Shawna Budny's Internship Spotlight

December 5, 2022 Matthew Miller

Over the Summer many students across the United States conducted internships that are related to their career paths. In the “Institute of Applied Agriculture” (IAA) at the University of Maryland, College Park, many of the students conducted their internships after they were at least finished one year in the IAA. Some students conducted their internship in the state of Maryland and others were out of state. Students did their internships at golf courses, parks, greenhouse facilities, nurseries, family farms, and landscape companies. Most of the students started their internship at the end of May and finished at the end of August. One of the students in the IAA, Shawna Budny, conducted her summer internship this summer.

Budny is from Baltimore, Maryland, and is now in her 5th semester within the IAA at the University of Maryland, majoring in Ornamental Horticulture. Budny conducted her internship at “The Perennial Farm”, a greenhouse facility in Glen Arm, Maryland. Budny was a part of the plant maintenance team where her duties and responsibilities consisted of moving potted plants around the greenhouses, repotting plants, planting some plants by bare-root planting, and cutting/pruning plants in the greenhouse. Something that she thought was interesting that she learned was a technique called row running. She explains row running as "when we would space the pots in rows every other space so that it would give proper aeration for the plants.” Budny’s internship started on May 23rd, 2022. She worked Monday-Thursday, 8 hours per day and her internship ended on August 25th, 2022.

Over time Budny working at “The Perennial Farm”, she learned many things while she was working. She learned how a greenhouse facility operates. She also learned how different plants get pruned a certain way. She thought her internship was very valuable and she gained a lot of knowledge from it.

Budny selected this internship site because of three main reasons. The first reason is she wanted to work in a greenhouse setting with ornamentals. The second reason is that she wanted to learn different types of plants and how to go about managing them. This greenhouse facility would also look good on her resume and fit well with her major. The third reason why she chose this site is because of her interest in her career path. Budny stated, “I am interested in this type of career because I find greenhouses very interesting as you can control the environment plants grow in” and she like the natural component of it.

Over the summer of 2022 Budny had an overall good experience at her internship at “The Perennial Farms.” Her experience reassured her that she would like to work in a greenhouse setting again, but maybe in a smaller greenhouse facility. Her plans are to finish her bachelor’s degree in environmental horticulture and continue working in greenhouses. The skills she learned from classes and her internship experience she can use in her future career.