Jade Aston

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After completing my GCSE’s I was still unsure on the career path I wanted to take, I had always had a love for wildlife and always had my eye on careers around that sector. When looking at local colleges I had seen that Petroc had a great animal facility and had courses in Animal Management, so I applied, and ended up studying the Level 3 Advanced Extended Diploma in Animal Management in 2017. I absolutely loved the course and it gave a great basis of knowledge around the animal care sector. Upon finishing my diploma I was made aware of Petroc’s higher education degrees, this is when I progressed onto study Animal Conservation with Petroc for another two years.

After finishing my diploma with Petroc I really began taking an interest in wildlife conservation, however I was still unsure on the exact career path I wanted to go down. Petroc’s Animal Conservation degree really stood out to me as a great all-round course that I felt would really help to guide me to find my field of interest. The Animal Conservation course had a great variety of modules that would help me to gain the relevant knowledge and practical skills to assist me in my future in conservation.

The highlights of this course for me have not been trips or any specific visits, personally what I’ve enjoyed most about this course is the journey it has allowed me to take when figuring out my interests and career path.

What I have most enjoyed about studying at Petroc is the friendliness and support from lecturers.

Throughout my studies I have volunteered for Bude Marine Group, a volunteer marine conservation group based in Bude, Cornwall. In October 2020 I became a committee member and was given the role as their Digital Communications Officer. I now manage the groups social media platforms and also assist in monthly committee surveys along with helping out with public events and general planning. I have really enjoyed working with Bude Marine Group, although marine biology is not my study of interest I became fascinated with the marine life that was on my doorstep and developed a hobby for underwater photography. I have since had my photographs featured in Cornwall Wildlife Trusts magazine and have met many great people with similar interests to me. Volunteering with Bude Marine Group has allowed me to meet people working within the Wildlife Trusts and allowed me to develop survey skills while also helping to link me with other organisations which could potentially assist me in my career.

When I leave Petroc, I plan on continuing my studies onto a top up degree in Ecology and Conservation at Exeter University.

I would love to work for the Wildlife Trusts, however any entry level ecology role or conservation work will be ideal. I am still not set on a specific career however I have recently found a great interest in pollinators, botany, and entomology and would love to tailor my studies into those subjects to help me find a career.

If you are interested in conservation and have a love for nature, this course is for you. If you are still unsure on a specific career then this course will help you to find an area of interest due to its wide range of modules and options to personally tailor your studies through written assignments.


Foundation Degree in Animal Conservation

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The Animal Conservation course had a great variety of modules that would help me to gain the relevant knowledge and practical skills to assist me in my future in conservation.