Students who graduate from Harper Adams play an integral role in encouraging, influencing and supporting the aspirations of those who follow. They prove excellent role models, setting the standard which benefits and guides our future graduates along their chosen career path.
Philippa Gray is a John Oldacre Foundation scholarship student who has been helping to support the next generation of agriculture students by working on the Greatest Online Agricultural Show - a hugely successful event which filled the void of shows being cancelled all over the country due to coronavirus.
We asked her to tell you about the experience and the benefits of being a scholarship student at Harper Adams:
Through my work at Innovation for Agriculture, I was involved in organising the Greatest Online Agricultural Show, created by David Hill. This online event aimed to provide a platform for people and organisations that would be missing out on opportunities due to the necessary cancellation of agricultural shows around the country.
As such an event had not been hosted on this scale before, the biggest challenges were establishing online platforms within the short time frame. There were livestock classes, trade stands and video theatres, with all donations going to farming charities.
The support from the agricultural community was fantastic, with many organisations keen to be involved. On the day we had 5,000 online visitors and overall the show raised £20,000 for charity.
The importance of a scholarship
I grew up on a small family farm and chose to study agriculture to learn how I could develop the farm business. I knew I wanted to study on a rural campus and an onsite farm was an important element of that.
Harper Adams was the obvious choice for me because of its excellent industry reputation and high graduate employment percentage. I went on a Harper Adams Experience weekend and enjoyed the feel of the campus.
I saw the John Oldacre Scholarship on the Harper Adams website. Receiving the scholarship has allowed me to live on campus and focus on my studies, whilst also financially supporting resources I need for my research project.
I am now studying for an MSc in Agricultural Sciences and Production Systems after graduating last year with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture with Animal Science.
Like most students, my lectures have had to move online due to Covid-19. Thanks to online platforms such as Microsoft Teams, we have still been able to have real time discussions as well as access to lecture materials. My research project will now also be using online platforms to interview farmers around the country.
It’s been an eventful journey and, looking back, if I could give myself advice about how to approach university, it would be to take every available opportunity. Good grades are important but involvement in clubs, projects or competitions will also improve a CV as well as creating a healthier work-life balance.