Let's have a talk about what it's done for me both in the retail side of designing and in the events side of designing.
First of all, there is a study of nomenclature that is beyond words! You have to know your medium you are working with, am I right? If you don't know about the flowers and plants you are working with, how can you take care of them the best way? The in-depth study of the flowers, foliage, and plants is second-to-none. I would venture to say to ask any EMC graduate what was one of the biggest challenges they had, they would tell you the Nomenclature Assignment! BUT, that said, I have a reference that is beyond compare when it comes to knowing how best to care and handle the flowers I like to work with and even those that I hadn't worked with before. Knowing not only how to care and handle them is huge, but also it helps you get to know the flowers and to know what is suitable for the design at hand. If you know what type of longevity a flower has, you'll be better equipped to know how to use it. For instance, you can attempt to use young hydrangea blooms (as opposed to the "antiqued" varieties) in a corsage or boutonniere, but you will most likely be sorry if you are expecting them to hold up all day out of water. Now, this might seem like a "duh" moment, but it's true, not everyone knows it's best not to use fresh hydrangea in that manner.
Secondly, on the retail side, I've never had any issue with coming up with a design for my website or creating something that will be pleasing to my clients but still give them that little difference that sets my designs apart from the rest of the cookie-cutter designs on the internet. It's in the way I choose the flower combination or the color palette, or maybe even just the extra touch that I add to the look of the design. Aren't you going for standing out to your audience? Don't take that lightly. It can make the difference in your cash flow at the end of the day!
Thirdly, it affects how I design events for clients. We all are challenged by our clientele being visually stimulated in this day and age. It's a struggle to keep up with the latest and greatest of what they demand. What I've found is that I've learned to take what they bring me and turn it into a vision of what they want and not a carbon-copy design from Pinterest. The tools that you learn to give you the ability to also figure out the mechanics behind what you want to build and create and go beyond what you ever could have imagined! No more, learning the latest tip, trick or technique. Learn how to create your own from mastering the mechanics, combining techniques and forming your own signature styling. You'll find that your customers will come back to you time and time again because you keep bringing them a higher level. THIS is what will keep you on your toes and designing into this next decade and beyond.
And lastly, ONE of THE most important things that EMC brought to my life--COMMUNITY. The group of people that I started out learning with became some of my best friends in the industry. THIS is what brings about the ultimate difference. Having those that you can work with, learn with, create with and grow with, makes the challenging times in this industry worth every minute.
If it sounds like I'm tooting EMC's horn, well, I AM! EMC isn't just a class, it's a way to thinking and a community. The transformation that comes from working on something that you love and realizing through the dedication of that year-long journey brings such fulfillment and growth--both design-wise and personally.