Sami Nickerson: Nursery Information to Plant Gross sales

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Sami Nickerson, a spring 2022 alumna, moved almost 1,000 miles from Thiensville, Wisconsin to NC State and found a brand new path and enthusiasm for vegetation. Nursery alternatives got here knocking shortly after Nickerson switched her diploma to horticulture manufacturing programs and entrepreneurship, with a minor in plant biology. As a part of the undergraduate program expertise, Nickerson, like different undergraduate college students, was inspired to take part in mock interviews and internships. A mock interview translated right into a full-time job whereas attending the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

What impressed you to check horticulture?

Earlier than I got here to NC State, I believed that I wished to be a instructor, so I used to be enrolled in that program for my first semester. It wasn’t a subject I used to be enthusiastic about, so I began my seek for one other program. I spotted that I cherished vegetation and was truly fairly good at preserving them alive again residence in Wisconsin, so I made a decision to offer horticulture a attempt. The primary class I took was “The World of Horticulture” with Professor Brian Jackson, and every time I take into consideration the beginning of my journey on this trade, I attribute it to him. His class impressed me to maintain taking lessons and due to this, I found that I excelled in all issues plant-related and it was one thing I used to be actually fascinated about and enthusiastic about.

How did you find out about your internship?

I discovered my internship by means of considered one of Helen Kraus’ lessons, which has additionally been a significant a part of the success of my journey up to now. I arrange mock interviews with Biltmore and Pender Nursery to get expertise with the interview course of. We have been inspired to ask about internships within the mock interviews. Whereas talking with the Pender Nursery’s native common supervisor, Ariel Montañez, supplied a 10-week internship alternative in Could 2020.

What roles or tasks have been you given?

I spent 10 weeks within the nursery studying the way it operated, and each few weeks, I might swap to a unique a part of the nursery. I began out as a subject tech, then went to potting, then manufacturing, propagation, stock and pest administration, gross sales and transport, after which I accomplished my internship challenge. For my challenge, I selected to assist with the tag room, the place all image tags are stored for the branded materials that we promote. I cleaned, painted and re-organized the room to turn into extra practical and environment friendly for the sector techs. 

What was essentially the most useful factor you discovered or skilled?

Probably the most useful factor I discovered from this expertise was how all points of a nursery contribute to the working and working of the ability. With out one half, the whole enterprise might be impacted. I additionally actually loved attending to work with every group and it helped me get a good suggestion of how necessary everybody’s job is. I additionally made some pals alongside the best way. 

How has your internship ready you to your future profession?

After the internship was accomplished at Pender Nursery, I used to be requested to remain on as a subject tech and I fortunately accepted. I’ve since moved my approach up from subject tech to gross sales. I now work within the South Carolina, Western North Carolina, and Tennessee territories, and I find it irresistible. Gross sales is one thing I by no means thought I’d do, however I’m glad Pender Nursery gave me the chance as a result of I actually take pleasure in it and I like working with my clients.

Would you like extra details about our horticulture applications?

In case you are a pupil fascinated about plant manufacturing programs and entrepreneurship in horticulture, you should definitely take a look at the undergraduate applications for two- and four-year college students.

Discover the Division of Horticultural Science’s pupil profession expertise database and discover your internship alternatives in landscaping, gardening, lab analysis, and extra. In case you are searching for to host a horticulture pupil internship, view the employer profession expertise database.

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