Her grandmother’s garden and her mother’s many houseplants were the inspiration for a career in horticulture for Megan Goodell. Following a childhood in Grand Forks and ten years in Colorado Springs, Megan moved to Rugby to live with her aunt and uncle, Helen and Rodney. “I knew I wanted to pursue horticulture after cannabis became legal in Colorado,” said Megan. “That caused a cultural shift with more people becoming interested in plants. They want houseplants and gardens, and with COVID-19 last year the whole industry saw a major boom.”
Megan chose Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) because it fit all her criteria. “It had great horticulture programs, was close to my aunt’s house, and it was affordable. At the time it felt like destiny and it still feels like that. Everything came together and worked out perfectly. I liked the smaller class sizes and all of my teachers, especially Diane Beckman. She was inspiring because she’s a Midwest flora encyclopedia. You can point to pretty much any plant outside and she’ll know what it is. She was also a small business owner, and taught almost all my classes. I still have a couple of plants from my propagation class.”
“Overall I think going to DCB set me up for success and gave me a path to where I want to go...”
Dakota College’s affordability enabled Megan to achieve an important goal: graduating with no debt. “The cost was reasonable and I had a side job the whole time I was in college, so I could start my career without student debt. That made a huge difference in my life,” said Megan. She graduated in 2019 with a degree in floral design and greenhouse technology.
Shortly after graduation, Megan started working at a gardening and gift shop in Fargo, where she’s now the assistant greenhouse manager. “My job is great. It’s so much fun and so rewarding. I work the typical 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday, and I love it. My job is very seasonal. I do landscaping in the summer, and design containers in the winter. In the spring we’re very busy in the greenhouse. The work matches perfectly with what I learned at DCB.”
Dakota College not only launched Megan’s career, but has carried over into her social life. “I met Audrey when we were in the same program at DCB, and now she’s my roommate and coworker.” Megan’s love of plants is evident at home as well. “I have 92 houseplants at last count, and do a cool container garden on my deck in the summer.”
Megan’s advice for anyone choosing a college is to go to a school you can afford. “Overall I think going to DCB set me up for success and gave me a path to where I want to go.” She wants to help others on that path as well. “I’m grateful for all my aunt and uncle did for me, and I hope to pay it forward someday.”