Shropshire Farming Talk: Harper Adams University
At Harper Adams, we have long focused on developing the next generation of food and farming professionals.
It’s something we focus on through our teaching, through our industry links – and through the careers support we offer to our students.
Last week, employers from across the UK came to Harper Adams to attend our University’s general careers fair – one of two annual events, with a dedicated fair for the land, property and environment sectors preceding it by a few weeks.
These fairs are hugely successful events – and one of the many reasons that, when asked, our students rate us so highly for career prospects.
Indeed, at the yearly WhatUni Student Choice awards, we have taken the Career Prospects award seven times in a row – the only year we haven’t since 2016 was 2021, when the awards didn’t take place due to the pandemic. These awards are chosen by students, so it’s clear they value the year-round work and support which we offer.
That support really does make the difference. The Graduate Outcomes survey, which surveys students 15 months after they finish their course, found a massive 99.2 per cent of UK based undergraduates from Harper Adams were in work or further study.
With the sectors we serve constantly on the lookout for skilled and capable workers who are industry-ready, this focus on careers not only benefits our students – but also employers.
That’s why, each year, we’re joined by organisations and businesses across the UK and Ireland, with big names including the National Grid, Morrisons and JCB well represented among those attending.
I’ll often see familiar faces returning to Harper for these fairs – lots of our alumni have gone on to jobs in the sector after graduation, with some having secured them during the industry placement year which almost all of our undergraduates undertake.
Getting the chance to catch up, to hear how careers are going, and to see our alumni inspire our current students is always rewarding.
Each fair also helps build the strong relationships our current students will need for their future careers.
For those students entering their final year of study, they have a chance to look at the opportunities out there and meet up with the employers they may have done their placement with.
The events are also useful as students consider their final year research projects, as they can talk directly with employers about what is currently going on out there in industry.
But most of all, they are a chance for us to link the hugely skilled, talented and capable students Harper Adams produces with the employers whose sectors they will go on to transform.
Maria Simpson is Careers Advisor and Service Manager at Harper Adams University.