When looking for college courses, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to follow and so I chose to do animal management as it allowed me to work with a variety of animals including exotics, invertebrates, and domestic.
This also allowed me to decide what animals I favour which also helped me decide what career path I wanted to follow. The course also appealed to me as I did not want to do an exam-based course, and only three modules out of fifteen have exams and the tutors ensure we are fully prepared for them.
I chose Bishop Burton College as it has a very large variety of different animal species which allowed me to explore a variety of different sectors to work in after college. I also chose it as it allowed me to move away from home, though daunting at first, it has given me more confidence in myself and independence as well as being lots of fun!
College is very different from secondary school, in a good way. The classes are a lot more relaxed and not purely based on academic gain but instead more on experience, knowledge and transferable skills that can be used in future careers. We are also treated like young adults, and work as a team with the technicians and tutors to ensure the animals welfare is the main priority.
My favourite part of the course is the work experience practical sessions with the technicians. They allow us to gain a wider variety of knowledge with the staff who work with the animals daily. The lessons ranged from cleaning out enclosures, health checking animals and making enrichment, but also other useful skills such as food preparation and helping sort deliveries.
This course has given me a solid foundation in animal husbandry and management which has given me the qualifications and experience to gain a place at university and study wildlife and conservation management, where I will use the transferable skills, I have acquired at Bishop Burton College, to further my knowledge at degree level.
I didn't need to worry about not knowing how to look after animals, or animals I was scared to handle. All the tutors ensure we get the correct training on how to handle and perform basic husbandry skills before we carry it out independently. They are always willing to answer questions and help perform tasks you are not confident with.
There are two main facilities I enjoy. Academically I really enjoy the animal unit as it allows us to gain experience and learn as we work. As a residential student I enjoy the facilities at the meadows including the pool tables, bar and sports hall. These areas allow us to socialise after college hours and ensures there is always something to do.
One of my favourite things about being on campus is the library. It contains a wide variety of research material ranging from books to online research papers. The library is also sectioned into different areas such as quiet areas for independent study, and more social areas for studying in a group.
Being a residential student was scary at first, however I quickly made a group of friends who I spend my free time with. There are also a variety of facilities we can use such as free gym membership which helps pass time. I also have a good relationship with the wardens which helps makes living here feel like a second home.