For my LINK internship, I worked at Spring Mountain Growers, where I learned about agriculture and how to run a small business. Spring Mountain Growers is a boutique wholesale supplier of greenhouse selling flowers and vegetables to larger organizations. It is a family owned business who cares about not only producing healthy and thriving plants but they care about their customers and the chemicals they use on the plants as well. They use earth-friendly products and utilizes organic growing methods. With this, they have expanded their business to Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and more areas in Colorado. Here is a link to their website and their logo: https://www.springmountaingrowers.com/
At first, I wanted to travel abroad for my internship and go to Peru, Guatemala, or Costa Rica, to work with animals or children. Yet, around the time I was about to apply to the program, I found out that I am going to be spending my senior year in Mexico through the Rotary Youth Exchange program. So, since I couldn’t afford both, I decided to do my internship at my job so I can raise money for my exchange and learn about agriculture at the same time. I only contacted two people, before my LINK internship was established. Fortunately, I was never told no, when I contacted those two people. I choose this opportunity because I wanted to learn more about agriculture and how to run a small business. Also, I was saved all of the money from the three weeks I worked and put the money towards my exchange.
From this experience, I wanted to gain the knowledge of how to run a small business and more about gardening. I hoped to bring my curiosity and hardworking skills to the business. My impact on the internship was my hardworking skills because, without my help, my boss and other coworkers would be desperate for another employee.
Some skills and abilities that came in handy when I went to LINK was leadership, collaboration, and perseverance. For instance, my boss would sometimes be gone and would give us a list of things to do, but sometimes we would finish before she got back, or my coworkers and I would be confused and would need her guidance. Sometimes she wouldn’t answer her phone either so my coworkers and I had to collaborate on things to do before she got back. In this situation, I would step up and suggest some ideas we could do. The reason why I say perseverance was useful, is because some days it would be really hot and tiring, but also I wanted to preserve and finish through.
Some skills I developed during LINK was patience, communication, and cooperation. For example, one time my boss was gone and guided me on the phone to print out labels. It seems easier than you think, but I definitely struggled a little bit because it’s hard to guide someone what to do over the phone. Especially when there is a lot of different chords around the computer, it was hard to tell what chord she was talking about. It took some time, but I finally figured it out. When faced with some challenges, I was patient and understanding.
At the organization, I was just as important as the other coworkers because I put in just as much work. It was really cool to learn about plants, and gardening and my mentor provided her guidance about a running a small business and her knowledge about agriculture. With this internship experience, it has helped me prepare more for the “real world”. It has taught me so many skills that I will carry with me into my future. For instance, it gave me the experience of reaching out to people and seeing if I have the opportunity to work/intern with them. It showed me I have to be patient when there is miscommunication and overall it made me more outgoing.
For my LINK project, I decided to grow my own plant. I know it sounds easy, but there are several steps that go into caring for a plant. First, you start with the germination process, where you put the plant seeds into the soil and put them in almost a sauna-like atmosphere. Once the seeds germinate, you take them out of the sauna and put them into the greenhouse. Then, when the roots grow enough, we transplant the plants into bigger pots, so the roots have more room to go. From there, you water it, weed it, cut off the dead stuff, and make sure the plant doesn’t get aphids or another kind of bug that affects the plants health. For the water, I used an organic fertilizer, so the plant will grow faster. I cut the dead stuff off because this technique encourages room for more growth, so the plant can become fuller and healthier. Pictures are below:
For my internship, I am working at Spring Mountain Growers, where I operate with plants, such as flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Before I had this opportunity, I wanted to do my LINK abroad in South America, but instead, I was accepted to be an exchange student with Rotary to go to Mexico for a full year. Since the exchange program is around $6,500, I needed to start raising money right away. So, I decided to do my LINK with my job at Spring Mountain Growers. I am not only making money for my exchange, but I am also learning how to run a small business and more about agriculture. I am very excited to start my internship because I have always been interested in gardening.