Student Spotlight: AGI Entrepreneur Andrew Emanuels

young man standing in front of a landscaping trailer

Andrew Emanuels got his first job cutting grass at age 8. By the time he was a high school senior, he was managing 32 landscaping accounts and two crews. Today, the Smithfield, North Carolina, native is studying agribusiness in the NC State Agricultural Institute and serving as a United States Coast Guard reservist.

His career goal may be “TBD,” but all signs point to success for this extraordinary student-entrepreneur.

Why did you choose the Agricultural Institute?

First things first, I applied to the Agriculture Institute due to my trade, landscape subcontractor. I started my own landscaping company my junior year of high school and it took off from there.

What is your career goal?

To be honest, my career goal is to be determined. I’m interested in multiple businesses, not just landscaping. I’m intrigued with property management.

How has your experience at NC State helped prepare you for your future?

When I came to NC State, my mind opened up to a new world.

When I came to NC State my freshmen year, my mind opened up to a new world. I began making new friends from all around the state and beyond. As I grew these relationships, I got a better understanding of what life was like in every corner of this great state and not only became more educated but gained some really good contacts.

I did an internship this summer with the Carteret County Managers Office and shadowed the county manager every day. I met a lot of local ‘movers and shakers’ and learned more about the local community. I’m kind of a networking junkie … this world is smaller than you think. I’m currently part of Build Office Managers Association and Triangle Apartment Association which are networking ‘clubs’ for local businesses.

Dr. Phillips, Dr. Russ and Dr. Wilson have been among the most influential people to me here in CALS; they’re all humble, real people who get it and understand the average ordinary person.

How have you balanced your duties as a Reservist Guardsman with your studies? Has it been difficult?

Being a reservist in the United States Coast Guard can get difficult at times with trying to maintain my normal class and work schedule on top of my duties that are expected of me at the station I serve at, Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. In the end, it is worth it and I would not trade it for anything.

What have you learned here that you’ll take with you when you graduate?

It’s been one interesting journey and I’m grateful for the number of people who have helped me along the way. Eventually, it’ll be me helping that same beginner like me. When I leave here after graduation, I will carry on the amazing relationships I’ve established here at NC State, many at that! Also with that, I will take with me the strong skill set in networking strategies that I’ve obtained over the years here at NC State; it has given me purpose and helped me become more driven.

What advice would you give someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?

Anyone looking to do something similar to what I have done here at NC State, I’d say go for it and don’t look back. In these recent years here at NC State, I’ve learned that in order to stay on the straight and narrow, you need faith and strength to overcome the challenges/adversity. Don’t ever cave and always press forward.

You can make a difference in the lives of students like Andrew!

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