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John Deere Scholarship Boosts Harper Adams Student Careers
28/08/07

The first John Deere Scholarship graduate from Harper Adams University College has started work at the company’s headquarters in Langar, near Nottingham. Richard Vaughan, aged 23 from Hereford, has taken up the position of agricultural sales demonstration instructor, reporting to combines product manager Mark Smith.

(left to right): John Deere’s manager, customer support Peter Leech, scholarship students Richard Vaughan and Rob Hill and managing director Richard Johnson, at the company’s Langar headquarters near Nottingham.

Langar headquarters

While studying for an HND in Agricultural Engineering at HAUC, Richard spent his work experience placement year during 2005/2006 with John Deere’s parts and service marketing team at Langar, and with the Waterloo tractors marketing division based at the John Deere Werke Mannheim tractor factory.

He then returned to Harper Adams in September 2006 to complete a one year top-up BSc degree course, enabled by the scholarship award. His final dissertation looked at Tier 3 diesel engine performance with different fuel types and additives, including biofuels.

John Deere has been offering work experience placements to sandwich course students from its partner university HAUC for 20 years – indeed, the company’s managing director Richard Johnson received the first ever student placement at John Deere when he was studying agricultural engineering at Harper Adams in 1987. This new scholarship programme has been developed to identify and support the best candidates for full-time employment.

A scholarship will now be awarded annually to the best HAUC placement student working for John Deere in Europe during the previous year. It is open to all students taking any course at Harper Adams who successfully gain a work placement position at John Deere as part of their studies. The company typically offers between 10 and 15 such places, which generally last six months but can be for one year, at various locations throughout Europe.

The successful candidate receives a one-off payment of £1000 towards final year study costs, and a guaranteed job offer within John Deere following graduation. Support is also provided for a John Deere focused final year dissertation, and additional payments of £2000 are made at the end of each of the first three years of employment, to help pay off student loans.

The John Deere Scholarship for 2007/2008 has been awarded to Rob Hill, aged 21 from Co Wicklow in Ireland, who started his work experience placement in June 2006. He has been supporting product manager Mark James with dealer training and customer demonstrations of the Agricultural Management Solutions (AMS) product range. Rob returns to Harper Adams in October to complete the final year of his BSc degree course in Agriculture with Mechanisation.

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