Jack first learnt of the BBM Global Industries Scholarships meeting with Graham Ross, Australian horticulture guru. Graham further aided Jack on planning his itinerary after he was successful in being awarded a scholarship. Jack traveled to the United Kingdom in 2017 to complete a variety of work placements that included Kew Gardens and the Chelsea Flower Show.
Jack’s scholarship was, like many of our scholars, his first solo trip overseas. This, while challenging, allowed him to develop the skills necessary for his current roles.
“The BBM Scholarship taught me many things, all of which helped me mature both personally and professionally. Some specific examples include:
- Communication. The importance of developing and portraying a good set of communications skills is invaluable, especially when you are working with so many different stakeholders and interacting with the public.
- Planning. I realised this during the planning stage of my scholarship. I spent a lot of time researching and then trying to organise my work placements, not relying on other people to do it on my behalf.
- Leveraging your network: I was lucky enough to have Graham Ross as a mentor in Australia who recommended I should apply for the scholarship and then after my successful application, Graham placed me in contact with Andrew Fisher Tomlin who became my mentor in the UK. I learnt the importance of creating and having a network of contacts and how displaying the right attitude to these people is crucial in carrying you forward in your career.
- Planning: The scholarship also taught me how planning and organisation are very important and can save a lot of time, effort, stress and money. Like the saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin. In saying this, even when you do plan and prepare well, it doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter obstacles.
- Resilience: I did encounter some obstacles and setbacks that were completely out of my control. One was as simple as I sent an email and never heard back, another was I had planned to join a team of landscapers who were going to be building a show garden @ Chelsea Flower show and very late on in the planning they pulled out, however instead of letting this stop me I got in contact with Andrew and he was able to put me in contact with another designer exhibiting who had space on his team which turned the setback into an opportunity”
Since returning, Jack has been busy making a place for himself in the Horticulture industry. Jack is currently working for Flower Power in Terrey Hills and has recently been appointed the President of YoungHort AUS.
In 2020 Jack will be relocating to Melbourne to study Garden Design for two years at the newly launched London College of Garden Design, Melbourne. LCGD is one of the leading garden design colleges in the UK. Andrew Fisher Tomlin is a Director for the college and a mentor to Jack, thanks to his time away on his scholarship. Fisher Tomlin recently partnered with award winning garden designer Brent Reid to open LCGD Melbourne. Jack has dubbed this opportunity a career highlight.
Jack hopes to make an impact on the Horticulture industry through serving the general public and supporting the next generation of horticulturalists.
As a champion of young horticulturalists Jack has a message for those interested in the trade.
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and get involved as that is the way you get to know people and start building that network. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and in my view as long as you are willing to listen and learn then the majority of people in the industry will be willing to help out. If you want to meet a group of like minded individuals and get involved in securing the future of Horticulture in Australia then find Young Hort AU on Facebook and Instagram”