained great knowledge and the task is always changing with extension.

Clemson Horticulture internships: 2013