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College alumni relives journey from student to Director

Lackham


Now Division Director of leading agricultural machinery dealer T H WHITE, Wiltshire College & University Centre alumni David Rapkins believes his experiences as a Lackham student helped him get to where he is today.

Growing up around a farm, David always wanted to pursue a career in agriculture and his passion for all things mechanical meant that the Advanced GNVQ in Agricultural Engineering at the College was the best choice for him.

David said: “The course syllabus had a balanced and enjoyable split between practical and theory. The facilities and staff knowledge and approach also made me want to join the College.”

After completing his GNVQ, including a year’s placement at an agricultural dealership, David progressed further within the College to complete a HND in Agricultural Engineering.

He explained: “After my HND, I went on to university to study Agriculture and Business Management, then travelled around the world via cargo ships, working in the engine room to get to Australia to drive combines.

“I wanted to challenge myself and have a unique experience, which also taught me a lot.”

Before joining T H WHITE, David was employed at CNH Industrial for 13 years, a company that designs, produces, and sells agricultural equipment and vehicles.

He said: “I was fortunate to be accepted on their graduate program and, over 13 years, I progressed up through to global positions as senior director.

“More recently, I was approached to join T H WHITE to head up their Agriculture Division as Division Director.”

David has now been at T H WHITE for two years and is responsible for the Agriculture, Groundcare, Construction and Dairy divisions.

Offering his advice for current or prospective students looking to get into the industry, David said: “Be humble, show a hunger to learn, have a sense of urgency, deliver on promises, and earn your stripes through working above and beyond what is asked.

“Everyone was young once upon a time. We all had CVs with little experience at this chapter of life, so it's all about attitude.

“Whenever applying for a college course or a job, be passionate and show your appetite to learn and willingness to work hard. Don’t expect an opportunity to be given to you on a plate, you need to earn it and be excited to work at it.

“Enjoy your college days, they are one of the best chapters in life. Make the most of it as it goes so fast.”

To find out more about our agriculture courses at Lackham, click here.

Wiltshire College & University Centre is launching a new Alumni Network this summer to celebrate the success of our former students as well as provide the opportunity for those who have left to reconnect with the College.

If you have a story you’d like us to celebrate, email marketing@wiltshire.ac.uk and help us share your success - and be sure to look out for the launch of our Alumni Network later this summer.

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