Dr David Mitchell

About me

Director of Cultural Assets at Historic Environment Scotland - I look after some of our most precious places, objects and archives - I also get to work in science and technology which is a passion. 

Left school

June 1988

Senior Phase

I left school with Highers (SCQF level 6) in History, Geography, Biology, Art and English and Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (SCQF level 7) in History, Art and English. [CSYS is equivalent to Advanced Highers today]

Choosing my Destination

University staff and open days were really useful, as well as prospectuses - there was no internet back then! 

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

Like lots of students I worked in retail - it actually was more useful than you think - depends how you approach it! Scouting was a big part of my life and music - both teach you about leadership and management.

Skills I've developed

Being able to synthesise and process information, think out the box - develop confidence in public speaking, supporting colleagues and enabling them to succeed. I need to be able to understand complex things and translate them for non specialist audiences. I have developed good analytical and writing skills - I know that the research part started in history and geography at school and continued in what I studied at university.

My Advice

I was told I wasn't very clever by my guidance teacher (yes - not great...) and even worse I should think about working with my hands!!! Fortunately that kind of thinking is in the past but I would tell myself only you know yourself and what you can do - anyone that says "you cant" - ignore them. And by the way - I was never talented enough to work with my hands but now work alongside stonemasons and carpenters with incredible skills - and they are very smart indeed!

Try not to think about the job you want to do unless you are really clear about your path but follow the things that interest and excite you - work is a big part of life and it helps to find something you love! Get some experience and show some initiative - employers see many young people with the same qualifications - someone who has done something that shows a bit of creativity or drive always stand out. Have humility - people generally will help you if they can so if you don't know - ask.