Stephanie studied horticulture at Capel Manor College which led to a whole new career path.
“I was the Head of Departmental Operations in the Faculty of National and Mathematical Sciences at King’s College London when I was thinking about a career change. I initially wanted to retrain as a dog groomer, but after attending an Open Day at Capel Manor College and speaking to a student who had just completed a Level 2 in horticulture, their enthusiasm for the course made me have a light bulb moment and I decided to change direction.
I thought studying horticulture would give me a broader range of career options, and at a subsequent advice evening, I steered towards studying horticulture at Level 3 as it looked like a good qualification for someone who already had a degree in a different area and was looking to change career.
The course was well-structured and we went on some great visits to other gardens. I particularly enjoyed the ‘crops’ modules and going to Forty Hall Farm, run by staff and volunteers at the College, to take part in practical work and gain an understanding of how an organic market garden works.
I made new friends, developed new skills, challenged myself and gained confidence. The practical experience I gained whilst volunteering at Forty Hall Farm and at Capel Manor College itself in the Gardens definitely helped me secure my first job in horticulture. As a consequence of my career change, my husband has decided to give up his job and start in a new direction – he is currently enrolled on a countryside management course at the College.
I would advise anyone who is thinking of a career change to go for it. I have no regrets at all.”