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

Oliver James

"Once you’ve read the prospectus and visited the campus you’ll know straight away if Harper Adams is right for you."
Oliver James

You could be a... commercial trainer

“Agriculture and the engineering surrounding it is a global business and the skills taught at Harper Adams are in demand all over the world.”

Since graduating with a BEng (Hons) in Off Road Vehicle Design in 2009 Oliver James has combined his love for engineering and travel to forge an exciting and rewarding career. As a commercial trainer for Case IH and New Holland Agriculture he organises and delivers commercial training sessions on the brand’s products in Africa, Asia, Russia and the Middle East.

The 25-year-old, from Wiltshire, began his international experience during his work placement year at university, which he spent as an advertising assistant with the John Deere Advertising Agency, based in Germany. “Not only did I get to travel all over Europe it also meant I had experience in industry even before graduating.”

With placement confirming his desire to travel further afield, after graduating Oliver spent two years working in Sierra Leone, West Africa, for a cocoa export company as a country manager, where he was tasked with “managing the whole operation, including financing nearly 40,000 farmers, organising our fleet of 4x4 trucks and exporting organic cocoa beans to Europe.”

Looking back at his time at university he adds: “Once you’ve read the prospectus and visited the campus you’ll know straight away if Harper Adams is right for you. The experiences there and the employment opportunities after you’ve graduated are second to none. At university I was taught skills that are both relevant and in demand in the UK and abroad. I gained the confidence to tackle challenges and the skills to overcome them. Harper Adams taught me that it was not out of my grasp to take on and succeed in the challenges


Oliver on Harper Adams

Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams? 

No other university offered a degree similar to the engineering courses at Harper Adams, and also the unique rural setting of the campus. I was sure I would meet like-minded people.

What did you like most about the course?

The enthusiastic engineering lecturers and staff, the great facilities and machinery available to use and the unique and interesting course content.

What is the teaching like?

Excellent. From the very beginning they make it clear they are there to help during or outside of lectures, regardless of the problem.

And the facilities?

Extensive, modern, accessible and high quality

What are your favourite memories of university?

Being surrounded by so many fantastic and like minded people with the chances to do things I enjoy that are not possible at other universities.

Do you think your placement year enhanced your career prospects?

Absolutely; most engineering graduates from other universities did not have previous industry experience straight after graduating, giving me a clear advantage when looking for employment.

More profiles...