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    Students rewarded for outstanding placement performances

    Posted 2 June 2015

    Catherine Waldron is congratulated by Vice-Chancellor Dr David Llewellyn

    Seven students have received awards from Harper Adams University for outstanding performance during their sandwich year work placements. 

    Aspire Awards were presented to students representing various course areas, who completed work placements in the 2013/14 academic year. 

    Catherine Waldron, BSc (Hons) Countryside and Environmental Management, worked as an Education Assistant at the Countryside Education Trust in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

    Catherine, 23, from Worcester, said: “Having the opportunity to work in education for a year enabled me to discover how much I enjoy helping others learn. Therefore I decided to apply to do a Primary Post Graduate Certificate in Education, which I begin in August 2015, which will enable me to become a fully qualified primary school teacher,” added countryside course representative Catherine, who recently completed an investigation into woodland moth species abundance in Great Britain for her honours research project, analysing 45 years of data, on 186 common woodland moth species, across five sites in Britain. 

    Seb Parkes, MEng Off-Road Vehicle Design, worked for Terex Materials Processing in Coalville. Terex MP designs and manufactures mining and quarrying equipment for worldwide markets. Seb, 21, from Stafford, was a Mechanical Design Engineer Industrial Placement Student. 

    He said: “The work was challenging, varied and very rewarding. I helped on projects for production and prototype machines. I was also involved with creating manufacturing rigs for improving change-over speeds and safety. My placement has given me a much broader engineering knowledge, providing me with the experience to move into future roles and companies, and to potentially even start my own business.” As a Masters student, Seb will complete a fifth year of university before graduating. 

    Freddie Gittus, 21, from Bury St. Edmunds, worked for Rise Farms, near Beverley, East Yorkshire. He said: “I gained significant experience on the beef enterprise, which was a good opportunity to learn more about an area of farming I had not been involved in previously. I added to my arable experience by doing tasks such as cultivation and spraying in particular, which will help me in future jobs. 

    “My time at Rise has demonstrated to me the need to gain as much experience as possible in as many enterprises and regions to facilitate the learning journey I need to go through to achieve my aims.”  Freddie will be doing harvest work for Velcourt in Wiltshire this summer, then plans to return to Harper Adams to top up to an honours degree. After that, he would like to work in various countries abroad before returning home in six to eight years.

    Harriet Kendrick-Thomas, 23, from Camberley, Surrey, is studying animal behaviour and welfare and completed her placement with HART Wildlife Rescue in North East Hampshire, 

    She said: “My placement was exciting due to being different each day I was there. As it was a hospital, new animals such as fox cubs, hedgehogs, birds of prey, were being rescued, rehabilitated and treated daily. More than 1,000 casualties came through the door in 2014 and I was accepted as a responsible member of staff, and was put in charge of a range of activities.

    “It was a very rewarding job as you feel like you have helped an animal’s health and welfare by, in most cases, saving their life.  I achieved confidence in many new situations and increased my communication skills, talking to members of the public and animal professionals.”

    James Boddington, 22, from St Austell, Cornwall, is a final year rural enterprise and land management (REALM) student, and worked as a trainee land agent for Clinton Devon Estates, a landed estate in Devon, with a diverse enterprise portfolio. 

    “With aspirations to become a Rural Chartered Surveyor upon graduation, placement provided me with an incredible insight into the practical work of an estate manager; just one of the many areas that surveyors may find themselves working in.  It was also a great opportunity to network amongst a broad range of - potentially invaluable - industry contacts, from likeminded surveyors, to farmers, solicitors and contractors, all working within rural industries.”

    James has accepted a position with Fisher German, as a Graduate Rural Surveyor, commencing this July. 

    John Glazebrook-Milner, from Shifnal, Shropshire, completed a 12-month placement with Fromant and Sanders Ltd (Nene Valley Beef), based in Kislingbury, Northamptonshire.

    The final year Agriculture with Crop Management student said: “Working in a four-man team during the summer I would be carting grain and straw, handling and drying grain. During the autumn, I applied FYM and commercial compost with the muck spreader, performed a wide range of cultivation, prepping seed beds and rolling after drilling, and moved cattle into store. During winter I fed cattle, administered medical applications, and did foot trimming, maintenance of machinery, fencing etc, then calving 200 cows heifers before spring turnout. In spring, duties included spring cultivation, muck spreading on grass land, spraying of permanent pastures, movement of cattle, herdsman duty and prepping grain stores. 

    “I gained an enhanced knowledge of the arable sector, fortunate that my co-worker, Steve May, was Facts, Basis and Beta qualified and extremely knowledgeable and willing to teach! I spent many nights out identifying weed, pests and diseases with him, which has been vital to my learning - I owe him a great deal of thanks. 

    “I have been offered a job as an assistant farm manager on a farm in Shropshire growing potatoes and cereals, starting after I complete my degree this year.  I have also been selected as one of 15 young people to join the AHDB Potatoes next generation programme.”

    Kathryn Mills, 22, from Magherafelt, County Londonderry, completed her placement with MMUK Ltd, Cambridgeshire, one of the UK’s largest citrus and grape specialists. 

    Kathryn, who is due to graduate this summer with a degree in Food Nutrition and Well Being, said: “My placement experience has left me in a fantastic position to enter the Food Industry and I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank MMUK for the countless opportunities and invaluable experience gained throughout my placement. 

    “My time spent with MMUK certainly enhanced my practical experience and product knowledge, but also developed transferrable skills, including confidence, communication and teamwork. The company really shaped my passion to work in a customer-facing role after being given the opportunity to work on a project for the M&S Fruit Category team, which ended with me presenting recommendations back to their team, which were highly commended. I feel this was my greatest achievement on placement. 

    “I have been fortunate to secure a place on a two-year graduate scheme with Cranswick Plc, one of the leading pork suppliers in the UK.  I will be working throughout the supply chain, to grasp a better understanding of the overall business.” 


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