Kayla Schnuell took a big step by leaving her hometown and moving closer to Gateway Technical College and the programs it offers. Helped by her college experience, she has taken even bigger steps since then to get her career off the ground.
Kayla immersed herself in her Gateway experience on her way to earning a Horticulture-Greenhouse and Floral degree. She will take many of the skills she’s learned in all aspects of horticulture to her career once she graduates in May 2010.
“The skills I’ve learned here are the skills I will take with me to my job,” says Kayla. “I’ve been told that the more instructors you learn from, the better off you’ll be. You learn different skills, different ways of approaching your job, from each instructor.”
Kayla says she’s learned much about her career from caring Gateway instructors who have taken the extra steps to ensure she had every opportunity to succeed in her education.
“The instructors here are great – they will do anything to help you meet the goals you’ve set for yourself. They take the extra step to offer you even more help if you need it.”
Gateway has also provided the opportunity for Kayla to learn about her future career from industry leaders. She competed twice in the American Institute of Floral Designers national symposium, placing in the top 20 this year. She was the only competing student from Wisconsin at the national event, in part because Gateway is the only college in Wisconsin with the ability to create an official Student American Institute of Floral Designers chapter. Schnuell is the president of the Gateway SAIFD.
She’s also earned scholarships through her association with SAIFD.
“Being in the club really helped me find a way to voice my opinion and speak out on different issues. Competing in the events taught me a lot of great tips and skills of the trade.”
Schnuell came to Gateway because she wanted nothing short of the opportunity to earn an associate degree in floral design – so she packed up her car and moved from Chilton, Wis., to Kenosha where she enrolled in the college.
“There were other colleges I could attend, but the most I could earn was a certificate. I really wanted to earn a degree, so I went to the only place in the state which offered a degree in floral design – Gateway.”