Five minutes with… Joseph Gebbels, postgraduate student
Joseph, from Northumberland, graduated in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture with Animal Science degree. The 23-year-old is currently undertaking an MSc in International Business with Strategy and Innovation at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.
What did you do before coming to Harper Adams?
National Diploma in Agriculture at the University of Cumbria
Why did you choose to study here?
The reputation and the layout of the campus combined with the facilities and opportunity to undertake a placement/sandwich year.
What were the highlights of the course?
The diversity of the modules I undertook and the excellence of the staff members across the board. I also had a very positive placement experience and have made some friends for life.
Tell us a little about any projects you did.
My theses involved a four month trial with pregnant ewes related to vitamin E status of the ewes and their lambs both pre and post parturition. I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Marshall bursary by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen for my completed theses which involved the receipt of a cash prize and attendance at an awards ceremony in London where the Lord Mayor presented me and other students with our awards.
Where did you work on placement?
I was conscious of the fact that I wanted to broaden my horizons in my placement year as the majority of my experience was in the upland sheep and beef sectors. As a result I went to work on a large scale arable (10,000 ha) and sheep (Merinos) farm in Western Australia (Karradale Trading). The experience was utterly invaluable to me and gave me the motivation needed to boost my final year grades and achieve a 2:1. This aspect of the course really set Harper Adams apart from other agricultural universities and the opportunity to go overseas for the placement year is one which I would highly recommend.
Do you think placement enhanced your career prospects?
The added range of skills I have developed and my ability to demonstrate adaptability has been instrumental in my admission to my current Masters programme and as I intend to return to Australia permanently the experience of the country is a real benefit to my career.
What are you doing now?
I am currently undertaking an MSc in International Business with Strategy and Innovation at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. I aim to work in either rural business consultancy or as a rural business specialist in the investment banking sector. I aspire to and I am currently going through the process of applying for Australian citizenship with my girlfriend who I met whilst on placement.
What does the course involve?
The increased business focus and advanced level of the course I am currently undertaking is providing me with exactly the kind of challenge that I was looking for and I feel that my time at Harper has instilled great focus and motivation in my pursuit of my goals.
What qualifications/experience did you need to get on the course?
The admission requirements included:
- A 2:1 or above in a business or economics based undergraduate degree and strong statistical knowledge.
- A GMAT (graduate management admissions test) score of at least 500.
- International experiences
- An interview process
- CV and motivation letter
How did your qualification/ experiences at Harper Adams aid your career?
Without my BSc and particularly the completion of research methods and my international experiences I would not have been admitted to my current course.
What advice do you have for a student interested in a similar postgraduate course?
Making sure that you get a wide range of experiences is key - don’t just focus on one sector or even country, make the most of your time studying and get involved with a range of extracurricular activities as these have been almost as important to me as the degree itself.
What is your opinion of the teaching at Harper Adams?
Without doubt the biggest reason I achieved a 2:1 was the support from the staff particularly in the final year.
Would you recommend Harper Adams?
Yes - it provides an excellent environment for learning and for personal development; it really has a personal feel.