Name:  Emily Swihart

Title and Company:  Design Specialist/Field Coordinator with Trees Forever

Hometown:  New Liberty, Iowa

Major and Graduation Date:  Horticulture, May 2007

Major Job/Position Responsibilities:  I am responsible for volunteer coordination in eastern Iowa, I managee our Trails Visioning Program and I am the landscape designer on staff with my work focusing on trail enhancements.  I work with communities to plan, seek funding for and implement projects.  I host educational opportunities including presentations, walkabout workshops and hands-on demonstrations.

What you like most about your job/position:  By working with volunteers throughout Iowa, I have the great privilege of supporting community enhancement projects, sharing a passion for our natural resources and outdoor spaces and developing lasting friendships.
My position at Trees Forever is flexible which permits work-life balance and sometimes includes involving my children in my work.  The flexibility also means that no day is the same as any other.  The variety of tasks, diversity of people, and abundance of travel create an environment of continuing education and excitement.

What advice would you give to current students:  As you move through your formal education, don’t forget to also seize opportunities outside of the classroom.  Try things that intimidate you, pursue opportunities that challenge your abilities, get to know people who are different than you; all this will help make you a more interesting and employable graduate.  And DO NOT underestimate the incredible resource the people of Iowa State provide.  Instructors, graduate students, and classmates are extremely connected, helpful, and eager to help you succeed…all you need to do is ask for their assistance.