Elvis Fisher can’t wait to graduate from Texas A&M University in May and begin his tenure with Ewing. When he joins the crew at Ewing San Antonio in June to begin an 18-month manager-in-training program, Fisher will already have two months of work and learning under his belt, thanks to a summer internship that introduced him to the company and its culture.
The industrial distribution major interned at his hometown branch from May to August 2021, starting as a delivery driver before moving to shipping and receiving, then to serving customers at the blue counter.
In the final weeks of his internship, Fisher focused on two projects. In the first project, he helped introduce local customers to Ewing’s ProAdvantage loyalty rewards program during a barbecue that netted 20 sign-ups. In the second project, he reached out to all the golf courses in the area to build relationships.
“It was great,” Fisher said of the rotational nature of his internship experience, which included mentoring by Account Manager Colton Troop and West Texas Regional Manager Larry Terrazas. “I loved it.”
Learning the ropes from his mentors and branch employees and having the opportunity to bond with them and employees from other area Ewing branches outside of work cemented Fisher’s decision to join the company after graduation. He liked the idea of picking up with them where he left off instead of starting from scratch elsewhere, and he liked Ewing’s emphasis on personal development and training.
“The people are amazing. They really cared about me this summer,” Fisher said. “It was the first job that I really enjoyed my co-workers.”
Once he completes his 18-month management program, Fisher will be eligible to apply for branch manager positions throughout the company.
For more insights about interning with Ewing, check out this video on Ewing’s YouTube channel.
Internship Opportunities Vary by Location
“Our internship program is a win-win,” said PJ Rovinelli, Ewing’s Director of Talent Development. “For interns, they get real-world experience and the opportunity to apply what they learn, and that gives them a better sense of what they truly are passionate about doing. For Ewing, we get passionate students who bring in new ideas and fresh perspectives that undoubtedly help improve the way we do business.”
Ewing offers two types of paid internships—Wholesale Distribution Internships and Field Support Center (FSC) Internships.
Wholesale Distribution Internships are rotational internships conducted in one of Ewing’s 230-plus branches across the country. They provide interns a glimpse into all aspects of green industry wholesale distribution. Hands-on training includes customer service, supply chain, inventory management, sales, product knowledge, employee management, and account management.
At Ewing’s home office Field Support Center in Phoenix, Arizona, interns undertake a variety of hands-on tasks based on their area of interest, from sustainability to product management to marketing and communications, and more.
Keith Bridgeforth, a Grand Canyon University student pursuing a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology, joined Ewing as an intern in July 2021, working with the Talent Development Team.
Bridgeforth finished his degree program in November 2021, but his internship, originally scheduled to last three months, was extended so he could assist the team in developing career path and succession-planning programs while he looks for full-time employment. Bridgeforth also helps conduct in-person and virtual trainings for employees and customers.
Interning with the Talent Development Team has allowed Bridgeforth to apply what he learned in school to real-world situations.
“It’s helped me to hone skills I already had and gave me confidence as I move forward in my career,” he said.
Connect with the Talent Development Team
To date, 10 students have interned with Ewing under the two programs. Rovinelli said the company is aiming to bring on a minimum of 25 interns across the country next year. Students who are interested in learning more about Ewing’s internship programs have several ways to connect with the Talent Development Team.
Fisher learned about the Wholesale Distribution Internship program when he met Rovinelli during a virtual job fair. Bridgeforth, who has known Rovinelli since his early college years, when Rovinelli was one of his lacrosse team coaches, learned about the FSC Internship when Rovinelli posted about it on LinkedIn.
Other connection opportunities include:
- Dropping by Booth 114 at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC) Career Fair in the Carmichael Gym at North Carolina State University in Raleigh from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 17. For more ways to connect with Ewing at NCLC, check out our blog article, National Collegiate Landscape Competition Packed with Things to Do.
- Visiting your local Ewing branch to check out the store, chat with employees, and pick up a copy of Ewing’s internship brochure.