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What I did on my work experience:
In 2012, I did my work experience with Arctic Quest at Croft Farm in Tewkesbury. I was already working with Vickie and her team beforehand on the weekends and on my days off, however temporarily acting as a full-time member of staff gave me a different insight to the business. The working huskies are used for husky rides, racing, team building exercises, outreach and dog training for people who would like to teach their dogs to mush! I’d already done some volunteer work at a veterinary practice and wildlife rehabilitation hospital but working with Arctic Quest was something completely different. I learnt so much while volunteering from understanding animal behaviour to customer service.
At Hartpury, you can get involved with all kinds of practical experience in and outside of college. This means that you are more employable because you have a range of transferrable skills that are valuable to the industry. It also helps you to secure work placements that other young people would not be able to, due to the vast amount of hands on practical involvement and knowledge you gain during college hours in lectures or spending time with the large animal collection.
Before I even came to an open day I drove to the college to look around and fell in love with the campus, which led to me submitting my application, pretty much the next day. The lecturers were amazing and encouraged me to do things that I may not have had the confidence to do otherwise including applying for university!
After leaving Hartpury, I managed to secure my dream place at a Russell Group university, studying Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool. Undertaking a degree allowed me to gain the qualification and attributes needed to progress further with my education as well as providing me with research, fieldwork and various writing experience.
Throughout my time at university I got involved with many volunteer opportunities including; turtle conservation with Wildlife Sense in Greece as a research assistant and as an intern for the Fisheries and Oceans department with the international Non-Governmental Organisation, Greenpeace in Brussels which helped me specialise my interests and learn new things. I was also involved with the start-up of a new society within Liverpool Guild of Students, Liverpool Marine Biology, Oceanography and Ecology Society, for which I was the Social and Communications Officer.
Having graduated I realised I would need to be proficient in all work places and I decided working in an office environment would provide me with valuable skills when starting out in the industry. With this in mind I came back to Hartpury after finishing university to work full-time in events and enquiries with the marketing team for five months.
In the summer of 2017, I was offered a position as a long-term volunteer on Skomer Island with the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. This role focused on conserving important species such as Manx shearwater, puffins, Skomer voles and seals that inhabit the National Nature Reserve through education, visitor engagement, maintenance and research.
In September 2017, I am set to undertake a masters in Marine Systems and Policies at the University of Edinburgh which I am certain will help start me on the right path to achieve my dream job, working with legislation to conserve the marine environment.