Current Employer/Organisation Name
FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group)
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with Study Abroad in 2015, and worked for a couple of ecological consultancy companies alongside working part time for the Mammal Society as a communications officer. I then decided to return to Exeter to the Penryn campus to complete an MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity, before receiving an offer to work for FWAG as an assistant farm conservation adviser.
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
I am very privileged to have a job directly related to my degree. I love the UK countryside and conservation, and having grown up in an agricultural setting, my current role is a great balance between the two – helping farmers to do more for wildlife and the environment on their land. Climate change and biodiversity are two major threats to our ecosystems, and I love working on the ground helping the people responsible for land management to help solve both of these problems in the UK.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
I was a part of the Exeter University Sub Aqua club and the Concert Band during my undergraduate degree, and was part of the Natural Selection podcast team during my MSc degree.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
I loved the breadth of learning and the degree of flexibility when choosing my modules – it allowed me to customise my degree to my interests. My year abroad at Montana State University was the clear highlight.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
The university is incredibly supportive and there are lots of opportunities to get involved with anything that takes your interest through clubs and societies and your degree.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
The University has a fantastic reputation for biological sciences, the campus is beautiful and very welcoming and the degree ticked all the boxes I was looking for.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
The Exeter Award was very useful for CV and interview advice, field skills gained through my modules were useful, and experience gained through asking my lecturers for work experience was invaluable.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Make the most of local opportunities outside of your degree, for example getting involved with local wildlife survey groups or student opportunities to gain field experience. Make time for a bit of volunteering as well to gain some of this experience. Pursue your interests through societies as well – you never know when your skills that aren’t necessarily directly related to your degree may come in handy, so be proactive in doing the things you enjoy.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to continue with my current job in the Southwest and progress to Farm Conservation Adviser level. Brexit has meant that this is a critical time for UK agriculture, and despite the uncertainty this brings, it’s an exciting time to be a farm adviser.