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Helen Wilson

National Trust

Helen Wilson

This project involved helping the National Trust to deliver a first class visitor experience to its customers

This required planning, promotion and preparing resources for activities, helping with delivery, evaluating and studying feedback.

Why did you apply for the Summer Experience Internship?

I wanted to do something useful with my Summer break last year and was just browsing the Intern website that the Uni. provides and saw the advert for a Visitor Experience Assistant position. The advert said they were looking for people who had a love of the outdoors and enjoyed meeting people. This sounded like me and so I did some research on the position and applied. I never thought I would be lucky enough to get it though as I expected it would go to a much younger and fitter student; but I was wrong….

What did you enjoy about the Internship?

Everything… I expected to be making tea and answering the phone and welcoming visitors, but from day one I was treated as a full member of staff. Everyone was so friendly, they answered all my questions about the organisation and never minded explaining things again if I was unsure of what to do.

Plus being outside in the beautiful weather we had last Summer was fantastic, we only had one day of rain while I was working, but even that was fun ‘Bug Hunting’ with families and then holding a snail race at the end of the day.

What tips would you give to prospective students?

Turn up with an open mind and lots of enthusiasm and passion for the countryside and our natural heritage.

What support did you receive from Career Development Services?

They were very supportive and encouraging when I was unsure if I was suitable.

What actions are you taking to improve your employability whilst at university?

I am still doing some voluntary work with the National Trust and work part-time delivering

Level 5 Management qualifications and have been offered a full-time post when I finish.

What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?

Explore the careers website and try something different as it gives you a different working environment to explore. I was surprised to learn so much about strategic planning and marketing while pond dipping, going on flower walks around Malham and spending time with rangers building dry stone walls and clearing pathways in the woods.

Any last words?

Yes, make the most of every opportunity you can while at University, employers want people who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and prepared to work hard and invest time in any activity they undertake. I had a fantastic Summer last year and learnt so much that enabled me to put into practice knowledge I had gained in lectures.