Knowing what you want from your high education journey can feel like a difficult decision. While open days are a great chance to ask questions and discover more about courses, living away from home in a new environment with people you have not met before can be a challenging experience.
However, with the Harper Adams Experience, you not only get to have a taste of our degrees that matter, you also get to try out campus life through a range of activities and overnight stay. Before joining us, Hannah Scott-Cook took on the Harper Adams Experience which inspired a new degree pathway.
Hannah spoke about her decision to study agriculture: “When I was studying my A Levels, no one had gone on to do agriculture from my school. The teachers didn’t really know how to advise me but they were really supportive when I was researching my options.
“I only really decided to pursue agriculture fairly close to the application deadline - six weeks in fact! I had thought I wanted to study veterinary physiotherapy but it was the Harper Adams Experience that changed my mind.”
Hannah joined us on campus for a two-day experience, inviting prospective students to discover more about life on campus and the amazing things that happen here. Undertaking a range of tasks as well as trying out their chosen degree course for a day, students get to live out university life before they make their decision.
“In wanting to study veterinary physiotherapy, I signed up to experience a day in the life of that course path. On the second day of HAE, everyone is randomly assigned to another degree course to allow them to see another aspect of what Harper does through the full cycle from field to fork.
“My taster course was from the BSc (Hons) Agriculture pathway, looking at a module to do with crops. I went on a crop walk with Louisa Dines and I remember thinking that it was amazing how she knew so much about the subject when I had never even considered the science behind it. I was also really inspired to see a female academic in a STEM subject - it made the course feel more accessible to me.
“From the experience, I looked further into the other modules on the degree course and realised there was a lot more to agriculture than I had ever realised.”
Now in her second year, Hannah is learning more and more about agriculture and the various opportunities for careers in the supply chain. She commented: “At Harper, you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. Whether its a project, extra work, or farm experience, staff will help you to enable opportunities that help you achieve your dreams.
“The Development Trust is an excellent source for this help and support. This year I was awarded an ABN Poultry scholarship which has opened up an opportunity for my placement year. My application was supported by my ten week placement on the Harper farm where I worked on the poultry unit. Poultry is definitely my main interest and something I’m excited to pursue throughout my studies and into the future.”
Coming from a non-farming background, Hannah certainly faced some challenges. However, she has taken them in her stride, explaining: “Even as a city girl, I’ve always loved the countryside. There were lots of things I didn’t know about farming that I worked hard to learn; if I heard about something I didn’t know, I would go and read about it. Whether it be through a textbook or from a magazine, I found I actually understood a lot more than I realised and developed my understanding through my own research.
“Harper is the perfect place to study with supportive staff and a great environment. You really get to experience this at HAE - it changed everything for me. First hand agricultural experience has made such a difference to my experience so I’m trying to do the same for others.
“I've been going back to my old school in Birmingham to try and bring agriculture to the city. Having students with a variety of backgrounds and views can only make your university experience even richer and diversify the industry. Having a mixture of backgrounds will make progress even better.”