I am a... university lecturer
You could be a University Lecturer if you would enjoy:
- Teaching adults a subject you enjoy
- Setting and assessing exams and coursework
- Carrying out and publishing research
- Planning and presenting lectures, seminars and practicals
- Advising and supporting students
A teaching career can be extremely rewarding, especially when you are passionate about your subject. Lecturer Emma White’s students agree that her boundless enthusiasm for animals makes their learning even more enjoyable.
Emma graduated from Harper Adams with a BSc (Hons) Animal Health and Welfare in 2009, and returned three years later to join a highly professional and inspiring team of teaching staff within the Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences department.
The 27-year-old realised that teaching was the career she wanted while she was still a student, and saw the difference that good lecturers can make: “I suffer from a medical condition that made it difficult at times for me to study but both the teaching and support staff were fantastic at helping me to overcome this so I could achieve my full potential.”
“I love being able to pass on my knowledge and understanding of my subject specialism to like-minded students. A typical day for me now involves lecturing a variety of different topics to Agricultural students. I am also a dissertation supervisor and placement tutor. I am now teaching my subject specialism so my degree is obviously very relevant.”
Although only a few years out of university Emma has built up masses of experience, including lecturing in livestock at the University of Lincoln. However, her experience began in earnest with her placement year at Otley College, in Suffolk, where she worked as a Trainee Lecturer, working with students from on animal-related courses.
While the role brought big challenges (“I didn’t enjoy teaching groups that could be particularly challenging and didn’t want to learn”) Emma found that her confidence developed in leaps and bounds: “The placement year allowed me to develop as a person. I gained skills in communication, presentation and team work and my confidence grew over the year. The experience gave me real focus about what I wanted to do once I graduated.”
Another huge bonus was that Emma was able to study for her PGCE teaching qualification two days a week at University College Suffolk whilst on placement and graduated as a fully qualified teacher in July 2008.
More from Emma on Harper Adams
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
It had the course I wanted to study along with excellent campus. Felt like home.
What were the best things about your course?
The excellent teaching facilities, the support from staff and the placement year.
Did it make you more employable?
I gained my PGCE within my placement year and a wealth of other skills and attributes.
What did you think of the facilities?
Fantastic. The teaching rooms are comfortable, IT facilities are current and up to date.
What are your favourite memories of being a student at Harper Adams?
Spending time with friends I’ve made for life. Harper Adams is a unique place. There is a real ‘Harper spirit’ whereby what you put in is what you get out of the place. Everyone is so helpful and friendly, and the staff just want you to succeed.
You’re now a Lecturer in Ruminant Animal Science at Harper Adams. What advice would you give to prospective students interested in a similar career?
Work hard, put your name out there. Nothing comes to you; you have to go look for it!