Sarah Hardman graduated from Harper Adams in 2013 and, using and applying her BSc (Hons) Agriculture degree experience, has carved out a career path she truly loves.
It was Sarah's placement year that opened her eyes to the potential of farm consultancy. She commented: "In appyling for placement, I was unsure whether to stick to what I knew or try something different. Going to different careers fairs it was the poultry one that impressed me the most, being forward thinking and focusing on efficiency.
"I achieved a poultry scholarship with Gressingham Foods, traveling down to East Anglia to work. The experience meant I could understand and advise on poultry business plans and strategy which has widen my horizons from my ruminant livestock background. I learnt the importance of record keeping, organisation and focusing on what the consumer actually wants.
"One of the reasons I chose to come to Harper was because of the placement year. I thought it would be invaluable, meaning I would be in better stead when looking for job roles after graduating."
For Sarah, the year really was invalubale as it was the stepping stone to her future career path. Speaking of her role now, Sarah said: "Working as a farm consultant I see numerous different farms on a weekly basis, who are full of enthusiastic farmers, looking at expanding, driving technical efficiency or looking after our environment.
I am now in my seventh year of being a farm consultant, with P&L Agri-Consulting, a job that satisfies my love of numbers and the more practical and technical side of agriculture."
Of her Harper Adams experience, Sarah shared her thoughts: "My degree helped with my career especially the business side of being a farm consultant, having learnt a great deal about diversification and creating business plans."
With this in mind, Sarah offered her advice as graduate, saying: "My advice would be to take time and care when looking at your placement year - it can really help shape your future career. Why not take the opportunity to look at something different that is out of your comfort zone? You might learn a whole different set of skills."