Student Spotlight: Tricia Ciglar

Tricia Ciglar

My name is Tricia Ciglar, and I’m from Winnipeg, MB. I’ve worked in finance as an accountant for over 25 years. In 2017, I was at a point in my career where sitting at a desk all day was getting tiring; I needed to find something else I could engage in.

One day, I was chatting with a friend about gardening. She's a big gardening hobbyist, and she mentioned her experience at Assiniboine taking a landscaping design course in the Prairie Horticulture program, which piqued my interest. I initially considered registering for a short course in the Master Gardener program, but my friend suggested I try the Prairie Horticulture program as she thought it would be more suited towards my interests. One course led to more, and five years later, I had completed all courses and the entire program.

Prior to being accepted into the program, I had never taken any online classes. It was definitely different and challenging at the start, but Assiniboine provided such great support right from the instructors, IT and everyone else along the way. The support was there when I needed it most and gave me the push I needed to keep going. I really enjoyed the flexibility of online classes at Assiniboine. I took one course at a time so that I could dedicate the time to engage and understand the course material. I received very high grades in each course I took.

The Prairie Horticulture program itself was amazing and very informative. My stream of study within the program was Landscape Design and Arboriculture. I’ve been able to apply the skills from the program into everyday gardening activities. Not only my own gardening, but I’ve had the privilege to design spaces for my co-workers and landscaping for family members. Last summer, I was able to use my knowledge from the program and apply my skills to a new project working with a client to consult, plan and draw the entire landscape of their front and backyard for a new build. Working with them to discover their wants and needs was such a great experience, and I enjoyed making our vision for the space a reality that fit within their budget.

Currently, I’m now leading an initiative at work to celebrate the business’ 50th anniversary by planning a tree planting event. I’m in charge of organizing and planning the layout. I’m really excited about the project.

My goal is to retire in a few years and begin volunteering for different organizations to gain experience and network within the industry. Following retirement, the initial idea was to focus on landscaping; however, after completing the Prairie Horticulture program, my interest has shifted a bit. I’d love to be able to eventually work with the City of Winnipeg, parks or other clients.