Following a degree in Archaeology and PhD from the University of Southampton I started working immediately for English Heritage, remaining there for 21 years. It was also a role that enabled me to begin teaching on a part-time basis, at the universities of Bristol, Southampton, Cottbus (Germany) and Turku (Finland), where I am a docent. I left English Heritage in 2010 and took up the post of Director of Studies in Cultural Heritage Management at the University of York. In October 2012 I take over as Head of Department.
My first impression of the department, when I came for interview, was of an overwhelmingly friendly, supportive and collegiate place. I have always recognised the value of teamwork, though emphasising also a need for individuality and creativity within the team. These characteristics are plainly obvious at York. I like the way that collegiality extends to the student body. There is no obvious ‘us’ and ‘them’ at York; only ‘us’!
As well as the King’s Manor as a place to study, and the collegiate and friendly environment, at York we care greatly about our students, not just while they are with us but also after they have left. We want them to do well and we continue to guide and advise long after graduation if need be. While they are with us we provide detailed advice on career prospects and opportunities, extending to advice about their CV and letter of application, what to wear for interviews and whether to take a portfolio. I have had plenty of experience interviewing recent graduates for heritage jobs and have some idea of what is required but the great thing is I am not unique at York. We have a lot of very experienced people teaching relevant transferable skills, including how to get a job at the end of it all!