Students in our department earn their education in a variety of venues, from on-campus greenhouses to international gardens. They learn with and from one another in many different associations. The classroom is one place to learn, but the most successful students of horticulture leave their university with dirty knees and a resume full of experience. In addition to the the classes offered that travel to local and even international gardens, the department works hard to ensure that students will have the chance to gain experience through opportunities close to home. We encourage our students to get out into the real world and get their hands dirty.
Getting involved in a student club is a great way to meet people with similar interests while doing a wide variety of activities that can help you in your future career. These clubs help to plan major events, organize lectures, and create a sense of community; as such, they are major forces in defining what happens around the St. Paul campus. Undergraduates can join or start a registered student group, while graduate students can participate in the APS Graduate Student Association or the PBS Phytograd Club.
The Student Organic Farm, also known as Cornercopia, is located on the St. Paul campus and is co-sponsored by our department, the agronomy department, and the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. It is a fully functioning, USDA-certified and student-driven organic farm that grows over 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables. Cornercopia is associated with a class, HORT 3131 Student Organic Farm Planning, Growing, and Marketing, but allows anyone who is interested to become involved.
Getting hands-on experience is vital to a future career, but so is meeting others in your field and learning from them. We encourage our students to go to conferences, join organizations, become part of the mentor program, and participate in other activities to aid their professional growth. Take advantage of the opportunities that the department provides—often at little or no cost—to grow your own experience and connect with others who can jump start your career.