Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Placement Experiences

  • Placements - Kate Orton

    Katerina Orton

    Second year student on BSc Animal Biology and Conservation

    My time at the Cotswold Wildlife Park was not only amazing, but also an extensive learning experience.

    My role there was to assist the keepers with their daily tasks and learn as much as possible about the day to day running of a zoo.

    I developed a variety of practical skills and easily picked up knowledge from the various keepers, including their understandings of zoo working environments, ethics, and health and safety practices. Ethical topics were constantly posed to me during my placement at the Zoo, which gave me the opportunity to explore all aspects of these ethical discussions at my weekly meeting with the zoo registrar. To prepare for these meetings, I did extensive research of journals, articles and discussions, and also asked keepers their opinions on various topics. The research and the discussions with the registrar often changed my opinions on certain ethical issues.

    Although, I have already greatly benefited from this placement, I feel that there is a lot more learning that I could do within the zoo environment, therefore I will be returning to the wildlife park during the summer break to work on the Birds section in the hope that I gain in-depth understanding of a variety of things, including husbandry and welfare practices.

    Placements - Bea Neden

    Beatrice Neden

    Third year student on BSc Environmental Sciences

    I did a Volunteering Experience with National Trust White Cliffs of Dover and South Foreland Lighthouse last summer.

    During my time at various sites near Dover I performed a number of different roles, which allowed me to gain an insight into how the trust works as an organisation. Before I arrived I would avoid picking up the phone in case I did not know what to say and now I know that the public aren’t all that scary after all. I felt welcomed and supported in my volunteer role, and staff were always there to answer any of my questions.

    Being a part of the National Trust team last summer taught me customer service and management skills amongst many others. I attend a variety of trainings, for instance a first aid training, which was far more practical than I ever anticipated. I also had the chance to volunteer offsite; I was a children’s activity coordinator at BBC Countryfile Live event at Blenheim Palace.

    Due to this volunteering opportunity, I became more confident when interacting with the public, and learnt a lot about the management of large organisations, like the National Trust.