Harper Adams Entrepreneur in Residence Zoe Harrison has spoken to BBC Shropshire’s Jim Hawkins in his ‘In the Cool Seat’ feature about being a mature student at the university and how she has returned to the Harper Adams to share her knowledge with other budding entrepreneurs.
The founder of Butterbelle – a company specialising in sustainable nut butters - Zoe said that her experiences as a mature student at the university were “really great! I was really welcomed and really well supported and there was, and is, plenty of support available for mature students.”
“We were so fortunate to have very close links with industry, having visiting lecturers coming in from industry teaching us - we learned the theory and then put it into practical context on site and that was invaluable”, adds Zoe, who studied Food, Nutrition and Wellbeing at HAU from 2012-2016.
After her own business aspirations were nurtured at Harper Adams, Zoe has now returned to university to help others with the same ambitions.
“I was invited to speak as part of a module called Global Issues and their Businesses Impact and a year later I was appointed as Entrepreneur in Residence. I lecture in areas such as product development and lead the enterprise studies module.
A lot of students come [to Harper Adams] with an idea about a business which they want to start and we really nurture that and move them along the channels they need to move through.”
Zoe admits that she also benefits from her role at the university: “It’s wonderful because not only am I sharing my industry insights but they have fantastic ideas and it is just a wonderful thing to be able to be in a learning environment because you can never become complacent.”
You can hear the full interview here.