I Got Hired: Marine Adviser at Natural England

Posted on: 27 May 2022 by Richard Finch in Graduate stories

BSc Marine Biology graduate Niamh Thorne tells us about her role with Natural England.

Tell us about your role and the organisation you work for

Natural England is a non-departmental public body. We are the government's adviser for the natural environment in England. I work in the Essex Marine team. My role predominantly involves taking a leading role on the conservation and recovery of the marine environment through the provision of statutory advice to competent authorities. I also take ownership of casework, coordinating the provision of advice from across Natural England to deliver quality assured and robust advice on major marine projects including aggregate extraction and coastal developments.

What is the most enjoyable part of your role?

No two days are the same, each case involves a different area, industry or marine use and I really enjoy having the opportunity to learn about lots of different aspects of the marine environment and its uses.

How did you find out about this opportunity?

I was subscribed to environmentjob.co.uk and had LinkedIn job alerts turned on for 'marine' and 'conservation' - this helped highlight opportunities I might be interested in. 

What are your three top tips for current students looking to start their career?

1. Be patient, don't apply to anything and everything. Carefully select what you apply for based on your skills, experience and your passion and interests.

2. Network! People are always willing to help. When applying for my job at Natural England, I reached out through LinkedIn to people in the position I was applying for, for application tips which definitely strengthened my writing, if they can't help you the worst thing anyone can say is no.

3. If you want to increase your work experience and skillset outside of Uni, look online for free training courses, internships or voluntary work. In the 18 months between finishing my degree and starting with Natural England, I conducted an internship with UNEP, an internship with UoL, a voluntary position for an ocean literacy charity and an Open University diploma all virtually! These were really beneficial experiences and meant I could slot in my retail job around the voluntary or unpaid work.