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Student Spotlight: Catherine Mackie

Student Spotlight: Catherine Mackie

Horticulture Technician

Feb 27, 2014

Career Program: Horticulture Technician

Hometown: Cooksville, WI

Current Residence: Appleton, WI

Attended FVTC: Fall 2012 through current

Why did you choose the Horticulture Technician program?
Ever since childhood I'd been fascinated with water gardens and making garden plans with my father. In 2006, I took a Landscape Design community class at FVTC. This fueled my interest, and in 2010 I quit my office job looking for a better fitting career path. After three years and two separate jobs in the landscaping industry, I started looking at the official Horticulture program at FVTC. I found that this program provided an opportunity to explore the options available in the green industry without having to job-hop to find what it was that I wanted to choose as a final career.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding?
I learned that there are many facets to the horticulture industry which I'd never considered as career potential. Getting to take classes in hydroponics, tissue culture, greenhouse and nursery management gave me great insight into the variety of careers out there. I'm still driven by my love for aquatic plants and water gardens, but I've expanded that interest to greenhouses and garden maintenance as well.

Why did you choose Fox Valley Technical College?
It is local, relatively inexpensive, has a very well-recognized horticulture program, and works with industry leaders to help shape the curriculum. Fox Valley Tech helped me find some direction in my life. I have been able to explore the options and narrow down what would be a good fitting career path.

What type of job do you expect to find after graduation?
I'd like to start my own business eventually, but until that happens I'll work in greenhouse management.