Alastair ArnoldGraduated: BSc (Hons) Horticulture
Occupation: Assistant Head Gardener
My Writtle University College
The final year dissertation research project allowed me to combine aspects of plant physiology with international studies - two areas of particular interest for me. On the sandwich degree programme I had the opportunity to take an industrial placement as part of the course. Through a contact initially sourced through the excellent College Industrial Placements Officer, I was offered a trainee position at a horticultural production nursery in Christchurch, New Zealand. This placement worked out particularly well and was a very worthwhile experience both professionally and socially.
In addition to study, being in a great environment at Writtle facilitated many varied social opportunities. Finding myself amongst like-minded people I formed some great friendships, many of which I am sure will be life-long. At the College I became involved with karate, badminton and cricket groups and took the chance to play in local sports competitions. Since starting at Writtle, I have travelled with fellow students to destinations such as India, the United States and Holland.
My Career Path
After graduating from the BSc (Hons) Horticulture course with first class honours in 2009, I gained immediate employment as a Manager at a large commercial plant nursery in north Essex. Later in the year I was offered a position as a Senior Gardener on a country estate in north Oxfordshire, which I took up in January 2010. Studying horticulture at Writtle has provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge, skills and inspiration; all essential tools for furthering my career. I am convinced that the many contacts I made with both staff and students will exert an influence over my direction at some stage in the future.
My Current Job
Working with a large range of plant species and cultivars, I am continuously revising knowledge gained at Writtle College as well as learning more on a daily basis. There is a certain level of interaction with horticultural societies and the public, which provides a good opportunity to exchange knowledge and advice.
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