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Zoe Skinner image 2

Zoe

Russell

United Kingdom
Over the three years I gained both academic and practical knowledge through lectures, laboratory work, field trips and trips abroad

More about Zoe

Why I chose NTU

"I chose NTU because I love animals and I knew a course in this area was the right thing for me. Having looked around on open days, the students and staff seemed so friendly and welcoming, while the course material seemed like something I could really engage with. I also loved how rural the campus was and the fact I could have a room on-site where I could open my windows onto beautiful fields or hear the sound of horses trotting past. Another benefit of the campus was that it was a good distance from home- far enough that I could learn to be independent and live the real uni life, but close enough that I could drive home if I wanted to see my family."

Zoe Skinner image 1

Zoe's time at NTU

"My time at NTU started positively as I had a fantastic group of flatmates who helped me settle into university life well (and enjoy the odd Fluid Friday!). I especially loved the lectures, as nearly every other week we were in the labs, handling animals or out-and-about on campus. I also formed great academic links with my lecturers who made learning fun and interesting. Not only was the academic side great, but the SU organised so many fun events like ‘Brackfest’ and the summer ball, which gave us some much-needed down time.

"Over the three years I gained both academic and practical knowledge through lectures, laboratory work, field trips and trips abroad. I especially loved our trip to Poland in second year, where we hiked through the mountains tracking animals such as Wolves, Lynx and Deer. I also got to enjoy trips to places such as Banham Zoo where we learned about enrichment, behaviour and enclosure design.

"After three years, I felt proud to graduate with a first-class honours degree, which has put me in good stead for employability prospects. I also like the fact I could have the opportunity to do a masters degree and broaden my knowledge even further."

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Zoe's current job role

"I am a Nutrition Officer for Skinner’s Pet Foods. This means I deal with day-to-day customer queries regarding canine nutrition and help advise customers on areas such as choosing a suitable food, feeding requirements and general nutrition. I also have the privilege of attending various shows across the country including Crufts and Olympia, where I work with a great team of people and help to advise customers on all-things nutrition! When I am not working in the office or at shows I attend talks and meetings, both remotely and in person. These include meetings such as PFMA reviews held in London or talks such as the Kennel Club Breed Health Symposium.

"At the moment, I am creating educational presentations which I will use in various training talks I will be doing across the country. These include talks to gundog groups and in veterinary practices, in front of audiences of up to 50 people. In the near future, I will also be helping to develop new and existing products by looking at how we formulate and label these feeds.

"The marketing team and I are also working on a number of social media resources such as educational blogs and informative videos. In these videos I will talk about all areas of nutrition and dog care, including getting a new puppy, feeding a senior dog and myth busting. These are ongoing projects which we will continue to produce and develop over the coming months."

How my degree helped get me where I am today and advice to future students

"My experience at NTU taught me to seize new opportunities and have the confidence to apply for jobs, attend interviews and meet new people, even if it pushes me out my comfort zone. In addition, NTU is where my job was first advertised and is where I was put in contact with my now boss, Dr Jacqueline Boyd.

"With regards to specific skills, NTU has helped teach me lots of useful information such as the principles of animal nutrition and the nutritional requirements of domestic dogs which has put me in good stead for my current job. In fact, I quite often refer back to previous lecture material and revision notes to help refresh my knowledge even now. Not only this but the employability team helped teach me how to write an effective CV, which was very well received during my job interview.

"Don’t be afraid to travel- opportunities won’t just land on your doorstep! Meeting people and networking is so important as it helps open doors to new possibilities. A new job might mean stepping out your comfort zone, but it’s so worth it in the end."

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