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Planting a future

With the end of March coming closer, and after starting preparations for the National Collegiate Landscape Competition in the fall semester, three students give their take on what their hard work will accomplish.

Ian Mohney, a junior studying horticulture, said his first NCLC would be a little nerve-racking. Even more than the competition, Mohney concerns himself with the potential payoff.

Last year before attending the same NCLC event in Colorado, students planned networking and exploration opportunities and visited several companies in the Fort Collins and Denver areas.

“Visiting those companies and hearing from their employees was really insightful for me,” said Rebekah Barzee, a senior studying horticulture. “It gave me a good taste of what it would be like to work in the industry as I hadn’t completed an internship yet.”

McKayla Tanner, a senior studying horticulture, spoke on some other aspects related to NCLC that occur outside of the competition itself.

Along with dining with potential employers, there is an opportunity to network.

“Also, networking with our peers because we will eventually be the leaders in the field,” Tanner said. “Someday, when we are in the industry and we are the leaders in the industry, those bonds will help us.”

Mohney, Tanner and Barzee are weeks away from competing at NCLC in Michigan. Their preparation for this March will be worth it than if they win the competition.

“When I returned after all of the studying that I’d done … the knowledge I have of that area is much better than I ever had before,” Barzee said. “That really helped me land an internship and that will help me as a designer going forward.

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