Student experiences

Steve Dorsett on placement

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26 February 2015

Steve Dorsett graduated in 2014 with BSc (Hons) Countryside and Environmental Management. He spoke to us just before his final exams, about life at Harper Adams and his placement work as a National Trust Ranger at Dudmaston Estate.

Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams? 

It was close to home and had an excellent graduate employment record.

What has been the best thing about your course?

Getting back into education, and retuning and updating academic skills.

What skills/knowledge have you gained that will be useful after you graduate?

A broad spectrum of skills and knowledge that are focused towards countryside career paths.

What sort of projects have you been involved in?

My final year research project was entomology based looking at bait and trap effects on arthropods.

How would you describe Harper Adams?

Vibrant, stimulating and enthusing.

How about the teaching?

It is excellent and thorough but well balanced.

What are the facilities like?

Substantial and spacious with the library being the facility I used most.

The social life is ….

Wide ranging and provide something for all.

What are your favourite memories of Harper Adams?

A rather interesting field trip to Anglesey.

Have you explored Shropshire and beyond campus?

I live in Shropshire so have explored most of it. Favourite places? Ludlow castle, Stokesay castle, Long Mynd, Stiperstones - too many to list!

Tell us about any extracurricular stuff you’re involved in.

I am a Member of Institute of Chartered Foresters and Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

Where did you spend placement?

National Trust Dudmaston Estate as a Ranger. I provided support in the management of estates woodland and forests, management and care of wider estate.

What would you do in a typical day?

Lots of different things ranging from firewood production to felling of trees.

What were the best things about placement?

Being outside working every day and wider networking

Have you been able to use anything you learned on placement in your final year?

Dudmaston Estate was the location for my final year research project selected through contacts made while on placement.

How will placement help you in the future?

It created wide ranging contacts within a specific career field.

What careers, in your experience, are available to land-based graduates?

Land based graduates in the rural sector have a wealth of options open to them whether it be agricultural, environmental or land management based. With the current trends towards sustainability and sustainable development the need for well trained, experienced graduates can only increase.

Do you think being a graduate will make a difference to your position and salary? If so, in what way?

Hopefully! I would like to think that prospective employers looking to employee graduates from Harper Adams would know that those applying had received their degrees from the most established land based and agricultural university in the country and that they will have attained a wide ranging skill and knowledge set applicable to their chosen career.

What advice do you have for a student interested in a similar career path? 

Unless you are 100% sure on your chosen career path keep you options open. Your time at Harper Adams will open many doors to careers you may never have considered. 

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