BSc Animal Management Student
The first time I visited Sparsholt I felt at home, the course structure was hugely appealing, and the facilities were fantastic. My course was hugely varied and provided plenty of knowledge and insight for students wishing to pursue a career in all areas of the animal industry.
The facilities at Sparsholt are brilliant. As a HE student I spent most of my time either in the HE lounge or library. The superb collection of books, magazines and access to journals were hugely beneficial for all my assignments. All computers were equipped with the software I required and there were plenty of silent study areas available.
The Animal Management Centre is a superb facility to develop practical skills, regardless of your interests there are species to suite everyone’s interests. Being BIAZA accredited also provides further opportunities, particularly for those interested in working with exotic species. For my dissertation I spent many long hours in the onsite laboratory preparing and analysing samples, I would have not achieved my end goal without the incredible equipment available to me.
My lecturers were also amazing, their skillset and knowledge were essential because they each offered expertise in different areas thanks to their varied backgrounds. I found all my lecturers approachable and there were opportunities to attend individual and group tutorials on a regular basis. This type of one-to-one support is something I know I would not have received in any ‘mainstream’ University, and my grades were reflected in this.
The best skill I developed at Sparsholt which has proven extremely useful are presentation skills. My lecturers gave opportunities to present to my peers frequently, mainly as part of assignments, over time my confidence and self-esteem hugely increased. I now informally present to people frequently in my role and have even visited the Sparsholt to present to current students!
After graduating from UCS in 2014, I currently work as a Qualified Keeper and Keeper for a Day host at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire. I work as part of the Africa section with species such as white rhinoceros, chimpanzees, lemurs, giraffes and hippos (just to name a few!). My day is spent looking after and training animals, making enrichment, enclosure maintenance, public interaction and any other necessary jobs. It’s a very physically and emotionally exhausting career which involves working in extreme weather conditions.
The contacts I gained whilst studying at UCS have been priceless. I have referred to these contacts upon graduating for assistance in finding work and for advice. I was offered a huge amount of help with job applications and interviews, especially during my final year, which was beneficial for the applications I sent and interviews I attended.
My time studying at Sparsholt was not only educational, but I created some life-long friendships and created memories I will never forget. UCS helped prepare me for the incredibly competitive industry which I wanted to pursue my career in and set me up to succeed. My journey to the career I desired was incredibly tough! It came with many highs and lows and there were times I was so close to giving up, but I’m glad I didn’t.