Promotion of the profession: Careers advice to University of Derby students

Promotion of the profession: Careers advice to University of Derby students

BSG Ecology’s Kirsty Kirkham (Director) and Emma Bruce (Ecologist) presented an online talk on Working in Ecological Consultancy to students from University of Derby’s School of Environmental Sciences on 4 November 2020.

Kirsty gave an overview of the service that ecological consultants provide and what BSG Ecology looks for when recruiting graduate ecologists. She provided some tips for how graduate ecologists can develop themselves to make their job applications stand out. For example undertaking a final year dissertation that is relevant to UK ecology and that might be of interest to ecology consultancies and developing technical skills outside of work that show enthusiasm and passion for life-long learning as an ecologist.

Emma, who completed her MSc in 2015, joined Kirsty in the session and talked about her career path to becoming a professional ecologist and gave an insight into what her current role as an Ecologist at BSG Ecology involves. Emma had just returned from site where she had been undertaking aerial (roped access) inspections of trees to assess bat roosting potential; the life of a consultant ecologist can be very varied.

After the presentation Kirsty and Emma joined in an open discussion about desirable skills and transferable skill sets. The importance of being an effective communicator and establishing strong professional relationships was emphasised. A real example of this was incidentally provided, as Kirsty and Sam Lattaway (National Forest Company), who was also speaking at the event, have known each other from the early days of their respective careers.

Feedback from Debbie Alston, Lecturer in Biodiversity, University of Derby was as follows:

“Kirsty and Emma’s talk was really well thought out. It set the whole session up very well and they had thought about the types of skills that were required for graduates as well as having Emma talk about her role as a case study. I loved the fact that they highlighted to students what NOT to do, and what was and wasn’t accepted CIEEM good practice. Great job! That neatly lead onto a series of questions and comments from the next speaker, myself and Kirsty talking about our individual experiences in ecology and employment.

 Definitely a speaker to book again!”

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