Five minutes with Further education lecturer Catherine Green
Catherine, 25, from Newcatle-upon-Tyne, graduated with a BSc (Hons) Agriculture with Animal Science in 2012 and now lectures at Askham Bryan College, North Yorkshire.
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
The campus looked great - the facilities such as an on-site farm were excellent selling points, plus the prospectus made the course sound interesting.
What were the best things about the course?
The wide and interesting variety of modules in the first year to give a good basic knowledge and foundation in Agriculture, then the specialisation in 2nd and 4th year in animal science.
Did it make you more employable?
I gained a good degree (2:1), completed a placement year and gained subject knowledge.
Where did you spend placement?
Hook2Sisters (PD Hook). It is a poultry company – rearing, breeding and broiler farms and hatchery in various locations throughout the UK. The job involved manual labour on the various farms, project work and some office work. I carried out two projects whilst on placement on Campylobacter and Airsacculitis in chickens, plus my dissertation which looked at Footpad Dermatitis in broiler chickens. My placement company Hook2Sisters (PD Hook) helped me with the placement projects and Paul Rose helped me with my dissertation. The projects were all fairly lengthy and involved a lot of research and time. The projects are all relevant to the poultry industry and are current issues being faced.
What were the best things about placement?
Meeting lots of farm managers and learning hands-on on the farms (good practical skills).
Do you think placement enhanced your career prospects?
Possibly, although I haven’t gone back into that field of work. I think for my current job, having a degree and subject knowledge was the main selling point that got me the job, plus the fact that I am working towards a teaching qualification by completing a night course which shows I am willing.
Tell us some more about your teaching career.
I work for Askham Bryan College, Guisborough Centre, as a Lecturer in Animal Management. I started work on my PGCE in September 2013 to become a fully qualified teacher. I started working for the college in February 2013 and have a one year maternity cover contract. I have undertaken a PTLLS qualification which is the first step towards a PGCE, however, I have decided to wait a while before I start my PGCE as it is a big commitment and I would like to move back to an agricultural job role. I teach a range of animal modules including animal health and animal welfare.
What sort of tasks and responsibilities does it involve?
Lesson planning, teaching and marking assessments, and course managing a group of students.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The friendly and supportive staff that have helped me so far and delivering lessons.
What skills/experience was your employer looking for?
The main factors included subject knowledge, a degree and holding/working towards a teaching qualification. When I was interviewed I was already working towards my PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) qualification by undertaking my night course, plus I held a degree and had knowledge in the animal management subject area (from my time at Houghall College and Harper Adams). I also have practical handling experience of a range of animals including companion animals, small mammals and rodents, exotic animals, horses and livestock. I have previously worked as an animal care technician also.
How did your qualification/ experiences at Harper Adams aid your career?
The degree was a massive selling point and I gained more confidence in myself and my abilities during my time at university.
Do you think being a graduate made a difference to your position?
It definitely helped me to obtain this job as having a degree was essential.
What advice do you have for a student interested in doing a similar job?
Work towards a PTLLS qualification or PGCE and gain practical experience to back up your theory.
What are the teachers at Harper Adams like?
Great as they are knowledgeable, helpful and approachable
What are your favourite memories of Harper Adams?
Being in first year in halls of residence being carefree and enjoying the social life and clubs.
Why would you recommend Harper Adams to future students?
The end qualification is worth the time and effort you put in and the facilities/campus are great.