Zinnie D.

Historic Places Adviser
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Zinnie D.
Historical Archaeology
United Kingdom

My employment

Historic Places Adviser
Historic England
United Kingdom
Government and civil service
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Historic Places Adviser in the United Kingdom

I recommend finding conferences and training courses that offer free student places. There are actually quite a few around and surprisingly few people apply for them.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

The national body responsible for England's historic environment.

What do you do?

I advise colleagues and partner organisations about historic places - generally, this means I give advice relating to conservation areas, but I also give advice relating to repairs to historic buildings.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I love historic buildings! It took me a while to narrow my field of interest down to this, I also thought about working in museums or wildlife conservation.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

No, although I didnt really know how to get a job doing something I wanted to do when I graduated, so I did wonder for a while if I might end up doing something completely different.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Site visits to places that the public would never normally get to go are always fun.

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

You have to be ok with the fact that you are never going to have a huge income.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

Great fun. Most of the people I work with are passionate about what they do, really interesting to talk to and like a pint / glass of wine. I work a mixture of in the office, from home and out on site.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I visited lots of historic sites all over Yorkshire. It wasn't great for my exam results but gave me a good knowledge of different types and periods of historic buildings, ideas for how to reuse them and an understanding of the issues they can face.
I'd also recommend finding conferences and training courses that offer free student places. There are actually quite a few around and surprisingly few people apply for them.

What would you like to do next with your career?

Maybe try another role in Historic England. I'm quite happy where I am, so am not really looking to change at the moment.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Apply for loads of jobs, even if you don't really fit the criteria in terms of experience, and don't limit your geographical search (I got my lucky break for my career by going for a job in north east Scotland). Also cast your net wide - all jobs have transferable skills, so any job will help you to get another one that you'd rather have.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Anything relating to jobs in the historic environment.

Next steps...

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