Willoway Nurseries, Inc.

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Former Interns… What did they say?

The goal of the internship program at Willoway Nurseries, Inc. is to prepare students for their future careers in the horticulture industry. If positions are available and interns meet qualifications, they usually are the first choice for employment at Willoway Nurseries, Inc. We are in the process of “molding our next generation of employees,” says President, Tom Demaline. Interns from previous years have become a part of the Willoway staff as nursery specialists.

So, what do some of our previous interns have to say about their experience?

2010 Intern

Jim Merrick (a Horticulturalist at Willoway) covered all aspects of insect, disease, and pest management. He taught me about plant quality and I was involved in meetings with Chemical Sales Representatives and worked with Bill Bauerle (OARDC). I learned that obtaining accurate data is the only way the pest management program will be efficient. I liked this department because it was very science-related and overall, I learned A LOT in my time there." - Rob Hiler, OSU ATI

"I really enjoyed today. The first half of the day I went with Andy, one of the managers on the nursery, and helped him coordinate his crews that were pulling plants for orders. After lunch I was put on the loading dock where we were loading 15-25 gallon trees off of full pallets aligned everywhere on the dock onto empty pallets for customer orders. I was soon put in charge of about 10 workers to use to load up the trees for the different orders. This was 'mucho' difficult when I speak very little Spanish, but I figured it out and it was a great experience. I decided to put small crews of 2 people in different spots loading for different orders and finally got a flow to it. I really enjoyed this experience. We got to experience being the manager at the small garden center at our school, which gave me an overview on how to run a crew. This was similar to my experience running the crew on the dock. It was difficult, but fun at the same time." Josh Garbinsky, OSU ATI

2010 Intern

"This experience was one of the most adventurous and educational things I've ever done. I stepped outside my comfort zone and did something I've never done before. It was definitely worth it. My most memorable moment from the internship was working in the shipping department. Trying to keep up was very intense! I specifically remember loading an entire truck of 3-7 gallon hydrangeas. It was a great experience to see the workers come together to get the job done." - Joshua Barnett, Owens Community College

“I did a lot of things I have never done [in the shop] before and learned a lot during my time there; for example working on transmissions and radiators and welding. Also the Shipping department. The Shipping manager, Keith, was very helpful and involved with teaching me about his department. This department was much more in depth than I expected. I was included in the day to day process and felt very productive.” - Tim Sauner, OSU ATI

2010 Intern

“IPM (Integrated Pest Management) was the most educational. I worked on research projects with inspectors from ODA and USDA, and learned a lot of things I did not know about pests and diseases. Also working at the Distribution Center one-on-one with customers was a good experience.” -Mark Hoover, OSU ATI

Interns out at the Lake Erie Crushers game on a summer
night after work.

Interns, John Terhesh and Alex Greene, learn mum-pinching techniques from Vicki Morris, one of our head growers at the Willoway greenhouses.

“In Pot in Pot and Containers I learned a lot about trimming, spacing, and proper tree care procedures. In Containers I learned growing techniques for many different types of plants. I had a blast this summer. Everyone was really nice here and it was very easy to ask questions.” - Amber Hoffstetter, OSU ATI

"Before I came to college, I had no experience in the Nursery industry at all. There, I learned the basics of the business: terminology, general operations, growing practices, and other such things. During my internship at Willoway, I got to learn how a functional business actually runs. I learned the nursery industry in the theoretical sense at school, but I learned it in the practical sense at Willoway. I was surprised by the level of guidance that I received from my supervisors at Willoway. They really took a lot of time out of their days to show me their roles in the business, general operations, and the like. When put to work, the managers made sure that I knew what to do, but they didn't hover over me, either -- I never felt stifled, and they were always ready to answer questions. Overall, my experience was the best I could hope for in an internship -- and not just because I'm going to work there full-time this coming spring! I would recommend an internship at Willoway to anyone. Oh, and the free housing doesn't hurt, either." - Alex Greene, OSU ATI

Intern, Tom Brady, from OSU ATI prepares a recent order of Hydrangeas for shipment

"Willoway Nurseries has allowed me to gain experience in areas I was previously not exposed to in a classroom. The managers were happy to take the time to teach me about their jobs and answer any questions I had. Willoway likes to experiment with new programs and practices that are still only ideas to the green industry. The internship was an exciting experience for me to work with numerous leaders in the nursery field. This program has exceeded my expectations, and is a great opportunity to see all the different components that make up a successful nursery." - John Terhesh, Southern Illinois University


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