Personal statement

Thank you for taking the time to read my CV.  My extensive skillset includes good interpersonal and communication skills, and I am both an effective team player and able to work on my own initiative. I am experienced in people engagement, being able to use my knowledge and attention to detail, to connect with public and professionals. A strong sense of the importance of individual contribution to the wellbeing of my colleagues and wider community fuels both a strong work ethic, alongside a determination to lead a positive lifestyle outside of the workplace. I am enthusiastic about nature and have been fascinated by the natural world since a young child. One of my principal passions is helping people re-discover and develop a connection with the land, whether that is though connecting with nature, understanding the food we eat, or wider education about the value of the environment. I have experience in the use of social media and am an active blogger and photographer, which offer many transferable skills such as creativity, working to a concept and meeting deadlines. My commitment to my career, and to conservation, is shown by my previous employment and extensive volunteer experience.

Statement from Mentor

Sophie May is an able and enthusiastic conservationist and writer, with a real dedication to helping people connect with wildlife through her day-to-day work and also via her blog. Her writing manages to capture the excitement of being out in nature, especially in her delightful accounts of butterfly hunting around her Sussex home, which are packed with useful information as well as being entertaining and very readable. Her dedication to the natural world is infectious and admirable, and should lead to a successful career in her chosen field.
– Stephen Moss; Naturalist, Author, and TV Producer

 

Current employment

Cowdray Estate, Farm Shop Retail Assistant
April 2015 – current. Working within a small team in a busy, high-pressure food/retail environment, which specialises in very high levels of customer care as a principal public face of the Cowdray Estate. My role includes working in all areas of the shop, including handling customer enquiries, staffing the tills and deli counter (I have also spent some time in the butchery), accepting and processing deliveries, and merchandising/shelf-stacking. The shop specialises in local, specialist and artisan produce with a strong ethical focus, for example environmentally friendly and high welfare products and supporting small-scale producers.

 

Recent employment

Ornithology Internship with Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, sponsored by A Focus on Nature.
October 2014. Residential volunteering placement on Isles of Scilly, undertaking people engagement and communications role with aim of engaging visiting birding/twitching community with the work of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and generating support for the Trust. Reference available. 

RSPB, Centre Assistant and Visitor Services Trainee
September 2010 to April 2013 and April 2013 to September 2014. Based at Pulborough Brooks reserve but including projects at Pagham Harbour reserve and training courses across UK. Roles included visitor engagement including events for adults, families and children, plus developing and implementing interpretation.  Other visitor services including membership recruitment, communications (email, phone and face-to-face), and retail sales, as well as project work on visitor surveying and analysis. I also worked with and managed volunteers. 18 month traineeship was funded by HLF Skills for the Future and included a detailed training plan of both internal and external training courses on a variety of subjects from interpretation, accessibility, and evaluation to working with volunteers, and destination marketing. References available

 

On-going volunteering roles

Columnist, Sussex Ornithological Society
Regular contribution to SOS’ quarterly newsletter (mailed to members of SOS), approx. 1000 words. Topic connected to birding and/or birding in Sussex, engaging a wide readership.

Social Media Co-ordinator, South Pond Group
Manage social media pages for the South Pond Group, primarily Facebook and Twitter. (South Pond Group is a community volunteer group working to improve the historic pond in the town of Midhurst, for wildlife and people.) This is a vital communication channel used to share news and updates regarding the group’s work, and engage with members of the local community.

Other volunteering activities

Between 2007 and 2014 I held a number of volunteer roles with organisations and charities including National Trust, Sussex Wildlife Trust, RSPB, (former) South Downs Joint Committee, Weald and Downland Open Air Museum and South Pond Group.  Roles were varied and included people engagement and membership recruitment (RSPB Date With Nature), local community improvement (South Pond Group co-founder), youth work (RSPB Phoenix Group) and practical conservation (NT & SDJC ranger).

Qualifications

Btec Level 4 Single Unit: Visitor Attraction Management

Grade: Distinction Date Completed: June 2014 (via Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Skills For The Future’ Traineeship)

Edexcel Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in AGRICULTURE
Grade: Distinction Date completed: June 2011
6 Units, including: Plant & Soil Science, Investigative Project, Beef Production, Animal Health, Animal Breeding & Nutrition, Business Management

Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in COUNTRYSIDE MANAGEMENT
Grade: Triple Grade Distinction Date completed: June 2010
19 Units, including: Environmental Interpretation, Investigative Project, Woodland Management, Forest Recreation, Pest & Predator Control, Ecology of Game Species, Archaeology & Landscape History, Greenwood Crafts, Animal Biology (Year 1).  Plant & Soil Science, Environmental Issues & Policies, Urban Habitat Conservation, Land-Based Estate Construction & Maintenance, Principles of Ecology, Ecological Concepts & Application, Forest & Woodland Management, Farm Habitat Management, Woodland Ecology, Work Experience (Year 2)

11 GCSE Qualifications Grades A-C Date completed: June 2008

I have a full, clean, UK Driving Licence