By Jamie McKenzie
Raquel Walker hasn’t quite completed her Certificate III in Horticulture yet, but already she’s planting the seeds for a bright future by securing employment with a Rockhampton landscaping business.
“Horticulture has always interested me and CQUni offered a great opportunity to explore that interest and make a career out of it,” Ms Walker said.
“With this being a more hands-on course, I felt secure, while the ability to do online study means that I can continue my pace even with my new employment in the horticulture field.
“I’ve just started working with a local mowing and garden maintenance company. The work I’ll be doing with them is directly tied in with the units I’ve completed so I’m able to go into the job confidently.”
She said she was offered a position during a casual conversation with the owner.
“The course had a major impact in getting this opportunity and taught me practical skills such as how to talk with clients, garden design and very solid understanding of common problems people might face,” she said.
Ms Walker said the course had given her the transferrable skills she needed to work in her new job.
“I love having the opportunity to learn about the type of plants I’m personally interested in. There are students who are more focused on native plants, ornamental gardens, things more on the agricultural side who are all given the chance to learn about it. It really helps keep things exciting and it feels rewarding,” she said.
“There’s so many different things that it’s hard to answer this question. I think something quite important that people don’t always think of is the sustainability and environmental protection that’s involved with horticulture. Learning how to control problems such as pests and diseases while protecting the natural health of the area or ecosystem has been very intriguing.”
Ms Walker hopes to have her own nursery in the future.
“I’ve always had a fascination with propagation, so having my own nursery would be a great combination of my interests and the skills I’ve learnt during the course,” she said.
“Horticulture to me is a lot deeper than just how to look after plants. It’s really quite amazing learning how everything interacts with each other and how doing one small thing can affect so much.”
She recommended anyone with a green thumb to consider giving CQUni’s Horticulture course a go.
“It can be very daunting to start further study, especially when you’ve been out of schooling for years, but being able to do something I honestly enjoy as a job is incredible,” she said.