Alfie, Animal Management Level 3

Meet Alfie, Animal Management Level 3 Student. Having always wanted to work with animals from a young age, Alfie was drawn to Merrist Wood where there’s a wide variety to care for.


Can you tell us about yourself, and how you ended up choosing Animal Management at Merrist Wood?

I’m quite an outdoorsy, adventurous person, I like getting hands-on with things. I decided to go to College purely because at a very young age I’ve always liked animals.

I always went to zoos every summer with my grandparents and I often did those “Be a Zoo Keeper for a day” activities. I knew I wanted to work with animals since then. I looked at all the colleges around my area and this was the best one suited me.

Can you describe your experience studying Animal Management at Merrist Wood?

Overall, I’ve had a really good experience, staff are really helpful – they actually teach you instead of just letting you get on with it and get stuck.

Activities we do on the course include a lot of feeding, handling and cleaning. My favourite animal I’ve cared for here is the Green Tree Boa, I like the animals that are different and look cool. Looking after exotic animals is challenging because they have different needs to other animals but it’s so rewarding.

The course has helped me learn about all the different things I need to know to actually get a job in the animal industry. I completed a 40-hour work-experience here over the summer, and I’m also a student mentor. We always have progression interviews and 1:1 meetings every few weeks where they ask how were doing to check in. They’ve also got people you can talk to if you need any help.

Do you have an idea of what you would like to do in the future after your course?

I want to go to University of Bristol – to do the animal welfare course there, focusing on conservation. I want to specialise in exotic animals too.

Someday I would like to go work in South Africa and go into the conservation area. It’s a beautiful country and the animals there – they need help and I want to try make an effort to help them especially the lions, rhinos and elephants.

Have you got any advice for students who want to apply to do Animal Management?

Apply straight away, don’t leave it – it’s a high demand course, so get in your application quickly otherwise you could miss out. Go to the open evenings, they are good and they actually help you to see whether you want to do the course or not, you can also board here so you can see what it’s like.