How it Started vs. How it’s Going: Six Parker

In this employee spotlight series, we hear from former interns who have completed their 12-week summer internship program and have since accepted a full-time position at Ruppert Landscape.

Jalal “Six” Parker started his Ruppert career with an internship in the summer of 2023 and is now a Field Manager in our Dulles, VA landscape management branch.

How It Started:

How did you first hear about the internship opportunity? What motivated you to apply for/accept the internship?

I first heard about Ruppert from one of my buddies who also completed his internship with Ruppert and is now working at the Alexandria, VA branch.

Can you share your experience during the internship? What were some highlights or memorable moments?

I learned a lot while riding around with my managers checking properties and just hearing them point out things that should’ve been done and things that I need to look for in the field as a Field Manager. One memorable assignment in particular was performing maintenance at a Google corporate office.

When/how were you offered a full-time position at Ruppert, and at what point did you realize that Ruppert was a company where you wanted to establish a platform for your career?

A couple of weeks into my internship is when my boss mentioned that he would be willing to invest in me, so I took that as a good sign that he wanted me to come on board full-time after completing my internship.

How It’s Going:

Can you share some differences between your role as an intern and your role now as a full-time employee?

One difference I would say is the responsibility of driving a company truck; keeping diesel in it, checking fluids, and keeping the inside clean as possible. Another one I’ll say is that now, instead of me asking a question to a coworker about the job, I’m the one who’s answering any questions that my team may have.

How has your perception of the company or industry changed since becoming a full-time employee?

I think my perception changed tremendously, simply by seeing all the work the managers and other positions do when they’re not around us.

What advice would you give to current or future interns who aspire to become full-time employees in the same company or industry?

One piece of advice I would give somebody is just to gain the most information you can as an intern before you jump into a higher position with more responsibility.

How do you see your career trajectory evolving within the company or industry in the future?

Most certainly, I still see myself in this industry in the future and can see myself being an Area Manager with the company in the future as well.

Is there a Ruppert manager or coworker that you would consider as a mentor, and if so, why?

I honestly can say I look at everyone in a higher position than me a mentor, simply because when I have questions I come to them and we get them figured out one way or another.