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Poultry industry graduate role awaits Animal Behaviour student after placement success

Posted 3 August

"I would definitely advise people to come here, as you get the opportunity to work practically as well as theoretically – here at university with the animals, and out in industry on placement. Placement is a great opportunity – to both increase your skills and to open up opportunities for jobs."

A young woman – Francesca Green – in front of greenery on the Harper Adams campus

The array of options offered by a Harper Adams degree has seen an Animal Behaviour student from a non-agricultural background secure herself a graduate role in the poultry industry.

BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Clinical) student Francesca Green, originally from Rothley in Leicestershire, secured the role at Hy-Line UK after deciding to spend her industrial placement year at the company – and she believes that both the industry and practical experiences at Harper Adams show the value of studying at the University.

She said: “A lot of my friends at other universities are doing veterinary courses, and they find they have to do even more placement work to get the experience, as their university doesn’t have anything on site.

“I looked at other universities, but Harper Adams had more of the practical side – the fact that the animals were on site made doing that practical side much easier!”

Having originally been drawn to studying canine behaviour, Francesca found that the range of options which were available to students for practical experience with animals of all kinds gave her experience and choices she hadn’t expected.

She added: “I would definitely advise people to come here, as you get the opportunity to work practically as well as theoretically – here at university with the animals, and out in industry on placement. Placement is a great opportunity – to both increase your skills and to open up opportunities for jobs.

“From when I was about sixteen, I worked in kennels – and that drew me towards the dog side of animal behaviour. However, since I have been at Harper Adams, I have been drawn to the agricultural side!

“My placement was at the Hy-Line UK Millennium Hatchery – the largest hatchery in Europe, where they produce day-old chicks.

“Most of my friends on my course were going to work for places like kennels – but I wanted something different, so when this came up I was really interested. I wanted to do it as I hadn’t worked with poultry before – I had done dairy and sheep, but poultry was something different. I did it at first to gain new knowledge into the poultry industry – but I enjoyed it so much I am now staying!

During her time at Harper, Francesca was supported on her course after she secured a John Longwill Agricultural Scholarship, which benefits students from Leicestershire or Rutland studying at the University.

She added: “It has been really good studying at Harper – even if the past two years could have been better for all of us due to the pandemic!

“Having the placement year has been really good. I think some people think you need to be from an agricultural background to get ahead, but as long as you make sure you get the right experience, there are jobs out there.”

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