Christopher R.

Conservation Administrator
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Christopher R.
Medieval History
Taught Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Conservation Administrator
United Kingdom
Charity and voluntary sector / Library, museum and information services
Small business (0-49 employees)

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A day in the life of a Conservation Administrator in the United Kingdom

How I looked for work

Guardian Jobs was really helpful, but I also used a number of agencies as well.

How I found out about the job

National press

The recruitment process

As part of the recruitment process I had to write a statement to show I matched all the qualities required. I also had to attend an interview and demonstrate these through a written task and a discussion.

My career goals when I graduated

Initially, I wanted to be a teacher as I was quite determined to be in a profession and encourage others to have an interest in History. After a couple of years of trying I changed my mind and eventually ended up in my current role and found I had a love of conservation!

My career history

Following my degree I briefly worked to earn money for an MA and gained experience to become a teacher. After completing my MA I realised I no longer wanted to teach and briefly worked on a phone team in the financial sector. After gaining a number of key skills which were useful in getting my current job I moved to work for a conservation charity.

What has helped my career to progress

Making myself indispensable. If you find something you like doing, spend as much time as possible getting good at it, offer to take on responsibilities and then your employer will be desperate for you to stay and you'll have a great job.

Courses taken since graduation

MA in Medieval History
Currently studying an MSc in Historic Building Conservaiton.

How my studies have helped my career

My studies have showed my determination to work in the heritage sector and developed key skills. However, you need to have a balance of employment/volunteering and studying to succeed!

What surprised me about my career so far

I was lost at sea trying to find something I wanted to do for some time, so I'm surprised I have found a role I enjoy!

Where I hope to be in 5 years

Historic England or the Church Buildings Council would be nice!

My advice to students considering work

All roles can give you useful experience which employers may need. I really didn't like working in the financial sector, but it gave me the skills to work with difficult people over the phone and work in an office environment, which can be hard to get. The worst thing is not to do anything or incredibly little - it will be difficult to explain in an interview and having nothing to do can be incredibly depressing.

My advice about working in my industry

- Be prepared to work your way up, but don't be frightened to apply for something you have not done before
- Gain as much experience as possible and record how it has benefitted you
- Take on as many opportunities as you can

Other advice

When you apply for a job, read the job description and write a mini essay on why you fit each of the required qualities.

What I do

Administrator for the Conservation Team of a conservation charity. As part of my role I respond to general conservation related enquiries, process grant applications and help manage the charity's listing project.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Organisation - I use this as part of my role every day, particularly by prioritising important or urgent tasks and being flexible with others. Developed while studying and working part time.
Working as part of a team - I developed my team work skills through a number of societies I was previously involved with.
Ability to communicate - I developed this through societies and through my course.

What I like most

Being able to help local communities across the UK to help them develop an understanding of conservation.

What I like least

My boss supports Manchester United.

What surprised me most

I was surprised by how much freedom I was given in my role.

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