We love our rural campus, set on a working farm that gives our students the opportunity to engage with different areas of the UK supply chain between field and fork. Although changing life up from a city-scape to the countryside might seem daunting to some, Luchia Perez, a MSc Agricultural Sciences and Production Systems student, shared how learning in a rural area was the right decision for her.
“I carried out my undergraduate at a city based university,” Luchia said. “Home is in the countryside yet, despite this, I was always made to feel that those who remained in a rural area would be ‘left behind’ in terms of job opportunities, especially compared to those who moved out to find work in the big cities. I took the chance with the city lifestyle but found myself coming home every weekend because I missed the family farm too much!”
With city-living not quite the right fit, Luchia sought a new environment to continue her studies. She commented: “Harper was a welcomed change once I started my postgraduate. I remember my first day I parked next to a field full of cows and it just felt like home. I’d never had this feeling in my undergrad. Truthfully, I was actually really annoyed that I hadn't completed an undergraduate here as the community was friendly, welcoming and everyone had a shared love of the great outdoors!”
Luchia shared her other reasons for returning, explaining: “While I had been to Harper to complete a BASIS course and knew a little about the campus feeling, it was the university’s reputation that drew me back. With high quality courses, I was wiser about what to look out for as a postgraduate. I knew what I was looking to gain from a course and the choice of modules and teaching methods at Harper stood out to me.”
When commenting on her best experiences at Harper so far, Luchia answered: “There have been so many great things about studying at Harper but the best thing has to be the resources and support that are available to students.
“Particularly, the Bamford library is an amazing resource, filled with every book you could ever need on agriculture. The staff are extremely helpful and have always gone above and beyond to help me. As a distance learner the online resources have been so invaluable to me and are easy to navigate with the online portals Harper has set up.
“Support wise, the postgraduate staff are brilliant! There have been many times where working full time has made it difficult for me to either get onto campus or logistically complete tasks but they are always at the end of the phone, happy to work out a solution. It always feels like they are on my side.”
Having worked alongside her studies, Luchia is working hard to make a name for herself, backed by the skills she has gained through her Masters. She said: “Studying at Harper has been such a credit to my CV and has really helped me get a footing in the agricultural industry. I am still at ADAS and loving it. It’s really nice to be surrounded by so much innovation and knowledgeable people.
“At ADAS there is no such thing as an average day as I have the opportunity to carry out a diversity of tasks. These have included writing harvest reports, crop sampling and evaluating shea nut supply chain issues within Africa!”
In regards to her future ambitions, Luchia remarked: “Currently all I hope is that I can keep on doing a job which I enjoy. I love learning and I feel that I do this on a daily basis at ADAS. I hope to one day undertake my full BASIS and improve my skills so I can contribute to the agricultural industry even further.”
With a passion for agriculture, Luchia offered some advice to those seeking a similar path. She suggested: “Sometimes it’s hard to think so far into the future when you are contemplating going to university, but the best advice I would give would be to just try and think about what it is you want to achieve out of your degree.
“It’s really easy to go into something without thinking it through properly when you are younger. You can find yourself in a position where people are giving you lots of different advice but you have to remember that you’re the one doing the course for the next few years of your life, not them. So make sure it’s something that you want to do and that will lead to something you’ll enjoy at the end!”
Should you be interested in further taught postgraduate study with us at Harper Adams, you can see our course pages for more information. For further information about how you can settle into life on campus in the coming academic year, check out our accommodation guide and SU for information on activities and clubs to get you settled in.