A passion for agriculture and property which began on her family farm in Cornwall drew BSc (Hons) Rural Property Management student Liv Addison-Carter to Harper Adams as a prospective student.
While looking for university courses Liv, originally from Suffolk, saw Harper’s property degrees and realised that she had found her niche. She explained: “I've always been interested in property – family days out were to stately homes and castles so it kind of became my thing. I saw Rural Property and the modules with things like historical buildings, event planning and I thought ‘actually, that’s what I want to do.’
“I think my passion did also develop from coming from a farming background, not that it matters, but it’s something that I wanted to look into before I started at Harper.”
When choosing the university for her, the reputation and facilities at Harper Adams spoke for themselves, as Liv said: “I'm a young farmer so I knew what the crack was with Harper.
“I came for an Open Day with my dad, because you have to really to get a feel for the place first. I looked around and saw the accommodation, the layout, and the surrounding area and thought ‘that’s for me!’
"I didn’t bother going to my other choices.”
Liv values the importance of community spirit, – another box that Harper ticked for her, and since beginning her studies at University, has got involved in some of the many societies available at Harper Adams, including through her role as Chairlady of the Land Management Society
“I think it’s important that if you're going to have a community, you have to be able to walk everywhere. If you can't walk from one side of campus to the other in in 10 minutes then you're not going to create the kind of community that Harper has, and I think it’s really important that because we're all so close – there’s no divide, everyone mucks in together.
“Everyone knows everyone, when you end up in the SU, or you’re out in town, everyone speaks to everyone and it’s such a community – it’s something that my friends from home at other unis, that are not necessarily doing a land-based course, they don't have it and it comes from being a campus and it comes from everyone being nice.
“My advice for coming to Harper would be to muck in to get the best out of your time here.
“Join things, join societies, join clubs, you know go to things, go to events because you will meet so many people - friends you will make for life - but also go to talks, you'll make industry contacts that could be really beneficial for you.
“So, for example, I'm now talking on LinkedIn to a guest speaker we had in a lecture and she said she might offer a placement, so just muck in!”
Whilst she hasn’t committed to a placement yet for her third year, Liv is keen to get involved in estate management with a historical aspect, to add to the work experience she had already got under her belt pre-university.
With her third-year placement in mind, she said: “I think actually being on the ground, working, it puts everything that you've learned – even if they aren't quite clear in your head - together and sort of separates the jargon from what the industry is like day-to-day. You have to implement your theories so placement almost forces you to remember what you’ve learnt and apply it. Everything is always changing and that’s what is exciting about this area of study.
“I’ve got interviews lined up, including a firm that was very keen at a placement fair for me to come to them, and I’ve even got an interview in Scotland to go to the Scone Estates, which is a big sporting estate, so that is very exciting! It just shows you all the opportunities that are available to you.”
Most of all, Liv highlights the importance of engaging with your lecturers and making the most of networking opportunities made available by Harper Adams.
She added: “Every lecture here is different – they’re almost like the puzzle pieces and then you go onto placement and they finally all fit together right. It's like you’ve tipped the pieces out the box and they’ve just fallen into place.
“I feel Harper has good opportunities for networking. I went to the CAAV talk with Jeremy Moody – I go every year because I love hearing him speak, and it's so interesting to get the insight of someone with so much experience – and experience that we will not get for another 40 years because it's life experience. I think it's really important to tap into that and talk to your lectures – find out what their areas of expertise are.
“A lot of my lecturers, like Morgan Williams, are still practising so they are very much ear to the ground, on the pulse of our industry - so it’s important to tap into that.
“But most of all, go to the clubs, go to the societies, go to socials and just make friends. I see university almost like a sandbox of life - it gives you chance to experience and almost trial being an adult before you take the subscription.”