College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Ally Thomas

Monica Martin
Ally Thomas is pictured pruning trees in a customer’s backyard, during her internship with CRG Management of Bethesda, Md.

The summer after her freshman year at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), Ally Thomas, an Agricultural Business Management certificate student, began a new internship in the Landscape Design branch of CRG Management in Bethesda, Md.

Originally from Montgomery County, Thomas is used to the ever-heavy traffic in the DC suburb; however, sitting in traffic each day this summer made her appreciate student life walking to classes on campus.

Thomas’s role at the Landscape Design branch was split between hands-on field work and administrative tasks at the office. Outside on the grounds, Thomas learned how to spread mulch evenly, prune trees and bushes, and fertilize plants. After working outside through the hot, humid Maryland summer completing laborious tasks, Thomas discovered that she preferred her quiet, air-conditioned office space.

During her office hours, Thomas worked on Excel spreadsheets for the company, researched zoning regulations for playgrounds in the local area, calculated payroll for all employees, and traveled to the bank multiple times. Thomas’s favorite part of her office job was sitting in on business meetings, which offered a perfect opportunity for her to learn proper business etiquette and professional communication skills.

Thomas admitted that working outside in the summer made it “hard to focus, and sunburn was a daily problem.” Nonetheless, Thomas became comfortable with lifting heavy objects for hours at a time, and she developed a good sense of direction and geography as she drove the landscaping crew to the work sites every day.

Overall, Thomas enjoyed her internship with the Landscape Design branch of CRG Management. Craig Cohen, supervisor and manager at CRG Management, stated that “Thomas was a valuable asset to our team at the Landscape Design Branch and excelled in the office atmosphere.”

While she did not enjoy working outside for long hours, Thomas is thankful for the experiences and skills she acquired by doing that work. In the future, Thomas will use her office etiquette and communication skills to propel her through the business world. After she earns her Certificate in Applied Agriculture, Thomas plans to continue her studies at the University of Maryland and work toward a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy.

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