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Returning to education: Meet Oscar Smith

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10 March 2020

Returning to higher education after time away can be a challenge, especially to readjust to the demands of studying. However, Oscar Smith, BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Farm Business Management (Top Up) student, is proving that coming back to studying can be as an exciting experience as before.

Truthfully, Oscar had not anticipated returning to education. After completing his undergraduate study while working part time, Oscar used his experience work his way up the career ladder. He explained why he changed his mind, saying: "I had a friend that was visiting Harper Adams for an open day in the summer and was going with them as moral support.

"I had no intention of returning to study but visiting Harper changed everything. I was ridiculously impressed by the farming going on as well as the teaching level provided by the lecturers.

"It was a process of deliberation but after two or three weeks, I decided to give up the job I had been working on since my undergraduate degree to come to Harper for a top up degree."

Previously working on a dairy and arable farm, Oscar had two roles; he was a stockman for the dairy side of the business and a tractor driver on arable. Having worked for the farm for such a long time, and trained by the staff, Oscar was lined up to take over the arable side of the business. But his desire to learn more about the agriculture sector brought him to Harper, widening his horizons to the different kinds of farming and technology available to him,

Oscar commented on the influencing factors for coming to Harper Adams, saying: "I have more of a livestock background than arable or dairy - something I was intrigued to pursue. Along with this, the farm I worked on had installed a robot. Coupling these things together, one of the best things about Harper for me was the robotic dairy.

"With my working experience, it's been great to be able to come back and apply what I know, making the most of the educational facilties."

Oscar spoke about his educational decisions, saying: "I don't regret the path I have taken; I do wish I had come to Harper from the start though! I've benefited from my work but studying again has made me realise my dreams.

"I have a real passion for agricultural education and innovation - I want to find the best way to close the gap between consumer and producer. Whatever way I can achieve this is the dream.

"I thrive on the challenge."

If other students are looking at joining Harper Adams at a different time in their academic career, Oscar offers these words of wisdom: "Come with loads of enthusiasm, energy and an open mind. If you do, you'll fit in really well both socially and academically, no matter what stage you're at in your educational journey."

To see our campus for yourself and explore the facilities we have to offer, join us on our open day, March 21. You can register your interest below.

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