James Harber

Old Bedalian 2005

Have you undertaken any kind of further study since leaving Bedales and have you gained any further qualifications?

I have gained quite a few qualifications since I left Bedales, and am currently studying for another.

In 2008 I gained a BSc in Biological Sciences and in 2009 I completed an MSc in Conservation and Wildlife Management, both from the University of Reading.

What kind of work are you currently involved in, and how and why have you come to be doing it?

From 2009 to mid-2010 I worked for a conservation organisation, Frontier, based in Old Street in London. I worked here as a research and development intern, eventually being promoted to actually help recruit volunteers on many of the overseas exhibitions which were offered by the company.

During my time at Frontier, I then went on to be promoted further to being an Assistant Research Officer based in the heart of one of Madagascar's jungles. It was a fantastic experience, and I ended up looking a bit like Robinson Crusoe at the end of it! My duties here involved helping with large scale research of deforestation, and educating volunteers daily.

Upon my return to the UK at Christmas 2010, I was looking for an environmental job. In May 2011 I was accepted as a land surveyor at an environmental company, OHES. Here I traveled around the UK carrying out land surveys and identifying areas of contamination in areas such as Dover Port. It was quite interesting and it was really fun to travel. I was then promoted to an environmental technician, whereby my role was to draw up technical diagrams of sites we had visited using AutoCAD.

Unfortunately I felt that I had hit a dead-end with what I could get out of the environmental sector, and so I decided to study accountancy with the ACCA, which I have now been doing for a year. I was very lucky with a position, and am now working up in Central London, right opposite the Barbican, for a recruitment company, Talent2.

Did attending Bedales help you in getting to where you are now and how satisfied are you with what you are doing?

I stand firm in my belief that Bedales shaped me into the person I am today, through thoughtful and challenging teachers who knew where my limits lied, but also when to effectively push me. I especially enjoyed the amount of activities to really help me in my personal development, such as bread baking, and the theatre in particular.

I feel that the general skills I gained from my studies, through Maths and Biology have definitely aided me in my further qualifications, and it goes without saying that these were extremely key.

I am very happy with where I am at the moment in life, and look back on two careers with joy, regardless of how I have changed so dramatically in them.

Have you been involved in any other interesting activities or occupations since leaving school?

I am an avid skier, photographer, and through my masters studies, I have developed into a very big avian enthusiast; nothing exceeds my passion for birds.

I'm very keen on my running, and am constantly looking to exceed my mileage, hopefully one day being able to do the London Marathon.