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FOREWORD It is widely recognised that graduates need to develop their employability in order to enter and thrive in the workplace. Throughout their time at Nottingham Trent University (NTU), students are engaged in work-related learning and career development learning to help them acquire knowledge, attributes, skills and behaviours which will equip them to manage their careers in the environmental science, horticulture, ecology and wildlife conservation industry sectors. NTU has a strong focus on employability; providing students with numerous opportunities to develop and reflect on professional attributes, industry experience and helping to develop self-awareness of what is required for them to be successful in the future. From this year, all final year students undertake a “synoptic assessment”, designed to encourage self-reflection of the knowledge, attributes, skills and behaviours students have gathered / developed through the three or four years on their respective course. With the current COVID-10 situation limiting interaction between our students and potential employers, we wanted to provide our students with an opportunity to network and link with companies and organisations remotely. We have asked students to draw on their evidence compiled during the whole course to produce a poster which will articulate their career motivation, personal attributes and emerging professional identity. To assist the students, we provided information on content requirements and style (if you wish to read the tasks in more detail, full information is provided at the back of the book) This e-book provides a snapshot into the reflection of our final year students journey and summarises their achievements, interests and future career interests. We hope you enjoy looking through their profiles and connecting with our students via LinkedIn and other professional networking channels. We would like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you for your continued support of our students and graduates and we wish you all the very best in these difficult circumstances that we currently find ourselves in.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE FUTURE YOU?

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• Exploring career options • Accessing employers looking to recruit from NTU • Job searching • Applications and interviews

• Postgraduate study • …and much more!

We're here to help you launch your graduate career , now and for 3 years after you leave NTU.

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 Careers advice and coaching for recruitment processes  Invitations to events and volunteering opportunities  Our exclusive graduate website - Future You Online

Don't miss out! For further information visit: www.ntu.ac.uk/future-you

EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT INFO

Graduate Showcase Poster

By Aimee Webber – N0851241

I am Aimee Webber, currently I am 21 and studying Wildlife Conservation and Management at Nottingham Trent University where I am also a member of the conservation society that has been useful in developing my skills within the sector.

Current Career Aspirations

Currently I aim to gain and improve the skills needed within conservation such as surveying, identification and software skills so I have a good understanding of conservation before settling into a career, I feel that I would like to focus on marine or bird conservation to involve plastic pollution (McKay, 2019). I am confident that I have good communication and technical skills however I need to improve my practical skills (McKay, 2019).

Upon reflection of my radar charts it is clear that my skills have improved since starting the course in September 2019 to now have a greater knowledge of conservation and the practical skills that will be useful in the sector such as surveying and the use of GIS, a tool largely used in conservation (Geomarvel, 2019). Due to completing a management project I am confident I could partake in another project to guide myself and a team although I can be initially shy I can warm to people. I acknowledge that my practical skills require improvement to work successfully in the communication and personal attributes would make me successful in conservation as I strive to work as attentive and accurately as possible. An achievement of mine is completing a HND in Animal Studies alongside a part time job in order to study conservation at Nottingham Trent University to experience university life away from home. Studying conservation has allowed me to understand myself and my morals to develop a greater understanding of the topic and how I want to progress into the future. sector and I aim to improve this by volunteering. I feel that my current

Personal Action Plan To improve my skill set within conservation I am partaking in an Internship throughout the summer at the Ocean Labs in Pembrokeshire where I will conduct Cetacean and seabird surveys to then input data into software for analysis alongside assisting in the general working of the aquarium to include feeding and maintenance, providing tours and front of house work. There will also be the opportunity to assist in their project to reduce single use plastic and beach cleans. I also aim to volunteer with the South and West Wales Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust to hopefully improve my surveying and maintenance skills within woodland habitats.

JOSEPH ALLSOP – MY PROGRESSION

After volunteering at nature reserves and paid work elsewhere I already had reasonable practical skills before starting my degree. These skills include, grassland management, wetland management, botanical surveys and having a spraying qualification.

Figure 1. Four graphs showing my progression of skills throughout the academic year

Since undergoing my degree I have increased my competencies in researching, ecology, ecological report writing and using GIS.

My finest achievement would be climbing mt. Toubkal, the highest peak in the Atlas mountains and reaching the summit. This was a physical and mental test as well as enjoyable, in which money was raised for the charity TEACH

My Career aspirations is to become and Ecologist. Having already undertaken an ecological consultancy module in my degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management, I will further my education to achieve this goal. I will improve my knowledge and techniques in surveying, gain and work towards acquiring licences for surveying Great Crested Newts, Bats, Hazel Dormice and extend my knowledge in bird and botanical surveys too.

My LinkedIn

Samuel James Baillie BSc (Hons) Horticulture. Nottingham Trent University

Personal Summary Before enrolling at NTU for my BSc top-up, I completed my FdSc at University Centre Sparsholt. Professionally, I have managed the RHS partner garden Kelmarsh Hall, coordinating volunteers and garden development. I am highly motivated, enthusiastic and adaptable. With dedication, I pursue personal and professional development, alongside my passions for plantsmanship.

Career Aspirations

My time at NTU has initiated an interest in the varying agronomic methods that can be applied for achieving global food security. I wish to explore this further at postgraduate level. I also have a long-standing passion for maintaining botanical gardening collections alongside plant taxonomy. However, I ultimately aim to apply my knowledge for introducing others to horticulture as a career or hobby. I aspire to inform people of the wide opportunities that horticulture and its different sectors has to offer. I would passionately welcome future opportunities to introduce people to horticulture through education, lecturing, media or supervisory training.

Radar Chart Reflection

The Radar Chart shown above indicates the development of specific skills throughout the three terms of my final year at NTU. My strongest strengths are perseverance, adaptability, teamwork and interpersonal skills. I developed perseverance through undertaking a dissertation project which presented me with challenges along the way. I adapted to the academic environment at NTU after undertaking my FdSc at University Centre Sparsholt, followed by a professional year-out. Teamwork and interpersonal skills were improved during a successful project management module in which we were allocated teams to undertake a conservation management project. My communication skills have been improved at NTU through conversing with my peers, dissertation supervisor and collaborating researchers. This expands existing professional skills developed at Kelmarsh Hall through leading regular garden history tours, alongside appearing on the BBC’s Instant Gardener 1 , and regional ITV and BBC news pieces 2 . However, I require further development of personal management skills to ensure a healthy balance between work and personal time, as I am naturally inclined to set high expectations of myself. Finest Achievement Investigating the effect of different LED light spectra on the growth and pigment accumulation in Swiss Chard growing in hydroponic systems, within a controlled environment agriculture shipping container on the Brackenhurst campus. This dissertation pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to use my initiative alongside analytical skills. These skills were essential in designing the experiment alongside establishing and arranging data collection such as spectrophotometric pigment determination and gas exchange measurements using the Li-6400XT portable photosynthesis system. Analytical skills were required for statistical analysis and interpreting the significance of the results. What Can I Offer? I can offer potential employers a comprehensive plant knowledge alongside professional gardening and management experience. I communicate effectively in teams and adapt to new challenges. My course has increased my understanding of global challenges facing horticulture and the potential solutions, alongside improving my scientific research skills in controlled environment agriculture. NTU has provided a platform for subject learning and improving weaknesses through self-reflection. Subsequently, I have targeted continued self-improvement of my initiative and analytical skills to achieve my career aspirations.

Future Development Aims

My final year at NTU has introduced me to highly relevant and globally important issues, such as achieving global food security and increasing food production resilience to climate change. While I retain aspirations for botanical gardening and teaching, I wish to follow up my dissertation research and burgeoning interest in global food security, vertical farming and the fate of global food systems. In term 1, I set S.M.A.R.T targets to improve analytical, interpersonal and initiative skills to assist my academic progress throughout my final year at NTU; these targets were instrumental in assisting the completion of my dissertation. The following three targets have been set to develop my areas for improvement indicated on my final year Radar Chart culminating all three terms. The targets focus on pursuing opportunities in vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture, alongside developing further the analytical and initiative skills that I have acquired during my final year at NTU: • Target 1 (Analytical, Initiative): Undertake work experience within vertical farming or controlled environment agriculture. Achievable by September 2020 through offering voluntary summer services between graduation and postgraduate studies. • Target 2 (Personal Management, Initiative): To gain confidence with a specific method of personal management suitable for my personal and professional development. Achievable by September 2020 through developing a professional and personal schedule for increased efficiency, focus and fulfilment. • Target 3 (Analytical, Initiative): Research and appraise the agronomic technologies and practices being considered as a solution to global food insecurity. Achievable by June 2021 through undertaking on a postgraduate Masters degree (MSc) in Global Food Security at NTU .

Links 1 . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWw4hQ_txu8 2 . https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2019-06-13/soggy- june-may-dampen-our-spirits-but-its-great-for-the- gardens/

sambaillie123@hotmail.co.uk

Simon Woodburn

Personal Summary • 27 years old from Rotherham, South Yorkshire • Passionate interest in wildlife • Created habitats at home • Assisted in projects in South Africa

Career Aspirations My career aspirations are to enter the field of wildlife conservation through practical habitat management, species surveys or educating others about wildlife and engaging people’s interest in wildlife. Assisting in conservation projects at Kwantu Private Game Reserve in South Africa [1] and creating habitats in the garden have allowed the development and improvement of some skills required for habitat management and species surveys (Figure 1.5 and Figure 1.6). Meanwhile, working in zoos [2] and colleges [3] and with vulnerable children and adults [4] has enabled the development of skills in engaging with a wide variety of people, backgrounds and abilities. • Keen wildlife photographer • Experience working with vulnerable children and adults and in zoos • Enjoy educating others about wildlife

Skills and Attributes I can offer good knowledge, gained through previous studies, of animal behaviour, anatomy and physiology and conflicts that wildlife face (Figure 1.1). In terms of surveys, I am able to offer good species identification skills by using guides and bird survey skills through RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and other surveys. I have two personal camera traps with experience of camera trapping for species monitoring (Figure 1.2). Furthermore, I can offer great team working and independent working skills, proven record of striving for equality and diversity, social media skills, and educating others and working with volunteers from previous and current employment (Figure 1.3). Studies illustrate great written communication, organisation and time management while working well under pressure. I am a motivated, flexible and resilient individual that embraces change (Figure 1.4).

Figure 1.5: Graden pond habitat creation with two ponds offering various different features and planting to support wildlife.

0 1 2 3 4 5 Phase 1 survey

5 Ecological concepts

Wildlife management modelling

Habitat survey

Ecological consultancy

Conservation principles

4

Aquatic survey

Utilisation of GPS/GIS

Ecosystem ecology

Law and policy

3

Invertebrate survey

Wildlife photography

Aquatic ecology

Wildlife conflicts

2

1

Cartography & aerial photography

Bird survey

Marine and coastal ecology

Anatomy & physiology

0

Hedgelaying

Reptile & Amphibian survey

Survey techniques

Population genetics

Use of chainsaw

Mammal survey

Figure 1.6: Garden pond habitat creation from Figure 1.5 beginning to establish with additional planting and in the process of restoring the gravel shoreline feature to better support wildlife.

Habitat management

Animal behaviour

Use of brushcutter

Small mammal trapping

Camera trapping

Wildlife issues and management

Reintroductions & translocations

Conservation issues

Oct-19

May-20

Oct-19

May-20

Figure 1.1: Radar chart indicating progress and development of subject knowledge.

Figure 1.2: Radar chart indicating progress and development of practical skills.

5 Written communication

5 Team working

Public engagement/social skills

Independent working

Creativity

Verbal communication

4

4

Public discourse and social responsibility

Budget management

Entrepreneurialism

Organisation

3

3

Personal Action Plan To further improve knowledge and understanding of ecology, I will pursue research to improve my ability to educate others and my understanding of wider effects of conservation measures by the end of 2021. I aim to improve habitat management knowledge and skills through experience with habitat creation and management at home and by further research by July 2021. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the aim of improving species survey skills by May 2020 has been limited; therefore, I will aim to improve these skills by April 2021. Through experience educating and speaking to others about wildlife, I aim to improve my public engagement and social skills by June 2021.

Conflict negotiation/resolution

Fund raising

2

Resilience

Time management

2

1

1

Social media skills

Event management

0

Integrity

Working under pressure

0

Inter-disciplinary working

Marketing and publicity

Initiative

Multi-tasking

Problem-solving

Working with volunteers

Motivation

Flexibility

Equality and diversity

Education of others

Curiosity

Embracing Change

Networking

Decisiveness

Oct-19

May-20

Oct-19

May-20

Figure 1.3: Radar chart indicating progress and development of professional attributes.

Figure 1.4: Radar chart indicating progress and development of personal effectiveness.

Finest Achievement The finest achievement during my final year was to restrict reports to specified word counts, which proved challenging during previous level four and five studies at Rotherham College. Subsequently, it has led to an improvement in the production of concise and professional reports, similar to those that may be required in industry.

[1] – Kwantu Private Game Reserve (2020). Homepage [Online] Sidbury, South Africa: Kwantu Private Game Reserve. Available from: https://kwantu.co.za [Accessed: 07 May 2020] [2] – Tropical Butterfly House (2020). Homepage [Online] Sheffield: Tropical Butterfly House. Available from: https://www.butterflyhouse.co.uk/ [Accessed: 07 May 2020] [3] – Rotherham College (2020). Homepage [Online] Rotherham: RNN Group. Available from: https://www.rotherham.ac.uk/ [Accessed: 07 May 2020] [4] – Alternative Programme Education (2020). Homepage [Online] Retford: Alternative Programme Education. Available from: http://www.alternativeprogrammeeducation.co.uk/ [Accessed: 07 May 2020]

SYNOPTIC

Final year BSc (Hons) Ecology and Conservation undergraduate with experience working in a range of sectors and environments. Practical experience in surveying, laboratory, habitat management and conservation techniques (particularly wetland and aquatic habitat research and conservation) as well as public engagement and outreach experience.

Skills and Attributes

Achievements Research

• Main strengths: ethics, political awareness, sustainability, and practical habitat management. • Areas to improve: law and policy; agriculture; ecological consultancy; and environmental conflicts. • Specific aims: to progress further in my understanding of environmental biogeochemistry and some of the more complex issues surrounding climate change, as well as continuing to build a strong understanding of environmental law.

During July and August 2019, I worked with Operation Wallacea as a marine research assistant on a protected coral reef in Tela, Honduras. As well as improving my marine ecology knowledge, I also gained training and experience in scientific diving and marine research methods, and deepened my understanding of the relationships between conservation efforts and local communities. I also have research experience with terrestrial wildlife; the Field Techniques module of my course allowed me to develop my surveying capabilities for a range of taxa, and further work with East Midlands Butterfly Conservation groups has further improved my skills with lepidoptera, specifically. Charity Work During 2018 I took part in a Charity Challenge trek which, along with several fundraising events running up to the trek, raised around £2500 for Mind. I also documented some of the walks I did as part of my training, hoping to show the link between mental wellbeing and spending time in nature. I believe that this experience helped me to develop many important personal and professional attributes including time management; event planning and organising; public engagement; and education of others. I continued to improve upon these skills in my final year by taking on a voluntary position with the university’s Raising and Giving (RAG) committee. Sustainability Throughout my time at university, I have been actively engaged with the Green Academy, a group within the university dedicated to improving sustainability and environmental awareness among staff and students. I have taken part in several meetings and events with them, and the wider sustainability team, including sustainability audits, conferences, and events to raise awareness among students on all courses and campuses. This experience has helped most with developing my public engagement and education skills within the context of environment and sustainability, and has allowed me to develop other valuable professional skills such as networking and clear communication of ideas. Career Aims • I would like to progress further with my studies; I am hoping to go on to study aquatic ecology at postgraduate level. • I have interests in both consultancy and research, and hope to be able to do both. A major interest of mine is applying research to mitigation measures; determining what works in mitigation and hopefully improving such measures.

Year start Year end

• Main strengths: research design, surveying (including aquatic invertebrates, wildflowers, and lepidoptera), habitat management, general laboratory skills (my dissertation work, specifically, has helped me build upon my applied environmental chemistry skills). • Areas to improve: bird survey methods, phase 1 surveying, GIS/GPS skills. • Specific aims: to further improve identification skills, particularly for birds, and plants other than wildflowers. To make use of resources – both from and outside of university – to improve GIS skills. • Main strengths: flexible working, fundraising, event management, problem solving. • Areas to improve: networking, social media skills, public discourse, negotiation/conflict resolution. • Specific aims: to continue my professional development after graduation to further improve professional skills. • Main strengths: creativity, flexibility, ability to work with change, transferrable skills, and ability to engage with a range of different people/audiences. • Areas to improve: entrepreneurialism, decisiveness. • Specific aims: to improve upon entrepreneurial skills by making use of employability resources and online training outside university.

Further aims and objectives, drawing from these evaluations, current experience, and future career aims.

Find me on LinkedIn

https://tinyurl.com /ybvscyqj

Rachael Harrop BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation

About Me I am an honest, hardworking, passionate individual who works well in teams. My compassion is reflected through my work with animals. During my time at university I have acquired a variety of skills such as debating, communication and a wider understanding of conservation issues as well as many other skills which will benefit any potential employer. My Future Career Aspirations My future career aspirations are to work in the primate conservation sector in a field-based capacity. Initially as a research assistant working up to the role of director of conservation on a reserve or national park. I want to work mainly with Bonobos, in the Congo Basin of Central Africa, studying their habitat depletion due to regional instability and to further enhance our understanding of

My Finest Achievement My finest achievement during University was having the opportunity to put forth my passion for animal welfare by contributing to Rhino conservation at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa. Not only was I able to make a tangible difference to the welfare of the animals but I gained invaluable life skills and matured personally. Skills acquired included teamwork, communication, research and field-based knowledge. My confidence grew through presenting data and communication at various levels. This in turn has boosted my overall confidence and I now believe I can achieve more than before. From having a hands-on field-based project experience I improved my knowledge and was able to set up a project and justification for protocol. This was all new research work with methods I had not implemented before and proved a steep learning curve and I feel that this boosted my confidence. My time overall in South Africa enhanced my confidence through learning and implementing new techniques. This boosted my skill set and allowed me to grow as an individual. I can apply these skills in the pursuit for my chosen career path and passion for conservation. I have demonstrated this growth and development in my radar chart. I believe that my participation at Mankwe and the skills developed during my time on the reserve are the finest achievements on my path to a career in conservation. Reflective Personal Action Plan I believe the following skills are my strongpoints; team player, confident and good initiative, however there are skills that I need to further develop; these include additional conservation experience, Bonobo knowledge and time management. Improvement in these will enhance my career opportunities in the primate conservation sector. The following smarts target will help me develop these skills In February 2021 I will volunteer at the Vervet Monkey Forest, South Africa for a total of 8 hours a day for 3 months totalling 576 hours. I will be carrying out animal husbandry and assist with animal outreach programs. This will improve my understanding of primates and provide valuable experience for my pursuit of a career in primate conservation. This should be completed by 1 June 2021 From 1 June 2020, I will research about Bonobos using online academic journals and web articles for 3 hours a day for approximately 52 weeks to enhance my understanding of Bonobos for my future career in primate conservation. This will be achieved by June 1 st 2021 Time management will be an ongoing development in which I will draw up daily lists of priorities. Organising them in terms of importance based upon completion deadlines and size of task. Using this I will plan out workloads on a weekly basis, I will continually do this throughout my future career.

the species. Initially I would need to volunteer with conservation institutions allowing me to gain vital experience. During this time I would seek a relevant internship to enhance my credentials, enhancing my desirability in a competitive job market. My current academic skills and capabilities provide a strong foundation to build on for my future career.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Communication

Utilisation of GPS/GIS

Debating

Presentation

Teamwork

Research

Wildlife Conflicts

Population Management

Consveration Issues

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Figure 1. A radar chart of my development from term 1 to term 3

Skill Development Communication skills were gained from participating in group debates, formulation of a coherent argument by processing information to communicate our findings to a wider audience in the form of a poster and presentation types was required thus gaining me confidence in debating, presentation skills, building working relationships and ability to apply gained knowledge of field based research. Debating skills and my passion for animal welfare would allow me to articulate and promote opinions with confidence in my chosen career. The biggest development of my teamwork skills came from the field trip to Mankwe. I have gained the confidence to formulate strong ethical arguments for wildlife conflicts through my participation in debates. Improving this further through extensive research using academic journals, articles, books, and real-world experiences during my time at Mankwe by witnessing the issue of poaching in action. Therefore, increasing my knowledge of current affairs within the conservation sector and my research abilities. For my dissertation I have improved my knowledge of conservation issues and population management by doing extensive research using case studies and current affairs enabling me to apply the process of population management in field-based work as well as analysing and predicting likely consequences. Debating, analysing and predicting likely consequences, current issues and laws are a vital attribute for a career in conservation as roles often include attendance in CITES conventions. Research, utilisation of GPS/GIS and presentation skills are all essential in the process leading from researching a hypothesis, implementing research methods to collecting data and presenting findings to the wider scientific community. The development of these three skills greatly increased during my time on the Mankwe wildlife reserve. Presentation of team findings to other participants required a variety of different methods, overall enhancing my skill base and increasing my confidence which I feel has been my overall biggest improvement. This radar chart depicts the development of my capabilities and highlights my skills to potential employers.

Kevin Wain, Environmental Science. Summary.

After 25 years of working within industry I decided that it was time for a change, entering full time education for the first time since leaving school at 16. During my time in industry skills within team work were essential, moreover, working alone on my own initiative was equally as important. My time at University has helped hone skills in theory as well as new practical skills in a field of interest to me, environmental science.

Career aspirations. The transition between industry and university has been an interesting journey, proving to be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Moving forward from university I would very much like to start a career in the environmental sector, preferably this would be in the field of environmental monitoring as my time at NTU has highlighted and enhanced my interest in this area.

Personal progression.

Figure 2 : Radar chart displaying personal progression in subject knowledge, from the start to the end of final year at NTU.

Figure 1 : Radar chart displaying personal progression in practical skills, from the start to the end of final year at NTU.

During the final year of university, progression was made in all areas. Figure 1 shows particular progress in the areas concerning aquatic and invertebrate surveying, this would be attributed to the subject chosen for dissertation. Primary data, concerning water quality and macroinvertebrate communities, was collected and analysed to achieve the aims of the dissertation study, leading to a deeper understanding of these skills (Harrison et al , 2003). Figure 2 shows the highest level of subject knowledge progression was found in renewable energy, biogeochemistry, marine and coastal ecology and research. The first 3 of these were subjects studied during the final year, marine and freshwater ecology being a particular subject of interest. Progression in research would have been aided through the dissertation study being a personal research project (Harrison & Whally, 2015).

Figure 5 : Macroinvertebrate sampling .

The monitoring of water quality and freshwater ecology was the subject of my dissertation and reflects the work I would like to conduct. Both work in the field and analysis in a laboratory are areas of interest to me that I would like to explore further in a career. Figure 5 shows the collection of macroinvertebrate samples for a similar study to my dissertation whereas figure 6 shows the laboratories at NTU, both of which were highlights for me during my time at NTU.

Figure 4 : Radar chart displaying personal progression in personal effectiveness, from the start to the end of final year at NTU.

Figure 3 : Radar chart displaying personal progression in professional attributes, from the start to the end of final year at NTU.

Figure 6 : Brackenhurst laboratory.

Personal action plan. In the years following graduation I would very much like to get established within the workplace and become competent in a new working environment. Once comfortable in this role I would like to work towards progression within the company, be it field or laboratory based and aim to have achieved this within a 5 year period. The steps towards this would involve workplace training to improve strengths in related skill sets and further education to achieve the knowledge base to carry my career forward where necessary. Harrison M., Whalley, W, B., 2015. Combining student independent learning and peer advice to improve the quality of undergraduate dissertations. Planet, 16, 15-18. Harrison, M., Short, C., Roberts, C., 2003. Reflecting on reflective learning: The case of geography, Earth and environmental science. Journal of geography in higher education, 27, 133-152. NTU,2020. Laboratories [digital image]. Google. Available at: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/study-and- courses/courses/our-facilities/laboratories [Accessed 4 May 2020]. Osborne, M., Marks, A., Turner, E., 2004. Becoming a mature student: How adult applicants weigh the advantages and disadvantages of higher education. Higher education, 48, 291-315. Willians, J., Seary, K., 2011. ‘I feel like I’m being hit from all directions’: Enduring the bombardment as a mature-age learner returning to formal learning. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 51 (1), 119-142.

The final year at NTU brought around the opportunity for me to act as an academic representative for my year of environmental scientists. This helped in the progression of many of the skills displayed in Figure 3 , from networking and social media skills to working with volunteers. Budget management was a more personal affair, coming from the workplace into full time education has lessons in financial responsibility all of its own (Osborne et al , 2004). Figure 4 displays a progression that follows the pattern set by the year 3 start with overall increases in all areas. This was due to the workload and focus on independent studies, especially within the dissertation. Flexibility and embracing change were key when entering university as a mature student which progressed these skills over the duration of the undergraduate course (Willians & Seary, 2011).

sbarron@hotmail.co.uk

07947409803

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A Future in Agronomy

Skills and Attributes During my time at university I was able to develop and enhance many skills and attributions. My time management has always been a strong point as I enjoy working towards a deadline and creating an achievable plan to work to; this has been improved when writing essays and completing assignments. I have always enjoyed being a team player so alongside my studies I joined the NTU Lacrosse Society. Not only did I play the sport, but I was also voted in by my peers as the Social & Wellbeing Officer (2018/2019) and then as the Vice President (2019/2020). Both roles helped me improve my organisational skills as I had to organise events such as Taster Sessions and Fresher’s Fairs. I do sometimes struggle with my written communication skills so I have used the university resources and worked with specialised tutors to help improve my grammar and punctuation. I also feel that my networking could be improved which I aim to do by attending local events and training with some local agronomists. Finest Achievement My finest achievement would have to be completing my dissertation; ‘The Benefits of Driven Shooting towards Conservation and People’s Views and Perceptions’. Driven Shooting has always been an important sport for me but I have always felt that not many people fully understand its benefits. This dissertation sought out to not only understand the views and perceptions of the respondents but also the aim to remove any negative views. This was the first time that I completed my own research which gave me the opportunity to use all the skills that I have developed over the three years at NTU. After collecting raw data through the use of questionnaires, I used statistical tests to understand the significance of the results. To start with I struggled with the statistical tests but once I went over them with fellow peers and lecturers, I was able to complete them independently and to a high standard. Although writing a dissertation was a daunting challenge, I thoroughly enjoyed working on it and the finished product was an extreme accomplishment. First Term Third Term 0 – No knowledge/experience 5 – Excellent knowledge/experience

Career Aspirations: Agronomy

Who I am and what I can offer… My name is Stanley Barron and I’m in my final year of studying Ecology and Conservation at Nottingham Trent University. Confidence has always come easily for me which has helped me excel during university and work experience. I enjoy enhancing my skills to ensure that I can work flexibly within a business which in turn improves my problem solving. My strong initiative is a key personality trait and has been highlighted by past employers. Development Studying at NTU has thoroughly improved many of my skills by pushing me to work on my weaknesses and expand my knowledge. My studies have given me a more secure and academic base which improves the foundation behind my practical knowledge surrounding agronomy. University has given me the opportunity to look at ecology and conservation in many different aspects; such as allowing me to travel to South Africa and seeing how conservation works. NTU has drastically improved my written communication over the past three years through the help of one to one sessions, advanced grammar software and practicing my writing through my assignments and essays. Action Plan Creating Hands on Knowledge I aim to do some more general farm work at local arable farms which would give me the opportunity to put my academic knowledge into practice. Not only will this expand my understandings within agronomy, but it will also allow me to bridge the gap with local farmers; which in turn will help me in finding a job. BASIS Certificate I will enrol into specific training programmes to ensure that I will gain the BASIS Certificate in Crop Protection as this is a legal requirement for anyone who wishes to advise or sell pesticides. This will also improve my knowledge on the new products and new techniques that are involved in sales and advice for Crop Protection (BASIS 2020). Improve my Networking Throughout the next few months, I will aim to network more within the local farming world. I can do this by signing up with YIELD Network; a Norfolk based rural business network (RNAA 2020). The YIELD Network will be able to put me into contact with local rural professionals which will support my connections in the local farming world. Finishing my Undergraduate Degree My main objective at the moment is to complete my degree and gain a 2:1 or higher at the end. This objective will not only aid me in my other targets but it will also make me more desirable to potential employers.

Studying ecology and conservation has broadened my knowledge and has encouraged me to pursue a career in agronomy. My previous work experience at SynTech combined with undergraduate studies has created a strong foundation for me to work in agronomy; modules such as ‘Global agriculture and food security’, ‘Principals of ecology’ and ‘Land use ecology’ have helped me to understand agronomy further. With this knowledge I will apply for jobs as a trainee agronomist with the aspiration to become fully qualified within a prestige company. I feel that I would be best suited to a role in agronomy as I enjoy working outside and being a part of something which holds great importance not only to the land owners but also to the production of crops. After my time at SynTech, I fully understand the pressures that many farmers face and how important it is for them to establish the best crop yield possible; this aspect of the role would allow me to enhance my problem solving skills. Not only do I hold the knowledge and some key skills to become an agronomist, I also have the passion and determination to do it.

References BASIS, 2020. BASIS Training. [online] Available at: https://www.basis- reg.co.uk/training?area=1c1b92d1-eb07-413c-ab2e- b0e0d2325d64&course=b7d74065-f667-491d-bc4b-97f64ebdc442 [Accessed 25 March 2020] RNAA, 2020. The YIELD Network. [online] Available at: https://rnaa.org.uk/about-the-rnaa/the-yield-network/ [Accessed 28 March 2020]

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BSc (Hons) Environmental science

Who am I? My name is Chris Asante, and I am a final year Environmental Science student at Nottingham Trent University. I am self-motivated individual with a positive attitude toward learning and growth. I am enthusiastic in every way and always up for new challenges and tasks. I enjoy working as a part of a team as I believe working with others plays a key role in personal development.

What I can offer a potential employer: skills, attributes and capabilities During my studies and extra curriculum activities at NTU, I have developed a wide range of skills which can be greatly useful in a workplace. The skills and knowledge I have acquired over my three years at NTU have been displayed using radar charts found below. The radar charts, shows the improvement in qualities between the first and second terms of my final year. Additionally, each attribute has been scored between 0 and 5 with 5 being the score for strong attributes .The radar charts are also accompanied by examples of SMART aims and objects which were used for self-improvement.

My career aspirations Due to my interest in social and environmental development, I aspire to become an environmental consultant, mainly focusing on contaminated land and remediation. The increasing rates of population growth has caused land as a natural resource to be more vital than ever. Thus, I believe being able protect of human health from potential risks derived from contaminated land is pivotal. My education at NTU has equipment me with wide a range of skills and subject knowledge, that hugely compliment my career aspirations. see radar charts for more insight . My finest achievement The completion of my dissertation project was by far, my finest achievement during my time at university. My dissertation project allowed me to showcase a wide range of subject knowledge and skills which I have learnt over the course of my three-year degree. The project was a clear representation of personal and independent growth, achieved through my hard work and dedication towards the environmental science course . Personal SMART action plan to achieve career aspirations After significant research into several Environmental constancy firms, I noticed the most common entry to these firms were through graduate programmes. Even though each firm had their own entry criteria, they all had common key attributes they looked for in candidates. For instance, skills such are digital literacy, project management, business skills, communication and presentation skills where key desired attributes. Following on from this, I have formulated a SMART action plan which is: -I aim apply for graduate schemes for the year 2021. - Before my applications, I will take on any possible opportunities that are made available. For example, I will utilize opportunities such as professional workshops, volunteering, job shadowing and work experience to improve my CV whilst sharpening old skills and picking up new once.

Professional attributes Aims: My main aims are to further improve my current strengths such as team working skills and to improve my weak attributes. year. Example of SMART action plans to improve Personal effectiveness Specific weak attribute : Public engagement /social skills Action plan: As a student mentor, I motivated myself take up leadership roles during group activities in my final year. This meant I had to become more proactive by preplanning my sessions. By preplanning, I improved my public confidence which resulted in the improvement of both my public engagement and social skills. (Mindtools, 2020) suggest being able to plan appropriately improves public communication and engagement.

Personal effectiveness Aims: To improve all weak attributes through target specific action plans, the end of my final academic year. Example of SMART action plans to improve Personal effectiveness Specific weak attribute : Organisation and Working Under pressure Action plan: To improve my organisation skills, I developed new habits such as to giving myself enough time to complete tasks during my final year. I did this by setting daily tasks following a structure that prioritizes most important tasks. (Linkedin, 2020) suggests the use of a “to-do lists” and the ability to sharpen focus aids the improvement origination skills as well as the ability to cope with pressure. This approach was vital as it helped to balance my dissertation alongside other assignments

Subject knowledge Aims: To improve all subject knowledge in all disciplines to the minimum of a level 4 by the end of the academic year. Example of SMART action plans to improve subject knowledge Specific weak attribute: Natural resource use and management Action plan: Natural resource management was an example of a subject area I had lacked knowledge of. However, to improve my knowledge in this subject area, I had to become more proactive by using lecture materials that were produced, along side this, I spent significant time reading literature around this subject which allowed me to improve my knowledge . The use of independent learning has been proven to improve academic capability hence why this approach was adapted by myself (Meyer,2010)

Practical skills Aims : To enhance all practical skill to reach a minimum of level 4 by the end of my final year. Example of SMART action plans to improve practical skills Specific weak attribute: Remote sensing and Ariel photography Action plan: One of my main modules during my final year was application to remote sensing. This module enabled me to further develop my GIS skills, as well as improving my knowledge on remote sensing and Ariel photography. By being proactive and engaging with practical tasks provided by the module, I was able to widen my subject knowledge as well as skill. The use of practical work has been proven to improve knowledge retention (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Contact details Linkedin: Chris Asante Email :Chrisasante04@gmail.com

References Cambridge University Press, 2018. Practical Work: The Benefits, Challenges and Solutions . [online] Cambridge University Press. Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2020]. Linkedin, 2020. Improve Your Organizational Skills . [online] Linkedin.com. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2020]. Meyer, W.R., 2020. Independent learning: a literature review and a new project [Online]. London: University of Leeds. Available at: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/bei/Education-line/browse/all_items/193305.html [ Accessed 8 May 2020] Mindtools, 2020. Better Public Speaking: Becoming A Confident, Compelling Speaker . [online] Mindtools.com. Available at: [Accessed 7 May 2020].

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

Skills and Attributes I am a highly innovative and motivated final year Environmental Science undergraduate; studying at Nottingham Trent University, and graduating in July 2020. I possess a wide range of academic and transferable skills, including research methodology, problem-solving and attention to detail, in addition to the specific knowledge and skills relevant to an Environmental Science degree (NTU, 2020). Career Aspirations My career aspiration is to work as an

Finest Achievement My greatest achievement is my dissertation. It allowed me to test my independent research and cover a topic that I chose myself. It was the longest, most challenging and most important assignment to date, requiring lots of preparation and hard work. However, it was very rewarding to complete.

Environmental Consultant; potentially specialising in an area such as sustainability, climate control and management. Once I have gained enough experience and worked within the industry, another goal is to open my own Environmental Consultancy (National Careers Service, 2020).

Practical Skills Oct-19 May-20

Personal Effectiveness Oct-19 May-20

5 Producing a risk assessment

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Written communication

Species handling

Vegetation survey

Creativity

Verbal communication Organisation

Primary and/or secondary data analysis

4

Invertebrate survey

Entrepreneurialism

3

Remote Sensing

Invertebrate identification

2

Resilience

Time management

1

Utilisation of GPS/GIS

Bat survey

0

Integrity

Working under pressure

Cartography & aerial photography

Use of chainsaw

Initiative

Multi-tasking

Water sampling and analysis Generic IT skills

Generic laboratory skills

Motivation

Flexibility Embracing Change

Soil sampling and analysis

Curiosity

Geological mapping

Decisiveness

I have a wide range of practical skills, which I have the ability to undertake without supervision, due to practice and experience. Many of the skills I have obtained, including lab and IT skills, I have improved with use. There are some skills, such as species handling and using a chainsaw, that I have never used. Predominantly because it isn’t a skill I have needed to use. GIS is a skill I have improved on, due the frequent use in my Applications in Remote Sensing module. SMART Objective I will significantly improve my GIS and cartography skills by the end of May 2020, which I will achieve by using the software more during the completion of my Applications of Remote Sensing module.

I have proven professional capacity across my personal effectiveness skills, which have grown over my final year. I spend a lot of time managing my time and planning, which enables me to plan in advance and reduce my stress levels. I find it difficult to multitask, especially with assignments. I prefer to complete one assignment at a time, which helps me to avoid confusion and cross over. This is something I have still been unable to improve on over final year. SMART Objective By the time I graduate, I will have more confidence in my ability to make decisions, and so improve my decisiveness. I will achieve this by applying for a masters, which will take me one step closer to achieving my career goals (National Careers Service, 2020).

Professional Attributes Oct-19 May-20

Subject Knowledge Oct-19 May-20

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Team working

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Law and policy

Public…

Independent working

Research

Evolution & taxonomy Health & safety

Public discourse and…

Budget management

Political awareness

Conflict…

Fund raising

Env. and/or ecological…

Earth sciences

Social media skills

Event management

Environmental…

Environmental issues

Inter-disciplinary working

Marketing and publicity

Environmental…

Waste management

Problem-solving

Working with volunteers

Environmental conflicts

Climate change Environmental sector

Equality and diversity

Education of others

Renewable energies

Networking

Sustainability

The majority of my professional attributes are quite strong. This is largely down to the fact that I use many of them throughout my day to day activities, including at work and during university. Independent work and teamwork are attributes that I have lots of experience in, whereas event management and conflict negotiation/resolution are areas that I have very little experience in. These are areas that I am less familiar with, however my module in Natural Resource Management recently introduced me to conflict negotiation. SMART Objective I will take part in the Race for Life in October 2020. By raising money via my Just Giving for Cancer Research UK, this will improve my fundraising capability (Just Giving, 2020).

It’s patent that I lack subject knowledge in the subjects that I studied in 1 st year and 2 nd year. Mainly due to the fact that I have become less familiar with the earlier modules. In particular, I have very little knowledge on Evolution & Taxonomy; which was a topic I looked at during my Principles of Ecology module. I lacked interest in this particular module as I don’t intend to go into this field. Whereas, research is an area that I have a lot of experience in, as it is required throughout each module. SMART Objective By May 2020, I will increase my waste management knowledge from a 4 to a 5, by completing my Environmental Biogeochemistry assignment on contaminants.

References Just Giving, 2020. Jordan’s Race for Life [online]. Race for Life: Cancer Research UK. Available at: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/jordans-race-for-life- 9995?utm_medium=email&utm_source=mcmp&utm_campaign=N20LRCAE21&utm_content=N20LRCAE21047&utm_team=R4L%20-%20IN%20-%20Critical%20Amend%20CA4%20-%20Coronavirus%20Comms%202&urn=600666523 [Accessed 20 February 2020]. National Careers Service, 2020. Environmental Consultant [online]. GOV.UK. Available at: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/environmental-consultant [Accessed 5 May 2020]. NTU, 2020. BSc (Hons) Environmental Science [Online]. Nottingham Trent University. Available at: https://www.ntu.ac.uk/study-and-courses/courses/find-your-course/animal-rural-environmental-sciences/ug/202021/environmental-science [Accessed 6 May 2020].

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