Our world is your world. Careers in land-based industries.

Dale Webb on placement

"I came to an open day at Harper Adams. The best thing was the friendly, close community. Both staff and students were approachable and wanted to be there. It confirmed that 'Harper' was the place for me."

I am a… placement student

Dale began studying BSc (Hons) Countryside and Environmental Management in 2011 after hearing of Harper Adams' reputation and having met placement students "who obviously loved the university." The course, he says, appealed because the modules matched his own interests. "The staff are great and supportive. Every lecture makes you feel involved and is tailored to meet the group's interests and requirements. The lecturers will always go out of their way to help you. It is varied, with one module often being different but still linked to another module. We also have a large number of guest speakers in lectures so that we can hear real life case studies from the people involved in them." 

He adds: "The Student Services staff and the Students Union are brilliant fun and definitely go the extra mile, whether it be society support, finding housing, or placement preparation."

For his placement year in industry the 21-year-old, from Hertfordshire, is working as an assistant ecology officer for South Cambridgeshire District Council three days a week.  He says: “So far I have been involved in helping to assess planning applications and their ecological impact and suggesting how to mitigate the issues. I’ve been working with my boss to draw together a plan for restoring one of the council’s water courses which just happens to be a chalk stream.

“We have also begun work on a project to introduce pictorial and wild flower meadows into villages in the district, and I have been helping to give advice to community groups on many different environmental issues.”

Dale, who is a firm believer in volunteering, is also spending one day a week working with the RSPB and two further days paid work for an independent running shop, which, as a keen runner, he is really enjoying.

Before beginning his placement Dale, along with two classmates, won an all-expenses-paid trip to Bulgaria for coming up with an innovative idea to recycle ‘pee’. The trio’s plan to recycle the three main fertilizer nutrients found in urine won the competition run by I.S.L.E (Innovation in the teaching of Sustainable Development in Life sciences in Europe). Watch Dale and his classmates talk about their award-winning concept here: harper.ac.uk/cmvrecycle

In his spare time he also enjoys swimming, sea kayaking and mountain biking. When he returns for his final year at Harper Adams he is keen to continue his work with the Conservation Society and outdoor pursuit society HOPS and both voluntary and paid work.

Although still on placement Dale – who has been awarded the Millichope Foundation Scholarship - is already planning for his future career. After a spot of travelling in Asia and Africa he hopes to secure a career in a similar field to his placement job or in ecological research. "I believe Harper Adams University is very well respected in the jobs market, and the fact the course is very comprehensive in the subjects it covers, plus the placement year and all my volunteering should stand me in good stead when finding a job."

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