#FromHigherEdToHired - Elanor Alun - BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation - Conservation Manager at the RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre

10.06.2016

Elanor Alun is a part-time BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David who absolutely loves trees (maybe more than people). During Elanor's studies she was a volunteer warden at Kilvey Community Woodlands and was the Green Impact intern for the Students' Union. Elanor has been employed as a Conservation Manager at the RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre since the beginning of the final year.  

Elanor Allen BSc (Hons) Environmental Conservation

1. Why did you choose to study Environmental Conservation?

I have always been into the environment, my parents raised me to be a semi-feral, nature child. It was an easy jump when it came to choosing something to study at university, but I think, increasingly, we are more aware that it has become quite an important issue. I thought I could sign up, do something I really, really love and hopefully also help the world in some way. 

2. What is the best thing about the programme?

The great thing about this Environmental Conservation course is that it gives you a very broad covering of all different topics so you really get to choose which areas you want to go into. In my particular case, we did habitat management which has been invaluable but also at the more practical end. You learn practical skills, monitoring the environment and the environmental effects of activities, and how you survey to find out what your site is actually doing, so you have a base line to work from. 

We also covered modules on environmental law and governments and how you actually manage something in a more practical kind of sense and that has been really useful.

All the lecturers know who you are and if you have and problems you can absolutely go to them and they help as much as they can. It’s a much cosier environment, a much more supportive environment, and that means a lot. 

Being the President of the Environmental Society was excellent fun! The big thing there is mass contact, beyond doing the degree it is useful if you know people in the outside world who can give you references. It is really useful to get used to arranging things, coming up with volunteering opportunities, and working with a group of people and making it fun for them. It’s learning useful management skills.  

3. What will you do next?

I am now a Conservation Manager, a position I got just before I started my final year because of doing the course. I manage 78 acres of grassland, wetland and an ancient woodland, for RSPCA Llys Nini Animal Centre at SA4 9WB, in the northern part of Swansea. 

4. What advice could you offer someone thinking about doing the course?

Do the course, easily one of the best decision I ever made. Don’t be afraid to try things out. When the opportunity arises to try out different volunteering and different areas – go for it because you don’t know, from the start to the end, what is really going to interest you. Loads of people started our course thinking, for example, that they really wanted to go into marine science, and by the end some of them were going into waste management, habitat management, all sorts – so try everything and do it because it is such, such good fun.