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A Summer Interning at Yardsy: Opening New Doors To the Outdoors

Simon Tolbert

This past summer, I had the privilege to serve as a full-time, paid intern for Yardsy, a professional outdoor service company in Atlanta, GA. The opportunity allowed me to apply the knowledge I acquired in business school to the day-to-day operations of a company. Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful for the diverse hands-on experiences and feel more confident than ever in my chosen career path.

It all started in the spring of 2022, when I sought an internship that would complement my studies as a business major at the University of Colorado Boulder. With the impending recession sitting on the horizon, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find a paid internship. After all, companies were trying to decrease the volume of their business, not the other way around. But then an opportunity with Yardsy came along and, before I knew it, I was on my way to a newfound appreciation of the outdoor service industry.

A deep dive into the roles and responsibilities

My primary responsibilities at Yardsy revolved around data analytics, organizing separate data sets to point out trends and draw out conclusions about the information that they provide. I developed spreadsheets involving KPI’s from each section and department of the business to uncover inefficiencies. In doing so, I was able to take part in every aspect of the business: entrepreneurship, marketing, economics, finance, sales, customer service and production.

For marketing, I participated in the creation of their website, which included acting in a photo shoot and writing content. In the finance department, I learned all about cash flow analyses. And while working with the sales team, I created proposals for diverse turf applications to send to customers—which generated $30,000 in new sales! To top it off, Yardsy offered me the opportunity to collaborate alongside a non-profit organization that serves on their board called Take It Outside, which helps the Catch a Dream foundation fund outdoor experiences for kids with terminal illnesses. We sponsor things like dove shoots, whitetail hunts and golf tournaments. These events are then incorporated for the use of networking with other landscape companies in the southeast. I co-hosted the summer golf tournament, which I helped organize timing, events and fundraising for.

Another cool part? I got the chance to work alongside the production crew at commercial sites like Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport, Facebook and the Blue Bell ice-cream office. I also worked at high-end residential properties, helping to keep mosquitoes and diseases at bay. Doing hands-on work at these sites allowed me to get a better grasp on field operations and understand how it correlates to the data I’ve been analyzing.

Greener pastures await

In just one summer, Yardsy has instilled so much confidence and direction within my professional life. Like many new graduates, I started off unsure if my degree would even pave the right path for me. But working with the team at Yardsy allowed me to grow my skillset, meet new people, and have fun along the way. Above and beyond all of this, the most impressive thing to me was the comradery between their entire team. Not a day went by where I wasn’t laughing while working. When we weren’t working, we went to baseball games and even enjoyed poker and golf tournaments. Aside from all the knowledge I gained from this experience, one of the most crucial things I learned is to not let extenuating circumstances stop you from getting something done. You will never know who or what might take a chance on you if you never try. In this case, Yardsy took a chance on me, creating a sense of excitement for my future and setting me up for success—no matter where I go.