I attended The Long Eaton School and at GCSEs chose BTEC Engineering, History, French and Performing Arts as my four options. I chose Engineering at GCSE as I know I wanted to do a technology subject and Engineering seemed the most interesting of the options. I think I was drawn to Engineering because in year 9 at my secondary school we went to Russia as part of the space program. We went to mission control and star city. It was really interesting and I got to see all their technology and engineering, which was fascinating.
However, at this stage I still wanted to be a Vet so in year ten I completed my work experience on a farm. I loved working with the animals and being outside in the fresh air and enjoyed the active job.
During my GCSEs I quite quickly learnt that academically I was a lot better at maths and physics than biology and slowly lost interest in veterinary science and set my heart on becoming an engineer.
For my A levels I chose to attend the JCB Academy in Uttoxeter and got A levels in Engineering and Mathematics. The JCB Academy taught me a lot about engineering and industry and had great industry links. Each unit was connected with different companies and gave us some great opportunities, for example visiting the London Eye with Bosch Rexroth to look at the maintenance of the hydraulics.
Whilst at the JCB Academy I also completed two weeks work experience at JCB Headquarters; one week in their design department and one week in their Manufacturing department. After my placement at JCB I knew I wanted to pursue a career in manufacturing engineering.
I was looking at courses to do a mechanical engineering degree and the normal city universities were coming up. I didn't come across Harper Adams until the Academy's careers fair, where I realised you could do an Agricultural engineering course. This would tie up my love for animals and the outdoors and my passion for engineering. So really I found Harper Adams and Agricultural Engineering by chance.
I do find my course incredibly interesting but some times difficult as a lot of my friends already have a wide knowledge of agriculture and I am sometimes playing catch up but I enjoy learning different people's opinions on the problems farmers face, including dealing with the general public.
I feel that getting non agricultural people into Ag engineering is even more difficult than getting females into engineering as currently Agricultural engineering is not highlighted in schools, society or the news. However getting women into engineering is a big thing now and many people are aware of it.
I think the other problem is their can be some stigma about "townies" within the agricultural community that I can fully understand why but it could be intimidating to some people wanting to come into the sector. I had a few comments from peers when I first started university
I but I am a confident person and can shake it off but also can laugh at myself too. When I first started I didn't know what a PTO was and a few people rolled their eyes but also had a laugh about it.
I am currently working for Avara foods which is a chicken process company but it has all of its own farms, hatchery and processing factories which has given me the great opportunity to see the process from start to finish. I enjoy working as an engineer in the food factory because I am doing a variety of things every day and not one day has been the same so far.