Adding a Specialty

Samantha Edwards took on new skills to improve her marketability

Samantha Edwards

Sometimes a degree isn't enough. For Samantha Edwards, the Certificate Program in Landscape Architecture is the perfect complement to her B.S. in landscape design. Learning about the certificate through a former co-worker, who also completed the certificate, Edwards credits the curriculum in helping her find her niche: horticulture, as well as new skills to develop her horticultural focus.

"It's also given me a lot more confidence on the hardscape side," she adds. "Before, I never really knew that I could design fabulous outdoor hardscape structures. With the model making, exploration tools and studios, the courses gave me the confidence to experiment with hardscape items. The instructors helped me tap into this information that was in me all along."

With certificate in hand, Edwards is beginning the next leg of her career at Del Conte Landscaping (Fremont, Calif.), focusing on landscape design and sales. Combining knowledge from the B.A. and the certificate, Edwards is excited about her future. "A lot of my classes at Extension were wonderfully exaggerated forms of my undergrad classes—more detail-oriented," she says. "The instructors do a really good job of enveloping the students in as much practical knowledge as they can. It was just what I needed."