By SARAH HARTSFIELD
21 BYU students participated in the national horticulture competition last weekend in Lexington, Ky. The competition helped the students display their skills for potential employers.
Two green thumbs up were given to three horticulture majors, Mimi Chipman, Danny Heid and April U’ren, who took top honors in some of the various competitions held that day.
The competitions are held adjacent to Student Career Days, sponsored by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America. Over 600 students from 46 top horticulture programs competed in technical and professional events. This is BYU’s second year of participating. The competition gives students the opportunity to network with professionals in the horticulture industry for future jobs.
Chipman, 25, a senior from Plymouth, Minn., won first place in the “Sales Presentation” competition. She was given a landscape design to present to some ‘clients’, who stated problems or concerns about the design. Chipman’s job was to sell the design to the ‘clients.’ She was judged by four judges on her presentation, she said.
She was offered two jobs at the competition. Although she already has a job when she graduates, Chipman was overwhelmed about winning.
“This is the pinnacle of my educational career. Not only will I graduate, but I’ll have a job,” she said.
Heid and U’ren won first place in the “Personnel Management” competition, which involves public speaking and rapid decision making about personnel problems. The team members are given two problems and they only have 30 minutes to come up with a solution. Then, they have two minutes to present the solution in front of a panel of judges. After the presentation, the judges ask another impromptu question related to the problem.
Heid, 24 a senior from Fallbrook, Calif., received five job offers at the competition, and he is taking a job at a landscape company in the San Francisco area.
“It was good to represent BYU … It was nice to receive national recognition for the horticulture program,” he said.
Heid credits the success of the horticulture students to their advisor, professor of horticulture Phil Allen.
Allen said as advisor his role is to motivate the students. He said this competition made BYU more visible.
“The wide range of experiences BYU students have makes them very attractive to the top landscape firms around the country,” he said.