Let me start be introducing myself. I am Jeremy Thorne, from the little town of Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania. I am a student at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, majoring in ornamental horticulture with a landscape emphasis.
This year, I had the great opportunity to represent my school and PLANET at the 2011 Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. As a child, I knew that the green industry was the career path that I was going to take as an adult. I always had a passion for the outdoors and have worked in the green industry since I was 14 years old.
When I enrolled in college, I started attending green industry events, subscribed to every magazine that was related to the industry, and most importantly started learning. Last spring, I had the opportunity to attend and participate in PLANET Student Career Days. While at SCD, I learned more about PLANET and what they offer to the industry. This fall, my instructor approached me and asked if I would be interested in being nominated for the student ambassador role at the GIC. I could do nothing but accept the invitation. After hearing of my acceptance, I knew that a week in Kentucky surrounded by the most successful individuals in the industry was going to be a rewarding experience.
As I met PLANET staff, who were awaiting our arrival, and received assignments for the week, I knew it was time to step up to the plate and be a leader. While working the registration and giveaway tables, I had the opportunity to meet many successful people who were just as excited about growing that week as I was. Meeting and talking to industry professionals gave me great direction for me future in this industry. The willingness of the PLANET members to network and share their ideas with me as a student really showed that the green industry is about growing and being successful as a whole group, not just an individual. The GIC taught me how to interact with others better than I have in the past. I felt more comfortable approaching people that I normally would not because I knew we were all there for the same reason — to learn and grow.
The Green Industry Conference was a very rewarding week for me despite the long days, and sore feet and legs. In my eyes, being sore at the end of the day is a rewarding feeling. Your body lets you know that you have made a difference either in your life or someone else’s. Meeting and working with the PLANET staff was awesome. It was a great experience that I will never forget. It gave me the best opportunity to network that I will ever experience. It built my leadership and communication skills which is a vital part of the industry. It also gave me the opportunity to talk with future employers who assured me that I could get a job anywhere in the country, and the most important lesson I learned from the week was if you want something, go get it, because it’s time to grow.