Jack Bull, from Buckinghamshire, graduated in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management degree and began a graduate job with CKD Galbraith LLP as an Assistant Rural Surveyor, based in Perth, Scotland.
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
It has a great reputation and good graduate employment prospects. There was a great variety of modules and good amount of contact time with lecturers.
Does the degree make you more employable?
Yes - almost everything you study is related to what you do on your placement and after graduation.
How would you describe Harper Adams?
A truly unique place to study; the best of both worlds. Fantastic relevant and applied academic study paired with a social life and extra-curricular activities that puts everywhere else in the shade!
And the teaching?
Staff are very happy to help outside of lectures and tutorial and are usually only an email or a visit away.
Looking back, what were your favourite times at uni?
Being part of the 1st XV Rugby team that went unbeaten for the whole season, winning the league and the cup also! Graduation also; four years of hard work culminating in a really special day shared with my family and friends and a few beers too!
Where did you work on placement?
I was an Assistant Land Agent with J.M. Osborne & Co., Banbury.
Was the placement year one of the reasons you chose Harper Adams?
Without a doubt; as well as getting experience in the industry you will be working in, I also saw it as an opportunity to discover what areas of work I was interested in with a view to what I would like to do in the future.
What would you do in a typical day?
The great thing about my placement was that there was no such thing as a typical day! The firm was almost exclusively involved with the management of sporting estates so one day I could be on top of a moor in the North of England counting grouse and the next I could be in the office dealing with employment matters, health and safety and agri-environment schemes. What I found most useful was learning how to deal with people in a working environment; I was in daily contact with gamekeepers, farmers and estate owners and everyone in between. Dealing with people, getting on and being able to work together is at the heart of any job.
What were the best things about placement?
Meeting lots of people and understanding how to put into practice what I learned in my first and second years. My placement definitely enhanced my career prospects, I got much more focussed on what areas of professional practice I wanted to be involved in and also I got a good reference, which helped when I applied for my current job!
Talking of which, tell us about your graduate job.
I work for CKD Galbraith LLP as an Assistant Rural Surveyor where I am involved with a variety of rural work. I am involved with the management of three very different estates; one is a sporting estate in the highlands, and two predominantly agricultural estates in Angus. I also assist with valuations and professional work as well as some agricultural work. I like the variety of my workload, and no two days are the same. Also, working in the centre of Scotland, I get to visit some unbelievable beautiful places!
How did you find the job? What process did you go through to get it?
The vacancy was listed on the Harper Adams Careers website. I also went to the uni’s careers fair and spoke to two ex-students who work for the firm. Off the back of that I applied for the job: two interviews and eight months later I moved to Perth and started work.
How did your qualification/ experiences at Harper Adams aid your career?
I wouldn’t have been able to get a job that leads me to becoming a chartered surveyor if I hadn’t got an RICS accredited degree, like the REALM course at Harper Adams Everything you do is focussed towards getting a job at the end of your time at Harper, it is so career orientated, which is great and ultimately the reason you go to university in the first place.
What advice would you give to prospective students interested in a similar career?
Get as much work experience as you can. It puts in to context all that you are learning in your lectures and looks great on a CV.