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How my placement year redefined my university experience: Meet Caryss Pickavance

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18 February 2020

Caryss Pickavance is a BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management student who's placement year has redefined her degree experience. Having identified her interests quite early into her studies, Caryss took the opportunity to dive into work with Carter Jonas, putting the theory into action.

"I've always liked how the REALM modules have a legal focus," Caryss explained, "so working for Carter Jonas was a great way to take this knowledge and put it into practise. I want to be able to take my passion from my studies out into my work and being part of an estate agent and property consultancy business was a great way to do this."

Of her role with Carter Jonas, Caryss commented: "There was so much varied work. Some days I was dealing with tenants which meant I gathered an understanding of how different people run their farming enterprises and how best to advise them going forward. Other days I would be out valuing land and property, building on the skills Harper has provided me with.

"Working in Cambridge was very different to working on the farms at home in Lancashire. While most of land was arable, everything was much bigger. Although it was different to what I'm familiar with, it meant I got to push myself to try new things and diversify my knowledge."

With updates to the Agriculture Bill, Caryss spoke about her interest in the legal changes: "The bill will guide farmers as to where to put their money more diversely. REALM students like myself will be able to help with environmental schemes and guide the way to advise on projects. Being able to shape the way people use natural capital will be an exciting adventure and I'm intrigued to see where it will go in the future."

Of her placement year overall, Caryss had a positive experience and is continuing to look at further opportunities in the industry. As a placement year is built into the structure of a Harper Adams degree, our students can explore their academic interests in the working world and begin to carve out the right career path for them.

Caryss commented: "The placement year is such a worthwhile chance to get working experience. It really helps to unlock opportunities in the field that you've trained to work in while helping to build upon skills that will be beneficial later in life.

"It also made me realise how everything you learn in first and second year suddenly clicks into place. All the things you have learnt come into play which makes your studies much more meaningful.

"Working has also given me much more confidence to speak to people. I've realised that there are no silly questions, that you should always ask - people are gerenally willing to help you."

To find out more information about our careers and placement opportunities, please click here. If you are interested in working within industry alongside earning a degree that matters, visit us on our campus Open Day, March 21, and discover the opportunities that await you. Register below. 

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