National Park CEO

National Park CEO

From Aberdeen to National Park CEO - Grant MoirGrant Moir

MA Geography & History, 1999
MSc Rural & Regional Resource Planning, 2000
From Aberdeen to National Park CEO

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
I liked the look of the courses and it was one of the few places you could study History and Geography as a joint degree. I also wanted to get a season ticket for Aberdeen FC!

Why did you choose your particular course?
I have always loved history and geography as subjects and this was a good opportunity to study them both. I also attended an open day and met with one of the history lecturers and he was really inspiring.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
I made a lot of lifelong friends at Aberdeen and also met my wife. It is a great city and university to belong to for a few years.

The memorable student experiences were mainly around geography fieldtrips to lots of different locations.

If you were involved in any clubs and societies as a student, what did you enjoy most about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I was a member of the Russian History Film Society. It was a great way to meet folk who had similar interests.

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
Make the most of the opportunities, both academic and non-academic. It is only after you leave that you look back and wish you had taken advantage of some of them.

If while at Aberdeen you took part in a foreign exchange, e.g. Erasmus or Study Abroad, where did you go and what did you do?
During my final year as part of my history course I had an internship at the naval yard in Washington DC.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Rural Adviser at the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency.

What did your first role involve?
I was involved in delivering the English Rural Development Programme for the Ministry of Agriculture.

What is your current job title?
Chief Executive Officer at the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
I worked on land issues for the Ministry of Agriculture in England before transferring to the Scottish Government to work on CAP Reform. In 2006 I joined the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority as their Land Manager and progressed to being the Director of Conservation and Visitor Experience. In 2013 I joined the Cairngorms National Park Authority as CEO.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Yes - my MA gave me a very good grounding in subjects relevant to my career and my MSc gave me the specialist knowledge that led directly to my first role.

One Top Tip

Don't be afraid to try new things and to push yourself. No-one has all the skills and knowledge to do a job on day one. Be confident in your own abilities and and enjoy your work.