An Interview with Harry Papworth

Harry is a 3rd-year student at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham. He recently joined Eville & Jones on a work experience placement. During his time with E&J, he spent time at Stillmans Ltd, ABP Langport, ABP Sturminster and 2 Sisters FG Willand in Southwest England.

Sandra Andrade (Talent Acquisition Partner) asked him about his time with Eville & Jones:

 Why did you choose to do your work experience with Eville & Jones?

E&J was first recommended to me by one of my university lecturers. I then started researching the company and realised you are the leading company supplying OVs within the UK. As such, I was naturally drawn to E&J as I felt being able to shadow an OV specifically would be more beneficial for furthering my knowledge in the public health sector.

When and why did you become interested in Public Health? Meat Inspection field?

My interest was sparked mainly by the public health module we studied as part of our third-year course. I also work on a dairy/beef farm, so much of what I do there relates to public health, whether through Tb testing or sending animals to slaughter.

What is the importance of this work experience for you / your studies / future career?

I have always liked the idea of going into farm vetting (or an area relating to this), and for many farmers sending animals to slaughter is their end product. Therefore, this work experience has allowed me to understand what OV/MHIs are looking for and how the industry works. This experience will help me to communicate better with farmers in the future. Currently, though, doing this placement has reinforced the VPH module from university, putting my studies into a real-life context.

What is your opinion on the current status of Public Health in the UK and the shortage of vets?

A lot of work needs to happen within the industry, with many areas requiring more recruitment, not just in abattoirs but also in other non-clinical roles. With the clinical side of veterinary also short-staffed (and many people prefer this aspect), it will be hard to change this any time soon. Still, as the demand for food grows with the increasing population, there will only be a greater need for OVs and MHIs, which will drive change.

Why do you think the British vets show little interest in this field?

It’s not what many people picture when they dream of becoming a vet. The job is very emotionally draining, having to see animals being killed every day, and many people prefer to do clinical work. Also, the pay doesn’t seem competitive compared to other areas within the veterinary industry, which further deters new vets. Combining both abattoir and clinical work, as E&J are starting to do, seems a great way to entice more people to the industry.

How did this experience contribute to your personal and professional development?

This placement allowed me to experience a completely different side of the veterinary industry, opening up the career opportunities I could have when I graduate. It also allowed me to meet many people, from OVs to local farmers enabling me to get a great network set up for if I did want to come back to Somerset as a farm vet in the future. On a personal level, I now have a much better understanding of what goes into getting the food I eat from farm to fork and how this is processed.

Please describe your experience with Eville & Jones from when you contacted the company?

The whole experience was easy and well-structured. Everyone I spoke to was happy to help me and answer any questions. E&J took care of all details of my placements, from a range of locations for me to visit (readily displayed in a timetable) to my PPE and face mask fittings. A teams meeting was even organised by E&J the week before my placement to ensure I was fully up to speed with everything.

Regarding your work experience, would you like to explore a future career with Eville & Jones and within Public Health?

I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my placement, so I would definitely consider it a career option! It was a great eye-opener into being an OV, and I saw that there is much more to it than first meets the eye. As well as this, every OV/MHI I met was friendly and made me feel part of their team, showing what a nice environment, it would be to work in.