Monika Hawker, a recent floral design graduate, did her internship at Kalaheo Flowers and Gardens in Kalaheo, HI. Every day she woke up and began working on the daily orders which consisted of different client accounts at some of the hotels and resorts in Poipu, which is a tourist area of the island. Kalaheo Flowers and Gardens makes floral designs for every new guest that comes to the hotel Koa Kea each day, and they would also do lobby pieces for a few different hotels on top of any other orders that they received; although they mainly focused on the hotels and resorts. Some of Monika's time was spent working on the farm as well. The farm consisted of 15 acres of different tropical flowers, Norfolk pines (which they sell during Christmas), Macadamia nut trees, pineapples, and other assorted fruit trees. During the day, and throughout the mornings, Monika would help harvest flowers, greens, and any other products that they needed for that day. Every Tuesday an employee came and would do a giant harvest that would help them out greatly for the week so they didn't have to go out and get massive amounts of flowers, only just a few as they ran out during the day. While she was there she lived with her boss and their family. “They are an amazing family!” Monika said she learned so much while she was there "especially since at BYU-I we don't get the opportunity very often to work with tropical species. I would say some of the best things that I took from my internship were first, a great cultural experience. I know Kauai is not foreign by any means, but the family I worked for is mainly Japanese, and the island itself has a very distinct culture. It was so fun to get more exposure to different cultural aspects of things. Second, I learned how to work with tropical flowers which does give me an edge when looking for a job because you have been taught how to work with not only mainland flowers, but tropical species as well. Third, I really learned how a floral business ran. There were times when I would be at the shop, in town, or up at the farm working by myself. It gave me a better sense of responsibility and knowledge about what the ups and downs to run a floral business are and how to handle them. Overall it was an amazing experience that I would love to go back and do again sometime! Hopefully sooner than later! For anyone in the future who gets the opportunity to work here my only advice would be to be prepared to work hard, get a little dirty and have a blast!" She said that this internship she did “is perfect for those who don't mind working hard and big cockroaches!” Monika wishes the best of luck to all students on any of their internships.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.