MY name is Teresa O’Boyle and I’m from Toomebridge in County Antrim.
My interest in horticulture goes back to when I was very young, growing plants and helping my parents in the garden. I always wanted a job that involved being outdoors so I applied to CAFRE to study a Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture at Greenmount Campus.
This course convinced me that this was the industry I wanted to work in. I was keen to broaden and deepen my plant knowledge and continue with my studies so I progressed on to the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture.
I am really enjoying the Level 3 course. At the end of first year I did my summer work placement at Antrim Castle Gardens which was one of the best experiences I have gained to date.
I got to practice the skills I learned at college and it was really great working as part of the gardens team. During the academic year we also did a lot of industry visits and even went on a study tour to Cork in ROI. These visits highlighted for me the exciting opportunities for careers in Horticulture.
What I have enjoyed most about the course has been the wide range of subjects we cover. No two days are the same and each subject area challenges you in a different way. You do a lot of hands-on skills and also get to explore your creative, business and science flair in subjects like Garden Design. Garden Centre Management and Investigative Project.
I have come to realise that whatever your particular strengths and interests are, Horticulture is an industry with something to offer you!
Next year I plan to continue my studies and progress to the Foundation Degree in Horticulture course at Greenmount Campus as this will widen my career opportunities.
I have talked to other students that are doing the course and they have said that it may be hard work at times but it is really enjoyable and rewarding. I can’t wait to get started!
For more information on the CAFRE Horticulture courses come along to the Greenmount Campus Open Day on Wednesday, April 18, between 3-8pm to see the facilities, meet the students and check out your career options.