John Sheridan

AGNR Internship Stories

John looking in mirror of truck during his internship
A picture of John during his internship this summer

Name: John Sheridan

Major: Environmental Science and Technology, Natural Resources Management concentration

Graduation Date: December 2020

What company/organization did you intern for?


What was your internship "title"?

Plant Health Care Specialist 

Where was the internship located?

Rockville, Maryland

Describe your internship responsibilities:

I would ride along with another Plant Health Care Specialist, wee would have a route with various jobs listed for clients around the DC Metro area. Some of the jobs would specify a species of plants of trees to be treated for disease, pest issues or environmental stress. Upon arrival, we would locate the ailing plants and administer the specified treatment. Other jobs, called Arbor Patrols, were much more broad. We would inspect all of the plantings and have to diagnose them ourselves. After diagnosis, we would have to mix various technical materials (fungicides, insecticides, etc.) into water at specified mixing ratios (or rates). It was very important for me to understand what certain diseases or pest damage looked like in order to properly treat them with the correct materials and at the proper rate. 

What did you enjoy most about this internship?

I enjoyed the people that worked there, they seem like more family and friends rather than colleagues. I also enjoyed being 'out in the field', critical thinking and learning. What is this plant; what disease/pest issue does this plant have; what conditions allowed for this; what is the best treatment and why is this treatment better than another; at what rate or how concentrated should this treatment be. These and many more questions had to be asked and answered while walking on a property. I enjoyed how my peers had their own variation (or style) to execute their plan and I was able to learn from them and develop my own. This job has a lot of responsibility with little overview, so your work is truly your own. 

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?

This has impacted my career by providing an opportunity to actually have a career at SavATree. Not only did they offer me a job after graduating, they promote within the company. I could stay and become an arborist within the 2-3 years. 

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship? 

The Maryland Career Fair

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?

Be open minded. Don't be afraid to work somewhere that isn't exactly what you are seeking. Having skills/experience in multiple areas only makes you more appealing for other jobs.