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Stackyard News Sep 2012

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Expectations on Placement Students

Getting a position within one of the North of England’s leading land agent’s H&H Land and Property has been a triumph for Harper Adams University student’s Gavin Johnston and Matthew Wallace.

Gavin Johnston and Matthew Wallace

Gavin Johnston and Matthew Wallace

As placement students however the pressure is on to impress and absorb as much information as possible in the workplace before they return to their final year studying for Bsc (Hons) in Rural Estate and Land Management.

The placement year as part of the course at Harper Adams is designed to give students a year’s practical experience within their field of work. Three key objectives of a placement year is to give greater insight into the industry, allowing them to apply new found knowledge, and prepare them for life in the work force.

Having already graduated from University of Cumbria with a triple distinction in a National Diploma in Countryside Management, and from an agricultural background, Gavin Johnston has already got a foot in the door of his dream career.

Since beginning his placement Gavin has been based at Lonsdale Estate Office, which encompasses over 30,000 acres and numerous properties. His day to day role includes dealing with farm tenancies and mineral work, working with the estates many farms.

Commenting on his placement he says,

“The experience as a placement student is undeniably crucial in preparing young people for their futures. It is a foot in the door and an insight into day to day life of a land agent, it has only cemented my motivation to become a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.”

In the long run, Matthew Wallace’s aim is to become a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) and a Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

His day to day role includes assisting with work such as valuation reports, property sales and planning applications. From an agricultural background growing up on Gapshield Farm, Greenhead, Matthew felt his farming experience was advantageous in securing his placement position.

“After two years sitting in a lecture theatre I am ready to get out into the field, so to speak. Upon returning to the university classroom next year I know that I will have gained invaluable experience and a detailed insight into the inner workings of the land management industry. It is a real honour to work with such an experienced company as H&H Land and Property”.

Managing Director of H&H Land and Property John Robson commented on what it means to employ placement year students;

“I am confident the time these two young men spend with H&H Land and Property will expose them to all sorts of opportunities and experiences to build on their already impressive repertoire of skills.”

“Within the company we have an absolute wealth of knowledge across the entire agricultural sector and in land and estate management. Some of our staff truly are experts in their respective fields and who better for these aspiring land agents to learn from but the best. We treat our placement students as proper staff members and they are expected to uphold the company’s high standards at all times. However we do realise that it is guidance and advice through this time that develops them into exemplary graduate students entirely prepared for the workforce”.

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