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

Aled John

"You learn how things work in the real world, experiencing commerce for real."
Aled John on the University farm Aled John

I am on a... Graduate training scheme

Graduate training schemes are a fantastic route to a rewarding career, usually introducing graduates to many different aspects of a business and the roles within it. Many involve a combination of on the job training with additional formal education.

Agri-business graduate Aled John is on just such a scheme, with Anglo Beef Processors (ABP), one of Europe’s leading privately owned food processors. The 24-year-old, who left Harper Adams in 2012, saw the scheme advertised in Farmers Weekly, and knew it was the right direction for him. He is learning about beef processing jobs within the company, and aspires to run one of the company’s sites. It’s a demanding scheme, but offers a fast track to management roles for those who are willing to work hard.

“I am learning a trade but knowing that I will be put in a managerial role after my training. The company was looking for people with a ‘can do’ attitude, a willingness to get stuck in and work to get a job done, not just work 9-5!”

The company says: “Management trainees move through every aspect of our business and together we agree your final career path whether it be in marketing, sales, engineering, plant management, distribution, food safety or even in organising our 10,000 farmer supply base.”

Aled, originally from South Wales, spent his placement year with McDonalds, where he was able to put the theory he had learned in the classroom and on the Harper Adams farm, into practice.

“I was the Agriculture Assurance Coordinator, linking several internal departments, suppliers and media. Being on work placement definitely enhances your career prospects. You learn how things work in the real world, experiencing commerce for real.”

Aled, who was awarded the prestigious Gary Baker Scholarship less than a year into his career with ABP, is also studying Harper Adams own award-winning PgC Meat Business Management course.

Read more about the ABP Graduate Trainee Programme on their website.

More from Aled on Harper Adams

What did you do before coming to Harper Adams?

After A-levels I took a gap year in Australia.

Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams? 

I love agriculture and am quite business minded so my course was a great combination.

Did the course make you more employable?  

Everything was related to the agri-food industry where I wanted a career.

Tell us a little about any projects you worked on.

My dissertation was on animal welfare for cattle on the way to and at the abattoir. It was looking at stress levels in the cattle and how it affected meat quality. I had to come up with my own non-invasive way of measuring stress in cattle, so I counted the moos, slips and kicks, etc. Travelling to three UK sites as far as mid Scotland to record my raw data I made some great industry contacts and learned a lot about my subject’s ‘real world’ relevance.

What do you think of the teaching you received?

Second to none, always informative and effective in delivery.

What are your favourite memories of university?

Far too many social experiences to list; best time of my life to date!

Why would you recommend Harper Adams to other students?  

It’s full of great like-minded people that want to get on in life with smiles on their faces!

How did your qualification/ experiences at Harper Adams aid your career?

Having the placement year behind you, my employer had a recent and relevant reference

What advice do you have for a student interested in doing a similar job?

Demonstrate a willingness to work, show your enthusiasm and be keen to learn; don’t ever be jealous, be patient and resilient. 

More profiles...