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Smiths Gore prize winners announced

Posted 12 June 2014

Steve Farrow presents the trophy to Alex Coles (centre), joined by Winston Churchill team members and lecturer Andrew Black (far right)

Four second year Harper Adams University students have been crowned the winners of a professional practice award, sponsored by leading firm of chartered surveyors, Smiths Gore.

The prize is for Rural Enterprise and Land Management (REALM) students and involves working in groups to produce a report and give a presentation on a real-life case study.

This year, the assignment was based on a 2,000 acre Estate in South Derbyshire managed by Smiths Gore; with the winners receiving £300.

Alex Coles from Northampton was part of the winning team, nicknamed ‘Winston Churchill’, alongside Henry King, Becky Meredith and Abbie Lewis.

The 19-year-old said: “We found the assignment positively challenging, and useful in developing good professional practice ahead of our placement year which starts in the summer.

“We are thrilled to have won. Working as a team saw everyone pull together and help each other.”

As part of the assignment, each group had to produce a report on the current use and condition of a section of land, buildings and their ideas for future development. This was then delivered during a presentation to former Harper Adams student and Associate at Smiths Gore’s Lichfield office, Steve Farrow.

Mr Farrow, said: “Having attended the presentations and reviewing the assignments, I am pleased to say the standards were high. 

“This is a real-life case study and I know that my client is interested to hear the various ideas put forward, which I am sure will provide food for thought.

“Winston Churchill are deserved winners as their overall idea was well thought out and the recommendations properly supported, all set out in a professional looking report. 

“The presentation was well rehearsed, delivered with confidence with excellent slides and hand-outs and they all stood up well to scrutiny and questioning.”

The runners up, who each received a certificate, were Eleanor Watkins, Cari Thomas, Eleanor Darby and Beth Hanson.

Senior Lecturer, Andrew Black, said: “Working with great firms such as Smiths Gore gives students an invaluable opportunity to work alongside real-life clients as they will soon be doing on placement.

“Not only are they being marked on their actual assignment, but they are also being graded on how they liaise and present themselves.

“I am very impressed with how the students performed and pleased that they have been commended for their efforts by Smiths Gore.”

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