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Learning Center Experience
up in Southern Idaho; mowing, watering, and taking care of people's lawns with
his brothers. “We had a lot of fun, and we had a very good business,” he said. After
high school, Andres did what was expected of him: he went to college, studied
accounting and business, and dabbled in a few other areas before he realized
that he needed to pursue a career that really appealed to him—something he was truly
was always in the back of my mind because I liked working with plants and being
outside. I didn't know that I wanted to do that for a career until I took my
first horticulture course in college.”
earned his undergraduate degree in the horticulture field, and found work at
the Idaho Falls Temple and then at his alma mater, Brigham-Young University in
Idaho. He was working in the grounds department at Brigham-Young University for
three years, but realized that there wasn’t any room for growth. So he took the
initiative to change his career path and build a better future for himself and his
support of his wife, Andres enrolled in Kaplan University’s Master of Science in Higher Education.* “Ultimately, I want to become a
tenured, full time horticulture professor,” he said. Andres worked full time and went to school
full time, while helping his wife raise their five children. “I would never
have been able to do this with a traditional campus setting,” he said. “I had to be very disciplined. I woke up at
5:00 am nearly every morning to get my work done.”
he earned his master’s degree, Andres found it wasn’t easy finding
a job in his field. He needed to stay at
his current position for a year since the university had contributed funding to
his education, so he had some time for his job search.
easy, but I am so glad I stuck with it,” he said. “I applied for about 17 jobs, and there was
an average of about 125 applicants per position.” Shortly after his tenure at
Brigham-Young University was up, Andres landed a great opportunity.†
He is now a personal landscape manager for a wealthy chief executive officer who
owns a lot of land in the Idaho area. Andres is responsible for the house, the
estate, and the ranch headquarters.
got the phone call he was waiting for.
The call was
from one of his horticulture professors at Brigham-Young University. Andres was asked if he would teach a course
on landscape management. He was thrilled.
In addition to his full time position, Andres has now been an adjunct
faculty professor for nearly a year.
Andres got the other phone call he was hoping for.
chair of applied plant science at Brigham-Young University asked him to submit
an application for a full-time position teaching horticulture, and wanted his help
designing the curriculum for an online program.
called me in large part due to my degree at Kaplan University, and my thesis, which focused on
resistance to the issues of placing hands-on science courses online. The department
chair wants to offer more online classes, but the faculty has had a difficult
time getting an online program off the ground, especially with the hands-on
labs that teach tree and shrub pruning—something you really need to do
in-person. The department has been struggling with how do develop an online
curriculum for quite a while.”
Andres waits to hear from the University about the full-time position, he is
focusing on his adjunct role and his full-time job. Andres and his wife, who
also has a degree and background in horticulture, have a side business doing
occasional landscape design work. They also own their own greenhouse where they
sell vegetable starts.
very fortunate that my hard work is beginning to pay off,” Andres said. “I was able to marry my love of nature and my
family with a great career in horticulture. I think you really have to stick
with what you love, and don’t underestimate the importance of networking to
keep building and maintaining relationships in your field!”
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