From education to employment

Garden Design Award for SERC Student

Garden Design student, Kateryna Zaichyk, has won first prize in two categories at the national Garden and Landscape Designers Association (GLDA) Student Design Competition.

Kateryna’s keen eye and green fingers earned her first place for the Best Student Concept Master Plan Design and Best Innovative Concept Detail Award 2019.

A long-time gardening enthusiast, Kateryna has previously studied Environment Interior and Exterior Design at Kyiv State Institute of Decorative and Applied Art and Design M. Boychuk in Ukraine before moving to Northern Ireland in 2013.

Following encouragement from Michael O’Reilly, a past student of horticulture at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) and Belfast-based garden and landscape designer at the Titanic Expo Self-Build Show, she enrolled to study part-time a Level 2 in Garden Design which runs from the Holywood Campus.

Kateryna said, “My course at SERC has really allowed me to improve my knowledge on different landscapes and environments. I studied a little bit of landscape design in Ukraine, but Northern Ireland it is completely different – different plants, a different climate, other standards, a different architecture and mentality. Each country has its own unique characteristics. That is why I went enrolled at SERC to learn more about Northern Irish plants and improve my knowledge and skills.”

She continued, “Studying part time also means that I can also manage and develop my business: Kateryna Zaichyk Art and Design and spend quality time with my two daughters.”

Speaking about the competition, Kateryna said, “It is a great honour for me to win both of these awards at this year’s GLDA competition. The competition was tough but the mentoring and support I received from my tutors at SERC helped me remain calm under pressure and really allowed me to showcase my skills and innovative ideas.

She added, “I am particularly pleased to win the new inaugural All-Ireland Best Innovative Concept Detail Award 2019, which was open to both student and graduate entries.

“This competition taught me that that hard work pays off. I cannot put into words how happy I am. I am very grateful to all the GLDA organisers and sponsors for the opportunity to show my ideas. I am so pleased I joined SERC in September and very grateful for all the encouragement and support given to me throughout my course.”

Joanna Loane, SERC Lecturer in Horticulture said, “This is a fantastic achievement for Kateryna and I am proud to see that her hard work and dedication to her course and career is being recognised and celebrated. I wish Kateryna luck in future competitions and in her ever-blossoming career in garden landscape and design”

Transform your Future with a part-time course at SERC by visiting our open evening on Wednesday 5 June, 4pm – 8pm Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards

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