YoungHort director, Jack Shilley

We hear from the organiser of next week's first YoungHort conference at RHS Wisley

Why did you decide to study Horticulture?
I have always wanted to become a horticulturist from a very young age. In 2009, after having a garden at RHS Chelsea, it really became a passion of mine.

Whats your course like and whats your favourite subject?
The course is brilliant. I am on a level 3 extended diploma at Sparsholt College Hampshire and there are a huge variety of topics. It really is a great, well-rounded course. I have to say I am more of a plantsman, so I really enjoy the plant propagation and identification topics that we do at college.

How did you end up being YoungHort director?
The idea for YoungHort began on Twitter, when I tweeted that there should be an event where all the young horticulturists can get together, have a good time and network with industry experts. I was egged on by my fellow Twitter followers and I formalised the group myself in December 2012.

What kinds of things do you do for YoungHort in a typical week?
At the moment I am mainly computer based with YoungHort, organising events, getting press and written articles sorted, managing and updating the website, setting up events and keeping YoungHort in the social media eye. Hopefully soon I will be out and about promoting YoungHort too with my fellow ambassadors. We have a conference at Wisley on 7 March.

How do you wind down after a hard day at college/work?
I love to just potter around the greenhouse or the garden if I am at home but I do also enjoy burning off some steam in the gym. Couldn't be more different from the relaxing garden environment.

What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in horticulture?
Stick at it. Get as much practical and work experience as possible so that you can find a well-paid position doing something you love. Young people shouldn't listen to others who say it’s for the under-qualified or that it’s underpaid. Get the experience and qualifications, and you can really go far.

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