Intro to Nuffield Scholar Life

Published in the Scottish Farming Journal – August 2018

My Nuffield journey started back in May 2017….

The application form was quite long, but it gave me a chance to put my point across, and make sure that the selection panel knew who I was, and what I was about. It took me about 2 months to fully complete the form – baring in mind I was in the midst of my MBA and work commitments. I finally submitted in mid July, with the closing date on the 31st July. Twenty-five day later – I remember because it was my brothers 30th birthday – I got an email inviting me for an interview. The email also recommended attending a mock interview in Edinburgh. For those of you who get to this stage, I highly recommend going to the mock interview. It gives you the right level of the ‘fear factor’ to prepare you for London. In fact London was a walk in the park in comparison. My interview in London was held early October, and after a few days of nervously waiting, I was over the mood to be selected as a 2018 Nuffield Scholar!!Photo 12-10-2017, 13 00 59

The next correspondence I had was regarding my sponsorship. I was very pleased to find out that I was being funded by the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), and Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board (AHDB). The AHDB quickly got in contact, and very kindly invited me along to their Monitor Farm conference in Milton Keynes, which was a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone.

Soon my emails were flooded with information about my Nuffield scholarship….first of which was the National Nuffield conference. This was held in Bristol, which felt very festive with the Christmas market. This was the first time I met all the other 2018 Nuffield Scholar. The ice was quickly broken, but the next day we were in at the deep end again as all the other Nuffield scholars arrived.

I have to say the 2016 Nuffield Scholars set the bar extremely high. The presentations were at such a high standard, and varied from farm safety, to the media and black grass. The conference was also the opportunity for the 2018 scholar to be presented with their scholarships and receive the prestigious green ties and broaches. It was quite a special moment at the final gala dinner to walk in and see everyone wearing their tie and broaches with pride!

My Nuffield scholarship was awarded by the Duke of Gloucester, along with Jane King, the CEO of AHDB, and John Mackie, from RHASS.Photo 24-11-2017, 18 11 53

Then it was off home to contemplate how the 2018 scholars could raise the bar further…

After a few weeks of research, and reaching out to contacts, I submitted my travel plan, and got it signed off by Mike. I was also lucky to be allocated a mentor who was one of the 2016 Nuffield scholars. This provided a great opportunity to bounce ideas around and narrow down my planned trip.

And then it was time to start the Nuffield journey…

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