Lianne Ottewell – BSc (Hons) Animal Behaviour and Welfare

"Find something you love and pursue it..."

  • ' Current Employer: Animals Asia Foundation
  • ] Current Job Title: Senior Supporter Care Executive
  • & Year of Graduation: 2016
  • ( Location: Plymouth

"Straight after graduating, I took a job at a call centre. I struggled but carried on working to save up as much money as I could. It confirmed for me that I never want to work I job I don’t enjoy just for the money – it’s not worth it. Find something you love and pursue it.

"I also went backpacking around south-east Asia for three months. I undertook several weeks volunteering including with rescued pangolins at Save Vietnam Wildlife, as well as stray dogs and elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.

"I got my job working in the UK offices of the global charity Animals Asia in 2017. My placement is what got me to where I am right now, and I could not be happier. I spent three months volunteering at the Animals Asia Bear Rescue Centre in China and it there I found a company I knew I wanted to work for in the future. When a job for Animals Asia appeared in Plymouth I knew I had to go for it.

"Reflecting on my time in China is what motivates me, and I really hope that one day I’ll be back there working in the field. Travelling to Asia and seeing the bears that the charity has rescued and the difference it makes is amazing. There’s nothing like seeing animals free from a life of cruelty after enduring such an awful past.

"We had some great field trips that created lasting memories, both in the UK and the Netherlands, but also the long library sessions my friends and I would tackle together. As hard as assignments could get, we were always there to pull each other through. The people you meet really do make it."

<p>Lianne Ottewell - Dog portrait</p>
<p>Lianne Ottewell - Tiger</p>
<p>Lianne Ottawell - Pangolin</p>
<p>Lianne Ottewell - Bear</p>

"I found it difficult to find a University offering animal related courses in a city and other places seemed cut off from the outside world..."

"It was definitely Plymouth’s optional placement year that won me over. The flexibility they give you compared to other universities is second to none.

"I always thought I would go straight into practical work with animals, but my degree showed me different aspects that I hadn’t considered: the study of behaviour, research, charity work, postgraduate opportunities – the list is endless. Plymouth prepared me for my career in several ways, having debates in seminars, giving a variety of different presentations to an ever-changing audience, as well as group work which vastly improved my presentation skills and teamwork. 

"The University taught me how to adjust to a new environment, learn about work-life balance as well as offering support when I needed it in the form of supervisors and mentors."

"University of Plymouth seemed to have everything – the city, the sea, the national park..."

I feel like Plymouth has the perks of a bustling city but remains relaxed and not too overwhelming. It’s great how close-knit everything is, you’re never far away from anything or anyone on campus. 

"I was a student ambassador in my second year. It was an amazing job that gave me lots of different skills and allowed me to meet people from all walks of life."

"I felt more connected to the University and became more confident. It also allowed me to encourage potential students to come to Plymouth for the same reasons I did. I have met animal behaviour and welfare students since who have said ‘I remember you from the open day, I want to do what you did.’ It’s great to know my passion inspired others to come to Plymouth and do the same degree. 

I was a Vice Chair and Secretary for two societies during my time at University and this did a great job of allowing me to try and instil my enthusiasm in others, something that can be hard in a career – making people feel as passionate as you.