Melissa takes her passion for plants to a career in the plant sciences

Melissa loves the open and friendly atmosphere of her major

Our August 2018 featured student: Melissa Eggleston

Featured Student

Melissa Eggleston is a Horticulture B.S. student whose hometown is Grand Blanc, Michigan.  She is about to begin her last semester on her B.S. Horticulture degree with a concentration in Horticulture Science. We asked Melissa a few questions about herself:

Why did you choose Horticulture as your major/degree?

I have always enjoyed watching plants grow, and to see them germinate from a seed has always seemed magical. I was really interested in learning the science behind it all, especially after a failed germination experiment I did in high school. After visiting the Plant and Soil Science Building I was sold, because of how laid back and inviting the environment was compared to the stress of high school.

What has been the best experience in your major so far?

The best experience in my major has been my involvement in the Student Horticulture Association. The Student Horticulture Association provided a great social setting to make friends, and experiences in different parts of horticulture like networking, going to expos, competing in a national competition, and running an annual plant sale. I was also the Treasurer for two years, so I saw the financial and technological side of running a horticulture business as well. This experience sparked my interest in finding ways to improve a horticulture business through combining innovations in technology with the science of growing plants.

What is the best selling point about your major that you would like others to know?

This major is not a competition, and outside of scholarships, your GPA does not define you. What defines the good students from the best is their enthusiasm for what they’re doing, and how involved and active they become in the horticulture industry. Experience is a factor when getting a job in this industry, but many employers are willing and eager to share their love of plants and train new people in how to care for them. The open and friendly atmosphere of this major and the horticulture industry itself is the best-selling point of my major.

What are your future plans?

I plan to finish my degree and graduate a semester early this December. During my final semester I will be applying for a 6-month professional internship at Disney in the Epcot Center, because this will show me a side of horticulture I have not delved into yet. At the same time I will also be searching for a job in this industry that will allow me to explore my interest in improving the integration of technology in plant care, sales, and other aspects horticulture.

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