I’m currently in my final year studying a BSc (Hons) in Countryside and Environmental Management at Harper Adams University.
The course encompasses a huge range of areas all related to current countryside and environmental issues. The course features a variety of theoretical knowledge which is essential, and more importantly all of this is supported and backed-up with practical experience through field trips and lab work to gain valuable applied skills.
The broad range of skills you will gain, from environmental assessment, forestry, landscape and project management to ecology, all help to stand you in the best position to enter into a number of different career paths. This was perfect for me - when I first began at Harper Adams University I was not completely sure what specific field I wanted to enter, which is where the placement year is extremely valuable for someone in my position. The one year industrial placement can help determine what career you want to take, or what areas you may want to avoid when seeking employment following graduation.
I spent my placement year working for an agri-environmental consultancy company based in Cheshire. My placement was a really enjoyable year, so much so I stayed on for an extra 3 months. It allowed me to put some of the skills and knowledge I have learnt at Harper Adams into a commercial world. The placement also taught me huge variety of skills that are essential for any career.
I worked on a broad range of task including carrying out farm assessments, liaising with clients to deliver projects, managing my own projects, writing reports and carrying out environmental data analysis.
Following the successful completion of my placement I am fortunate enough to have been offered a full time job as a consultant working on a greenhouse gas reduction project for the company I spent my placement with. This is a great opportunity, secured by the experience gained during industrial placement.
For any graduate seeking employment there is great competition - having a year of relevant work experience added to your C.V. can help you stand out.