Posted 3 August 2015
A monthly special featuring a current student from Harper Adams University.
Soon-to-be second year student, Becky Erskine, feels no regrets about taking a break from her studies and believes that it has helped her to appreciate opportunities far more than when she began her university journey.
24-year-old Becky first enrolled at Harper Adams in 2007 on the one year Access Course, now known as the Extended Foundation Degree Programme. The Access Course was developed to help students without traditional A-Level qualifications to progress onto higher education courses.
Becky from Nantwich said: “I finished the access course, but external pressures meant that I chose to find employment instead of continuing my university education.
“I then completed an apprenticeship and was able to progress to a role as an equine events coordinator at a further education college. Working at a college, coupled with a few more years of experience under my belt, meant that I began to understand my own career aspirations more.”
Becky returned to Harper Adams last September as a BSc (Hons) Agribusiness student alongside her sister Alice Stones, who also enrolled as a fresher but on the BSc (Hons) Agriculture course.
Becky, who works daily on her mum’s dairy farm, added: “So far the course has been challenging, but it is great being able to put my learning into practice.
“Being a little older, I feel that I can appreciate the opportunities given to me far more now and as my course is broad, I feel that there will be many opportunities available in the future.
“I’m far more focussed than when I was first here, I’m much more committed to learning and developing myself.
“It’s also nice studying alongside my younger sister as we have some lectures together so can share notes and team up for assignments. Even my mum studied here in the late 1970s!”
Becky commutes to the Harper Adams campus each day and in December began a job at a calf rearing farm in Nantwich, where she works each weekend. She is also a student ambassador, representing the university at open day events for prospective students and their parents.
Recently, Becky returned from a visit to Beijing Agricultural College (BAC) as part of a cultural exchange programme with Harper Adams.
She added: “I juggle quite a lot in my life but have learnt to perfect my time management skills and really make each day count.
“For me, the hardest thing about returning to education was the loss of a regular income, but being able to study and work towards my life-long career makes it worth it.
“In the future, I would love to work within teaching or outreach, or, dairy calf and fertility consultancy.”
Want to be featured student of the month? E-mail Janine Heath: firstname.lastname@example.org