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Ros Barsley Scholarship: Elin Cunningham

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26 March 2019

Elin Cunningham, 22, from Conwy Wales is a final year BSc (Hons) Bioveterinary Science student and Ros Barsley Scholarship.

Firstly, I would like to thank Ros Barsley for selecting myself from the wonderful applicants, I am incredibly grateful for her contribution to funding a Harper Adams scholar every year.

With my parents 5,722 miles away in Shanghai, China, this year of university is incredibly challenging. Without a base in the UK out of term time, financially supporting myself means stretching my student loan over additional months.

This scholarship allows me to stay in Harper to complete my university work, as well as travel to future job interviews for when my time at Harper sadly comes to an end. The scholarship will also hopefully fund a trip to Jersey, where I completed six months of my placement, where I can take a copy of my completed Honours Research Project and thank everyone who helped me collect data and complete my placement.

I will be visiting my parents in Shanghai for two weeks over the Easter break, and will now be able to spend the remaining two weeks tidying up my dissertation, as well as beginning my exam preparation and applying for jobs, which is a lot easier with this generous scholarship. I applied for the scholarship for financial support but it has meant a lot more than that, with enhancing my CV and gaining some much needed interview exposure!

Unusually, I am not from a farming background, but found myself at Harper studying BSc (Hons) Bio veterinary Science as I didn’t quite make the cut for vet school. In hindsight, what felt like the worst time of my life became one of the best decisions I’d ever made!

I grew up all over the world with my family, which gave me the basis of an insatiable love for travel, a respect for every culture across the world, and a good basis of language and adaptability. My time in Mozambique sparked my love of African wildlife, and after returning on my gap year (after a solo backpacking mission to Australia and New Zealand) to work on a game reserve, that love has only grown.

The first six months of my placement was spent as a conservation volunteer coordinator in South Africa, managing often large groups of international volunteers. My love for travel is genetic, with my parents currently in Shanghai, China, where I backpacked alone in summer 2016 (and have the scars to prove it!) and will return in Easter this year.

When I’m not in the library, you can find me in Shrewsbury rowing for Harper’s rowing team, on a horse, in the gym, or most likely on a plane to somewhere warm. My career goals are currently bird-conservation orientated, though veterinary laboratory work seems a much more sensible career goal for the moment, to continue my enthusiasm for parasites (my whole Honours Research Project is parasites in birds!).

Elin shared one interesting fact about herself with us.

“I have (so far) rescued and hand-reared a baby Samango monkey, 2 lesser bushbabies, and a 3-legged leopard tortoise.”

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