BA (Hons) Archaeology with Tourism and Heritage Management (1999-2002)
While teaching me a lot about archaeology and the tourism industry, my course also gave me the skills I needed to present to large numbers of people through the many presentations required throughout the course. This is something that I use every day in my current role.
After leaving Winchester I got my first job in archaeology at the bottom of my local high street. The excavation work had already begun but I knocked on the fence and managed to talk my way into starting the next morning! Having confidence and persistence are essential qualities when looking for that first job.
Its also important to apply for jobs that might not be exactly what you want as they can lead you to some really surprising areas. I have archived for BG Exploration and volunteered at the Museum of London and Butser Ancient Farm. My enjoyment of lectures on IT Map-Maker and Statistical Analysis Software led me to a job editing maps for the Rural Payments Agency this led me to join Hereford Archaeology on an excavation site after talking to a farmer and studying maps of her fields, only to notice an enclosure next to her land. These coincidences and links are always surprising but invaluable to any job seeker.
I saw the advert for my current job with the National Heritage advertised on the internet and didnt believe it was a real job! Nevertheless, I applied and then I received a letter inviting me for an interview. Due to the nature of the job I thought that it would be essential to dress up for the interview, so I headed off on the day dressed as an 18th Century miller ready to give a five minute talk on The White Mill in Dorset, my favourite National Heritage property. The gamble paid off as I was offered the job and told that I was only one of a few people who had actually turned up in costume.
I work at Bodiam Castle where I give tours of the castle to members of the public (in costume of course!) from the point of view of my character, giving a better insight into life at the castle. Trying to remember the history and dates of memorable events is challenging as are all the other facts and figures needed for my job, but it is worth it when you see the understanding look on peoples faces once youve explained something they might not have understood.
While youre still at University, make sure you ask lots of questions of your lecturers as they are there not just to teach you straight from books and notes but to help guide you towards your career and help you develop.