Harvey founded his own sustainable food production and farmland business in Croatia. Here he shares how FutureLearn inspired his new career path and how the platform is helping to kickstart his business.
Prior to launching his own business, Harvey worked for over 20 years in the hospitality industry, starting off as a chef, before becoming a restaurant developer and assuming various other roles in the sector.
To expand his horizons, Harvey began by taking a course in ‘Intellectual Property Management in the Food Sector’ on FutureLearn.
“I took EIT’s course while I was still working as a chef as I wanted to branch out and expand my knowledge. Doing this course really helped me to get out of the kitchen and it felt great to say I had completed it. I didn’t have the luxury of finishing any higher education when I was younger but I’ve always been curious and enjoyed learning. FutureLearn provided me with an opportunity to gain new knowledge.”
This motivated Harvey to take several courses in related areas, including Murdoch University’s ‘Global Biosecurity’ course and another from the University of Reading called ‘The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture’.
“Murdoch’s course helped me to understand what biosecurity actually is and how it relates to the food industry. Biosecurity sounds like a very removed and ‘high-end term’ but this course helped to break it down and reveal that biosecurity is actually related to individuals. This helped me to start observing and examining the world around me and the industry I work in a lot more. Similarly, the smart agriculture course equipped me with information on how to create farms that provide the best solutions for everyone – from humans, soil, plants and animals. Both courses also furthered my knowledge of climate change and the problems caused by the food industry.”
Explore a whole new career path
Taking these courses helped Harvey discover his new passion, building a sustainable business.
“FutureLearn made clear what my interests are. If I hadn’t taken these courses I would have never discovered that sustainable food production and biosecurity were areas I wanted to work in. It made me realize that being a chef was not my driver and I wanted to make real change in the sector. My passion is the ‘farm to fork concept’ which is all about implementing an environmentally-friendly food system and I want to make this happen through my business. Ultimately, I want to play a small role in changing the world.
Harvey also credits FutureLearn for helping to get his business off the ground.
“FutureLearn helped to give my business a competitive edge. It broadened my vocabulary and gave me the confidence to discuss complex areas such as biosecurity competently with investors and experts.”
FutureLearn offers flexible learning
One of the things Harvey enjoyed most about using FutureLearn is the flexibility the platform offers, as well as the opportunity to learn from leading universities across the globe.
“I took FutureLearn courses alongside running a business and being a father of two. The courses offered me the freedom to choose when and what I learn. It was also a pleasure to learn from some excellent universities and leading academics in their field. I think Australian universities are specialists in biosecurity and the best in the world in this area, so getting the chance to learn from experts at Murdoch University was an amazing experience.
To gain more knowledge about the industry and keep pushing his business forward, Harvey is now entering further education.
“The next step for me is to attend a business college in Denmark to study organic farming and sustainability. FutureLearn has helped me to prepare for this next step and provided me with the confidence to continue my education.”