Frontier rewards top students with valuable work experience and careers advice

Frontier Agriculture is rewarding top performing first year students from the UK’s leading agricultural universities with a number of unique development opportunities.

Nine students, selected as top performers by their tutors, have been invited to take part in a range of activities beginning with a full day of intensive learning with key members of the Frontier leadership team.

Students from Harper Adams, Newcastle, Nottingham and Reading universities travelled to Frontier’s Sandy office in Bedfordshire in September and spent the day brushing up on a range of essential skills useful to them at the start of their career. These ranged from the more familiar such as compiling a good CV and interview practice to the more industry-specific such as what Frontier is looking for from graduate recruits and a chance to discuss career path progression with people who joined Frontier as graduates themselves.

This is to be followed up later in the academic year with a number of hands-on work experience days. Students will choose which aspects of crop production and associated careers they would like to learn more about. They will select from a range of areas of expertise including roles in commercial, grain trading, agronomy, environmental stewardship and precision crop production. Based on their preferences, they will be invited to spend at least two days ‘on the job’ with experts currently following a career with Frontier in their chosen areas of preference.

Ben Pritchard, who is studying for a BSC in Agriculture with Agronomy at the University of Newcastle, is one of the students benefitting from this initiative. Ben said: “The day we spent with Frontier gave us a real insight into the careers available in agriculture and the best way to go about pursuing them. Before this, I wasn’t really aware of just how many different roles there are. For example, I’m studying agronomy but I didn’t really know what farm trading involved. After listening to what the previous graduate recruits said about farm trading, I am thinking about looking at that as a possible aspect of my career. Everyone on the day came away thinking there is a lot more to working in arable farming than we thought. I’m now looking forward to returning for the work experience days where I’ll find out even more about working in agriculture as I get to meet and shadow at least two specific roles.”

Pauline Maden, careers and employability consultant for The University of Nottingham added: “We were really pleased to facilitate this initiative with Frontier. We’re keen to work closely with businesses to give our students as much insight into the range of careers open to them as early as possible. Not all of them have the opportunity to take up a work placement during their studies so something like this which takes agricultural students, who have just completed their first year, to meet people currently working in that industry will really benefit them.”

Carolyn Cole, HR officer for Frontier concluded: “One of our aims at Frontier is to encourage the brightest young talent to consider a career in agriculture and in particular in arable crop production. The idea behind these first year awards is that we identify the most talented individuals and give them a bespoke prize. This will help them both in their studies and in identifying a future career path. It will also give them a better understanding of the breadth of career paths available to them with a company like Frontier.

“Organising a reward initiative like this takes quite a lot of time, especially for our colleagues who host the work experience days, but it’s worth it because we get to meet the next generation at a time when they are still making decisions on their career path. Who knows, among these nine students, we could inspire a few future Frontier colleagues of the future.”

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