Alum of the Month: Brianna Vest Keninger, Production Manager at Otto’s Oasis in Charles City, Iowa

Brianna Vest Keninger graduated in Greenhouse Production and Management/Ornamental Production in May 2016.  Brianna is from Newton, Iowa.

Brianna’s major job responsibilities are growing the main spring crop, as well as as the winter poinsettia crop.  She helps with the buying, merchandising and pricing of items (hard good and live goods) that come into the store which includes attending buyer shows and putting together purchase orders for the spring/winter crops.  Brianna takes care of nursery stock and does occasional landscape maintenance and install at businesses.  She also helps manage their Mason City location.  Brianna provides customer service, floral design and takes care of social media and occasional website maintenance.

We asked Brianna what she likes most about her position.  What I like most about this position is that it always keeps me on my feet – the days go too fast, spring and fall are gone before you know it and winter is too long.  There is something new everyday to learn.  I get to meet a lot of great people and make new contacts all the time.  Picking out plants for the spring season is the best of all!  The greenhouse industry is my passion; there are so many aspects to the industry – it’s not just growing plants.  Overall, the best thing about my job is working for a small family business.  The freedom of wanting to learn new things is unlimited.

Following is the advice Brianna offers to current students:  Internships have helped me so much with the job I have now.  If it weren’t for internships I’m not sure where I would be at this point in life.  Do as many internships as you can!  And most of all, Hard work DOES pay off.  Patience is key and you will be rewarded.