Rachel’s story

Rachel began her studies with Capel Manor College on a foundation learning course, she then progressed onto animal care and management, studying Introduction to Animal Care (Level 1), the Animal Care Diploma (Level 2) and Animal Management Advanced Diploma (Level 3). Rachel is now undertaking a foundation degree in animal management and zoology.

“When I joined Capel Manor College I was extremely shy and introverted, and I had huge amounts of anxiety around schooling. During my time at the College I have received incredible support from the Student Services team that greatly contributed to the progression of my studies and massively increased my confidence.

I heard about the College through my secondary school and decided to visit on one of its Open Days. I instantly felt welcome and preferred the atmosphere to any other option I had explored. I liked that the learning environment was so different to other colleges, that it was mainly outdoors, provided hands-on training with animals, had beautiful, spacious grounds and very friendly staff.

I have always liked animals and wanted to study a course related to their care. I have found all of my courses to be well organised with great tutors and help is always on hand. My favourite parts about studying at the College were the practical lessons and the tailored support I received from the Student Services team. I developed a very good relationship with the team who were amazing and helped me to get where I am today. From providing me with counselling sessions, mentoring support and tutor intervention for maths, to support with my dyslexia and speech and language therapy; I have never felt too scared to ask for their assistance.

I felt comfortable as soon as I joined Capel Manor College, I have made many friends along the way and I am still friends with classmates from previous courses I have studied here. I have gained so much confidence since joining the College that I am now a very different person to the one that started here. I have learnt many practical skills for working with animals, how to write reports, how to work as part of a team and most importantly, I have developed self-belief.

I have now started studying the foundation degree in animal management and zoology. On this course I am currently learning about herpetology and my studies will encompass a variety of new things that I am excited to learn, these include: writing essays, practical work, public speaking and presentations.

The foundation degree will provide me with the knowledge and skills needed for my chosen career in zoology and conservation. At the moment I am undertaking work experience at a local zoo, and I have also volunteered at Belmont Farm, Kentish Town Farm and Capel’s Creatures – the College zoo at its Enfield Campus. I plan to volunteer abroad as part of my degree programme too.

My goal for the future is to work in a zoo and conservation preferably with rainforest animals and sloths. The courses I have studied at Capel Manor College have given me a great overview of working within the industry, and I have learnt so many life and social skills along the way that have enabled me to progress and have the confidence to pursue work experience. If you had told me when I first joined the College, all of the things that I would go on to achieve – I would never have believed it!”