Lettie Moore was just finishing her year-long placement when we caught up with her at work at Shropshire’s Apley Estate.
REALM student Lettie says not only has she learnt so much during her placement but it has also altered her career aspirations. “I come from the countryside and hated the thought of going to university in a city. My father is a property developer and I wanted to go into his line of work but to do it on a more rural scale.
“Although I came to Harper Adams wanting to go into property development, the course and my placement year have made me realise that I actually want to pursue land agency. I never would have realised this if I had gone to a large city university.”
“No other agricultural university offers the third year placement – it is totally and utterly invaluable,” says the 21-year-old, from the Isle of Wight. “I have learnt so much over the last 12 months, second year lectures make complete sense now and I feel totally ready for the fourth year.
“The best thing about my placement has been the variety of things to do and the amount that I have learnt that will benefit me next year. No two days were ever the same. My duties ranged from house viewings to finding overgrown septic tanks to pulling sheep out of fences.”
Lettie said her placement had also made her realise how important and true to life her course actually was. “Being totally honest there is a lot more classroom work involved than I thought there would be. I would say it’s an 80:20 inside to outside ratio, but I have realised from my placement that this classroom work is totally invaluable. The lessons are all based on real life situations which people can relate to.
“The lecturers knew my name within the first month and when I found myself struggling with an aspect of valuation in my first year, I knew I could turn to any one of them for help.”
Harper Adams has been a home away from home for the student: “The moment I arrived here I was made to feel like part of the family and it’s only got better from then on in. The more you put in at Harper Adams the more you get out. The students and staff are the best bunch of people I’ve ever met and I have made friends for life here.”
Following graduation Lettie hopes to find a role similar to that of her placement and acquire her Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) qualifications within the next five years.
“I know, even after I have graduated, I will be well supported and if I have any problems or queries I know my lecturers will be more than happy to help. Harper Adams courses are fantastic because there is not just one job at the end of it; as graduates we are attractive to a number of employers,” she adds.
“Although REALM is aimed at chartered surveyors, I know people that want to go on to study law and specialise in land law, people that want to become farm managers and people like me that eventually want to go into the family business.
“Harper Adams is so well respected and graduates are of such quality they are head and shoulders over our competitors and a main reason for that is down to the placement year.”
Apley Estate, in Shropshire, covers some 8500 acres and comprises let and in hand farmland, 300 cottages, commercial property, 1000 acres of woodland, Apley Farm Shop, a holiday cottage business and let and in hand shoots. Placement students, who live in a rent-free cottage and earn £7,500 or more, assist the resident agent and estate office team in all aspects of running these estates, giving them wide ranging experience of rural surveying and rural estate management.