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Name: Scott Hoffman,'08
Major: Production Horticulture and Environmental Landscaping
Hometown: Wilmont , MN
Interview spring 2007 by Communications Student Intern Maretta Peterson, '07, communication major
What are you driven to discover in your major?
I am driven to discover more about the growing and production of flowers and plants. While earning my degree at UMC, my goal is to learn how to be successful at operating a greenhouse or nursery and learning about the production of plants.
What have you learned that surprised you most so far?
I have learned that plants are easy to grow when given the proper growing conditions. I am surprised at how many plants can be propagated from one stock plant.
What drives you to study this field?
The growing of horticultural crops is what drives me to continue my studies in the horticulture industry. The confidence and assurance provided by my instructors also drives my interest and studies in horticulture.
What career goals do you have?
Upon graduation from the University of Minnesota , Crookston, my goal is to be employed at a greenhouse or nursery facility as a grower so I can apply my horticulture studies from UMC and gain a working knowledge of the horticulture field through hands-on experience. My second career goal is to own and operate a greenhouse, nursery or specialty produce farm. My third, and ultimate, goal is to become a horticultural specialist at the White House in Washington , D.C. I believe that working on the White House grounds would be an honorable, challenging and fascinating experience.
Tell me why you chose the U of M, Crookston:
In June 2006, I separated from the U.S. Air Force so I could attend college full-time to finish my education with a B.S. degree in the horticulture field.
In searching for a college, I was looking for horticulture program that included the aspects of plant production, landscaping and greenhouse operations. Additionally, I was searching for a college that did not have out-of-state tuition. I am from Minnesota , but my fiancé is from New York . As my fiancé and I were searching for a college with a degree program for both of us, we were facing the costs of out-of-state tuition if we wanted to stay together.
While reviewing many websites, we came across the University of Minnesota , Crookston. After reading about the horticulture program Crookston offered, I knew it was the perfect degree for me because it covered all aspects of horticulture that I am interested in and wanted to learn about. My fiancé also found a degree program she was interested in, small business and entrepreneurship.
However, when we read that Crookston did not have out-of-state tuition costs, we applied immediately and here we are today.
Describe what you like best about the U of M, Crookston:
What I like best about the U of M, Crookston are the many student events and activities that are hosted and/or sponsored by clubs and organizations on the campus. Every week there seems to be a highlight event such as musical performers, comedians, movie night or games & activities. There is always something to do to mingle with other students and hang out, even though I do not live in the dorms.
Describe your interaction with the faculty and staff on campus:
My interaction with the faculty and staff on campus is very positive. Not only is there excellent one-on-one interaction with instructors, but the campus staff is also very helpful and considerate. When I transferred all my credits from four other colleges, the staff in the admissions office was very helpful and made my transfer very easy. Additionally, when I walk down the hallways, I am almost always greeted by any staff member I meet.
Describe what you like best about your classes:
What I like best about my classes is the personal attention I receive due to the smaller class sizes. It makes it easier to ask questions and provides for better instructor-to-student interaction. I like the personal attention provided to each student and I feel it provides a better learning environment.
Describe what has been the most challenging for you as you pursue your educational career:
What has been most challenging for me in my educational career so far was when I transferred and started my education at UMC. The challenge was when I made the transition from full-time worker to full-time student.
My first semester at UMC (fall 2006) was challenging for me because I had a course load of sixteen credits, five courses. However, those five courses all included a lab.
As I recently separated from the United States Air Force after six years of service, I was in more of a worker mode than a study mode. Having never attended college fulltime before arriving at UMC, I was not really prepared for all the homework. I was so overwhelmed the first few weeks that I considered dropping a course.
As time progressed, I found myself focusing on my studies more and more. Some courses I struggled with more than others and I had to learn to balance the work load. At the end of the semester I looked back to when I started and thought about how I considered dropping a course. I was happy with my decision to remain in all my courses because I was proud that I successfully passed all five courses that had labs.
However, the challenge continues during the spring 2007 semester and more than likely in future semesters. I think the confidence and support I received from my instructors and staff at UMC helped, and continue to help, me through my challenges at UMC.
Why would you recommend that others attend the U of M, Crookston?
I would recommend others attend UMC because of the smaller campus, class sizes and the abundance of student activities that are available. Although the UMC campus may be small, there is a far greater advantage because I feel you get a more personalized education for your money.