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    Award-winning student set to build career in the meat industry thanks to Harper studies

    Posted 14 February

    Harper student Gwen Williams

    An award-winning student is looking forward to beginning her career in the red meat industry – thanks to her studies at Harper Adams.

    Gwen Williams, from Ruthin in North Wales, is in the final year of her BSc (Hons) Business Management with Marketing degree and was recently named the winner of this year’s Gary Baker award at the Worshipful Company of Butchers’ annual charity lunch in London.

    The award is given annually by the Livery Company, in partnership with Harper Adams, to an undergraduate who has completed their industry placement year and who now intends to pursue a career in the meat industry.

    The winning graduate is chosen after submitting a report showing their understanding of the meat sector, explaining the value of their placement year – and detailing their future plans.

    Gwen explained: “Following my submission, I was invited to take part in an interview with a representative of the Baker family amongst others who are heavily involved with scholarships and the meat industry.

    “The interview was a way for the panel to understand what I would like to do within the industry and my experiences so far. It was a good way for them to get to know me on a more personal level too. 

    “Hearing that I had won the award was a very proud moment for me. It was an honour to be chosen for the award and will help significantly during my final year of university, especially with my honours research project that focuses on the future of the red meat industry.”

    Gwen will graduate in September this year and has already secured her first job.

    She added: “Once I have completed my degree, I will be travelling around Eastern Australia before starting my Graduate scheme with ABP Foods UK as a New Product Developer.

    "Here, I will be moving around different departments to fully immerse myself in the process of red meat production before becoming a New Product Developer Technologist.”

    Securing this role capped a growing interest in the red meat industry for Gwen, who began her studies knowing she wanted to work in a role in the food and farming sectors, but unsure of exactly what path to take.

    She added: “I chose my course as I was not completely certain which exact career path I wanted to follow but knew it would be somewhere within the agriculture world.

    “After completing my placement year, I now know that I will most definitely be pursuing a career in the red meat food industry.

    “My decision to come to Harper Adams was based on the fact it was a small university with a great sense of community. I was also drawn to the university due to its amazing reputation within the agriculture sector.

    “Agriculture has always been a big part of my life as I grew up on a small holding farm and I wanted to be surrounded by likeminded people.

    “Studying at Harper Adams has been one of the greatest experiences for me, I feel that I have constant support from my lecturers and additional help is always on hand whenever it is needed. 

    “Alongside studying I have also enjoyed the social side of Harper Adams and feel there really is something for everyone here, with endless options of social clubs and activities to get involved in.”

    As well as her studies, Gwen has been given the chance to take part in different events and ceremonies as a representative of the University’s students.

    She is one of a select group of students to have met author and philanthropist, Sir Michael and his wife Claire, Lady Morpurgo twice, at both the Worshipful Company of Butchers Lunch and at an Honorary Degree Ceremony in London.

    At the latter ceremony, she also met Harper Adams Chancellor, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal – in an experience she will never forget.

    Gwen added: “The ceremony was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, it was a real honour to be chosen for such an amazing experience.

    “I took a lot away from that day - from being formally introduced to Her Royal Highness, listening to the Morpurgos talk about their charity Farms for City Children - and even meeting other Harper students that I had never crossed paths with before.”

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