Having had his interests in conservation inspired after accompanying his father around the world, Raj Pandya decided to sharpen his skills by studying BSc (Hons) Applied Zoology at Harper Adams.
“I was really lucky to explore the world with join him, and be exposed to so much including various animal species, it is something I relished…including the time we were charged by a bull elephant.”
After childhood experiences like this, it is no surprise that Raj wanted to pursue Zoology.
“I chose to study at Harper Adams because the course was a new initiative for the university, and after researching it further I felt like our two goals married up nicely.”
The 23-year-old adds that: “I loved the campus; it has a real connection with nature and is surrounded by wildlife and greenery. For anyone looking to a nature or animal course you could not ask for a better campus.
“My lecturers have been fantastic too; they have helped steer me to where I am today.
“They are committed to their students' academic and personal development, and as a result there is a real sense of mentorship here at Harper Adams, which I doubt you would find at bigger institutions.”
Raj also credits his degree in giving him the knowledge and opportunities to make the best decisions for his future - including his placement year with Mexican Sea Turtle Conservation NGO, La Tortuga Viva.
“I was supposed to go out to Mexico and help release the sea turtles with the team, but due to Covid-19 that could not happen, but we adapted and improvised!
“My role was focused on evolving some of their existing projects and expanding their outreach to the rest of the world and creating educational connections in the UK,” says Raj.
“What we have in the UK is a massive asset to the charity, and what I was doing here was reinforcing the work they were doing out there in Mexico.”
The final-year student from Bishop’s Stortford, Essex, has an open invitation to help with sea turtle conservation in Mexico.
“I have a hunger to get out there, but, in the meantime, I am enjoying my fourth-year course, especially Simon Segar’s, ‘Population and Community Ecology’ module.
“I am excited to see what the future holds,” says Raj, who also adds that his time at Harper has been “unforgettable and extraordinary.”
If you’re looking for similar opportunities in the world of conservation, look at our Zoology courses