Living the Dream
Horticultural Technology and Applied Business Management alum, Jeff Levine, talks about his hands-on learning at the Thompson School, meeting industry professionals while in the classroom and his success as a Realtor in NH. Jeff took advantage of the Thompson School's third year option where students from majors such as Horticultural Technology or Civil Technology stay for a third year to complete a second major in Applied Business Management.
As a high school senior I was “living the dream.” Four years earlier I had started my own landscaping business and it was thriving. So it seemed only natural to further my education in the horticulture industry as I had hoped to continue in the landscaping profession after college. I quickly settled on The Thompson School of Applied Science at UNH. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
During my high school years, I was never engaged in learning, I was a C+ student at best. But the professors at the Thompson School inspired me to get involved and learning quickly became a passion of mine. The faculty took the initiative to get to know me on a personal level. Many were quick to adapt their teaching styles to meet my needs. They were extremely personal, attentive and utilized a hands-on approach to learning. I could always count on them being accessible before or after class to answer questions.
Attending the Thompson School was perfect for my needs. I enjoyed living on campus with traditional UNH students and taking advantage of all the school spirit that a large university offered. But when it was time to hit the books, I was able to take advantage of the smaller interactive classroom settings the Thompson School is known for.
Looking back on my experience at Thompson School, I think the hands on approach to learning is what really makes the school a special place. Classroom lectures were always followed up with practical in field experience and as a student I was encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone and interact with local business owners and to pursue internships. Many of the professors invited local professionals to speak about their respective industries and this proved to be invaluable because it exposed me to my current career as a real estate broker.
I have spent the past eight years working in the real estate sales industry as a Realtor. Currently I sell for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Portsmouth, NH. In 2010, I had the 2nd highest sales volume in the Portsmouth office and was the # 3 producer companywide in the entire State of NH. I’m just beginning to feel as though the hard work has really paid off and I am enjoying the success.
I am confident the Thompson School has been a key factor to my success both personally and professionally. The Thompson School prepared me well for the real world and in my opinion I was better prepared than many of my peers at the time. I left college confident, grounded and motivated to achieve my goals.
Moving forward I plan to continue my career in real estate sales and build my own portfolio of investment properties to own and manage. Today the Thompson School is still a very active part of my life. Several of the faculty have been ongoing mentors for me, I still lean on many of them for advice and support. In the past eight years I have been fortunate to have been invited as a guest speaker to address second year students on several occasions. It feels great to give to back to a place that has given so much to me!