Student Profile

Photograph of Jessica Ann Laurent

Jessica Ann Laurent

Graduated: BSc (Hons) Horticulture
Nationality: British
Occupation: Outside Plant Engineer

Why did you choose to study at Writtle University College?
I chose Writtle College because there were no universities in France offering the course I felt would help me achieve what I wanted for the future of my career; the other choice was Aberdeen but again, the university didn’t offer the right course for me. I also thought that it would be good to see how horticulture is in the UK, because in France it is more about the production than the amenity side of horticulture.

What does Writtle University College mean to you?
It became my home for three years, it was fun and enjoyable despite being a little stressed at times and the college allowed me to do the research that I wanted to do for my dissertation which was awesome; the research I did was to compare the germination rates of terrestrial orchids on different asymbiotic media.

What did you particularly enjoy about your course?
I enjoyed it all really, the most rewarding part was obviously competing the course and as was the dissertation.

My Career Path
After finishing the course at Writtle in May 2014 I worked as a plants person at Butts Green Garden centre in Sandon, Chelmsford for the summer and gained some experience, after the summer season ended I left and tried to find another job; I managed to get a job in London for a company called CityWest Homes which is a social housing company and my job there required designing gardens, maintaining plants, bee keeping, aiding residents and judging residents’ gardens and balconies for an event called ‘Pimlico in Bloom’, we also participated in ‘Open Garden Squares’ which is an event to allow private gardens to be open to the public. At the same time, I was selected by the David Colegrave Foundation to participate in a travel scholarship, involving orchids; this was to help them choose a selection of orchids as part of their plan to raise money for students through the orchid sales; these were very enriching experiences. Prior to the trip to Amsterdam, I participated in the launch of the orchid range at the HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) which was also a very enjoyable experience. After working at CityWest homes for almost a year, I decided to find a job in Chelmsford because after being at the HTA show, I decided that I really like working in the commercial side of horticulture as I believe that this is the best way to inform people on how important horticulture is.

Future Plans
I am not sure where my career is going to take me; my future plan is to try and improve the image of horticulture for future generations and do this through the medium of garden centres.