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BSc (Hons) Animal Management Graduate

I studied the Diploma in Animal Management at Sparsholt and then wanted to progress onto a degree course. I looked at a range of courses but Sparsholt’s felt more well-rounded, relating not only to zoo animals but wild animals also.

The facilities such as the Animal Management Centre were also very good and I fell in love with the place really. The relatively small lecture sizes meant you could get to know tutors and other students really well, and I found the lecturers very supportive and happy to share their knowledge. I am still in touch with all my classmates.

The course was not always easy and some aspects were particularly challenging, but that is what you expect from an honours degree. I liked the opportunities for work experience – the tutors helped you choose and often had contacts to help you get there. I went to Edinburgh zoo, and Sparsholt’s reputation definitely helped with this. This was an invaluable opportunity as many collections only take Sparsholt students, and allowed me to make many valuable contacts in the industry.

We also got to help out with lambing at the College, which was great and something you probably wouldn’t get to do in many places! I’m now working as a trainee keeper at Marwell Wildlife, using all of the practical and theory skills I gained throughout the course on a daily basis. I worked throughout my course at another wildlife collection and started at Marwell not long after graduating. I’m a keeper in one of the hoofstock sections, looking after two of the endangered white rhino and lots of other large hoofstock, many of which are also endangered.

It’s hard physical work but you can build up a close relationship with the animals, even giving them a quick tickle – all from a safe distance of course! It’s great knowing you are contributing to their welfare. It’s the job I hoped I’d end up doing and I definitely wouldn’t have got here without the practical and theoretical knowledge I gained at Sparsholt.

So many keepers I’ve met know of Sparsholt and it is well respected – its reputation and contacts have already opened lots of doors for me.

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