Horticulture senior Emma Brinks found community in the Student Horticulture Association. Her long-term goal is to own a nursery of her own that focuses on native plants and natural ecosystems.
Emma Brinks is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture in the Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Horticulture with a minor in writing. The undergraduate Horticulture program integrates plant and soil science, entomology, pathology, technology, and business management to prepare students to meet the challenges of an expanding multibillion-dollar industry in intensively cultivated, high-value crops.
“I love working with my hands and being in the outdoors and working with plants and in the gardens and greenhouses has been the perfect intersection of that. I wasn’t sure about horticulture when I first arrived, but I knew that even if I changed majors, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has a lot of different, specific, and accomplished plant science programs I could explore.”
She added, “The university is large, but CANR is pretty small in contrast, so it’s easy to find a niche. There are so many student clubs and opportunities on campus to get involved with any hobbies, interests, or passions you may have.”
Brinks is an active member of the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE), the Honors College, and the Student Horticulture Association (SHA), where she serves as an officer and the spring show grower. She has also participated in multiple networking and career development events through her involvement in the SHA, as well as organizing weekly meetings and volunteer activities which include interacting with industry leaders.
“I have found a great community in the Student Horticulture Association. Joining the club was the best decision I made during my freshman year. I met so many great people and have gained so many hands-on experiences through the association’s spring show, plant sale, and other events.”
Following graduation, Brinks aspires to work in ecosystem restoration, growing and installing native landscapes in areas that have been impacted by erosion, development, and other environmental devastation. She has a long-term goal of owning and managing a nursery of her own that focuses on native plants and natural ecosystems.
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Michigan State University