Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens)
A career choice that suits Jenna down to the ground
After discussing potential post school directions with her career adviser Jenna Conran’s preferences narrowed down to two choices—nursing or horticulture. When a fainting fit while on work experience nipped the former option in the bud, horticulture became the obvious choice—which suited Jen down to the ground.
“I didn’t really want to do nursing and had my heart set on doing something associated with the environment,” said Jenna. “I was good at biology and geography at school so horticulture was a good match for me. It helped too that my parents each had successful trades careers and they were very supportive of me choosing an apprenticeship pathway.”
As luck would have it Wollongong City Council was advertising for apprenticeships at the same time as Jenna was looking for opportunities. She applied and was successful, and began her studies at TAFE Illawarra’s Yallah Campus. Graduating in 2015 at the top of her class, Jenna thoroughly enjoyed her training and the support she was given by TAFE and Council. “My on the job experience correlated well with what I’d learnt at TAFE and my mentors always took me through what I’d learnt and helped me apply my knowledge in a practical sense.”
Jenna is continuing her studies through a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management and, earmarked as a rising star, she has been chosen to participate in the Office of Environment and Heritage’s Sustainability Leadership Program and nominated to attend the Public Sector’s 2017 Young Leaders’ Conference.
“I’m really pleased with how things have turned out for me,” said Jenna. “I now have a good background and knowledge of the horticulture industry and there are a number of different courses I can do to benefit my career. I’ve been supported by TAFE and Council in whatever I’ve wanted to do and I like to return that by buddying up with anyone new coming through Council and helping them along their path.
“My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship is to definitely give it a go. It sets you up for a really great career and offers experiences that people going to University just don’t get. As an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador I want to spread that message far and wide and open up other people’s eyes to where an apprenticeship might take them.”