Student Profile - Thomas James

Harper Adams has a fantastic reputation recognised by employers which helps give that added advantage in the job market, while the standard of teaching is exceptional.

“A degree in Food and Consumer Studies offers a broad knowledge of the food industry building the foundations to go into any food sector,” says Thomas James, who is now in the final year of his degree.  Tom, from Telford, spent his work placement with MMUK, a citrus fruit importer supplying the likes of Tesco and M&S. “During my time I had several roles as I was moved around the departments through the year to give me a greater knowledge of the business and varied work experience.  For instance, I worked as a quality controller for citrus fruit and also as a sales operative. The year’s work experience gives me a competitive advantage over other graduates who have completed a course without the year in industry.” As well as helping Tom to develop generic skills to carry into future jobs, Tom says the experience has boosted his drive to succeed: “The opportunity to get a taste of working in a graduate level role has given me an added motivation to study hard in my final year.”

The 22-year-old, says his course has constantly kept him interested and challenged: “The variety of modules meant lectures were kept interesting in their own right while they also linked up to result in a good overall knowledge of the food industry. The course involved various practicals at the food academy such as making food products like cheese and sausages. This gave the opportunity to see theory studied in practice. Lecturers have experienced many sectors of the food industry meaning that while they teach the academic side of the module, they also have 1st hand experience of working in the sector to pass on to students. “

Tom is hoping to be accepted onto a food-related graduate training scheme after he leaves Harper Adams.