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A Visit with Mosmiller Intern, Gabriella, at Jacksonville Flower Market

The deadline to apply for our two hands-on internship programs is approaching quickly! Students can apply for our Vic & Margaret Ball and Mosmiller Intern Programs by Sunday, October 1st. These internships are great for both students and floral organizations – students gain industry experience working at some of the top companies in the country, and companies get to bring on new, forward-thinking individuals to their operations, helping ensure a steady pipeline of new talent into the industry. 

Our Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Program gives students the opportunity to gain practical floriculture/horticulture experience while training at a commercial production greenhouse or nursery, while our Mosmiller Internship Program allows students to train at leading retail, wholesale, or allied trade operations. One (of many) perks of our Vic & Margaret Ball internship programs is the opportunity for student faculty advisors to travel to visit students at their internship site – fully covered by AFE. Advisors get to see their students in action and students get the chance to show off all they’ve learned while at their internship! While we do not have a reimbursement program for our Mosmiller intern faculty advisors, we still encourage advisors to visit the interns if they have the opportunity. 

Dr. Tina Marie Cade is a Professor of Horticulture at Texas State University. In July, she was in Florida and was able to visit Mosmiller intern Gabriella Garcia at the Jacksonville Flower Market while she was there! Read on to hear about her experience and all that Gabriella is learning.

Dr. Tina Marie Cade, Professor of Horticulture, Texas State University
Visit to Intern, Gabriella Garcia, in Jacksonville, Florida

On July 7, I visited Gabriella Garcia at the Jacksonville Flower Market. I arrived at 11:30am, and she briefly showed me some areas at the market. However, we were approaching her lunch break, so we made sure to go to lunch soon after my arrival. We went to Ida Claire’s, which I hear is a local favorite, and it lived up to its positive reputation with delicious southern comfort food. We were able to visit at lunch and discuss what she loved and learned about the region and her position. She loved the beach and reported that her colleagues were helpful and friendly. She loved all that she was learning. 

When we returned to the market, Gabriella introduced me to a lot of the staff, including her boss, whom I also visited with. Gabriella explained how the market is divided with various staff directing different types of designs, including a wedding director, a director of memorial designs and then another manager in charge of other daily general designs/orders. We toured the hard and soft-good areas, including the cut flowers and foliage in the giant walk-in cooler, the vase, containers and novelty decoration aisles, and the live plant/dish garden display. Gabriella shared with me some of the items that are always in demand and what have been big sellers this season (dyed flowers, rainbow roses). 

She talked about some of the highlights and struggles of her few weeks including starting her internship during the height of the Mother’s Day orders which she found a little scary, but a memorable and teachable moment. She found her niche in being able to share her expertise with houseplant/succulent care because of her campus greenhouse manager experience that she brought to the table. She mentioned learning how to do a European hand-tied bouquet and how she practices that daily in preparing bouquets from the stems that walk-in clients select from the cooler. She said that for the remainder of her time there, she hopes to learn a little bit more from her boss about running the business and the obstacles and opportunities. 

Since Gabriella hasn’t yet taken our Basic Floral Design course (at Texas State University), we’ve already planned that she will use and practice her skills this coming school year in helping to do on-campus event designs. She will likely also coordinate a workshop on the European hand-tied bouquets for the faculty/staff and as part of her student worker duties. Of course, she’ll also be taking the Basic Floral Design course this fall and will already be a step ahead in achieving those objectives. We are also planning on her giving a little presentation in both the floral design class and with the Horticulture Club to advertise her internship experience in hopes of recruiting more students towards the AFE opportunity. Towards the end of my visit, I selected a few stems and Gabriella made a small bud vase design for me before I left!

Learn more about our internship programs and apply today! Applications are due by October 1st.