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Transitioning from Classroom to Industry – Students Prepare for Internships

Transitioning from Classroom to Industry – Students Prepare for Internships

Twelve exceptional students from colleges and universities around the U.S. are embarking on new professional development journeys as they begin their internships through AFE’s prestigious Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program and Mosmiller Intern Scholarship Program. These students are off to put their classroom knowledge to use as they gain important hands-on experience at production and retail operations.

There is no doubt this will be a life-changing experience for each one of these students. Follow along with our interns on our social media accounts (listed below), where they will be sharing videos showcasing their experiences along the way!

Past intern, Erin Sparks, shares her experience on how her internship impacted her:

“I gained so much valuable experience working with professional growers and learning applications of pesticides, herbicides, plant growth regulators, and beneficial insects…AFE gave me an experience that will shape my career forever. I would recommend AFE to anyone who is looking to work in horticulture or floriculture. If I could, I would start my internship with AFE all over again!”

Congratulations to our newest interns – we are excited to welcome you to the floriculture community!

  Instagram: American_Floral_Endowment                          LinkedIn: American-Floral-Endowment

  Facebook: AmericanFloralEndowment                            YouTube: EndowmentOrg

  Twitter: FloralEndowment                                                 TikTok: AmericanFloralEndowment

Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Awards

Audrey Arntz
Audrey is completing a 3-month internship (June-September 2023) at Neal Mast Greenhouses. Scholarship award: $1,500.
Audrey is currently attending California Polytechnic State University and majoring in Plant Science. She hopes to gain hands-on experience in horticulture to achieve a better understanding of what it’s like to work in the floral industry. In addition to becoming a florist, Audrey hopes to work as a cut flower producer growing her own plant material for floral designs.


Cora Manica
Cora is completing a 3-month internship (May—August 2023) at Dripping Springs Garden. Scholarship award: $1,500.
Cora is majoring in Horticulture at Kansas State University and feels an internship within the cut flower industry will help her understand the seed-to-harvest process with pest management, height management, and everything in between. She hopes to one day have her own cut flower farm!


Jordan Books
Jordan is completing a 3-month internship (May–August 2023) at Welby Gardens. Scholarship award: $1,500.
Jordan is currently a student at Colorado State University majoring in Horticulture. She wants to get her hands dirty and be involved in all the different roles of the greenhouse. Her career goal after graduation is to work as a head grower in a greenhouse, and she strongly believes this internship opportunity will help her achieve that goal.


Joshua Dick
Joshua will complete a 6-month internship (January 2024 – July 2024) at Tagawa Greenhouses. Scholarship award: $6,000.

Joshua is a University of Rhode Island student majoring in Plant Science. Joshua hopes to make a difference in floriculture! By taking this internship, he feels he will be able to make connections with a company and work with professionals in the industry who can guide him in the right direction and help him find his niche.


Kyle Beckman
Kyle is completing a 3-month internship (June – September 2023) at Skagit Horticulture. Scholarship award: $1,500.

Kyle is attending Colorado State University and will graduate in December with a Horticulture degree with a concentration in controlled environment production. Kyle states, “Plants are a very important aspect of my life, and I value them very highly.” He sees his internship as the first major step to his long-term career goal in the horticulture industry.


Maggie Whittington
Maggie is completing a 3-month internship (May–August 2023) at Neal Mast Greenhouses. Scholarship award: $1,500.

Maggie is currently a student at the University of Tennessee, majoring in Plant Sciences with a concentration in Horticulture Science and Production. Maggie has always felt a deep connection to nature and the earth, but for some reason, it didn’t occur to her that she could find a career in this field. Being a horticulture production major showed her that she could find a job focusing on her passion: plants and, more specifically, flowers.


Olivia Joy DeWolf
Olivia is completing a 3-month internship (May–August 2023) at Neal Mast Greenhouses. Scholarship award: $1,500.

Olivia is currently a student at Kansas State University, majoring in Horticulture.  As Olivia looks to the future, she is excited about the opportunities to learn more about floriculture and greenhouse operations. Through both hands-on experience and her studies through school, she hopes to reach her goal of advancing in the floral greenhouse industry.

Stephen Burn
Stephen is completing a 6-month internship (May–August 2023) at Tagawa Greenhouses. Scholarship award: $6,000.

Stephen is an Iowa State University student majoring in Horticulture Greenhouse Plant Production.  Floriculture has been an interest for Stephen for most of his life. He plans to be able to grow his career in a floriculture greenhouse while doing what he is passionate about each day.


Mosmiller Internship Awards

Amara Limberis
Amara just completed a 13-week internship (February- May 2023) at Tiger Garden. Scholarship Award: $2,000. 
Amara is attending the University of Missouri and majoring in Hospitality Management. Amara hopes to continue her already well-rounded foundation in floral design. She intends to expand her education, make connections within the floral industry, and create new experiences in her life.


Gabriella Garcia
Gabriella is completing a 13-week internship (May-August 2023) with Jacksonville Flower Market. Scholarship Award $2,000. 
Gabriella is currently at Texas State University and is majoring in Horticulture. Gabriella’s admiration for botanical life began with the light-hearted experiences she had throughout her childhood in the garden with her family. She has gained experience in a greenhouse environment which has deepened her keenness for wanting to learn more about what the botanical world has to offer. Currently, she is exploring what is like to be a florist to potentially run a floral shop of her own.

Jaclyn Reding
Jaclyn just completed a 13-week internship (February – May 2023) with Central Iowa Floral, Inc. Scholarship Award $2,000. 
Jaclyn is attending Iowa State University and majoring in Agriculture Communication, minoring in Horticulture. She has a background in agriculture and a deep passion for both horticulture and floriculture.


Sumi Lee
Sumi is completing a 13-week internship (May-August 2023) with Mayesh Wholesale. Scholarship Award $2,000.

Sumi is attending North Carolina State University and majoring in Horticultural Science: Landscape Design, Gardens & Urban Environments Concentration. Her future career goals revolve primarily around her family’s business. Her parents are the proud owners of Willow Creek Farm Center. Once she graduates, she has discussed ideas of opening a flower shop with her mother and being near the venue so brides will always have a florist on hand if or when they need them.

Upon completion of their internships, students submit an in-depth report documenting their internship with photos and summaries of their experience. Past internship reports can be found here. Following their internships, each student receives a scholarship to help support them as they pursue futures in the industry.  

Interested students can learn more and apply by October 1 of each year. If you are an industry organization looking to employ interns, please get in touch with AFE’s Program Coordinator, Candice Musgrove, at cmusgrove@afeendowment.org.