The University of Glasgow is proud to have graduates in almost every employment sector across the globe. Here you can find a selection of profiles that alumni have submitted sharing their memories of Glasgow and career journey since graduation.
Adeeba Raihan - ACI Agribusiness, ACI Ltd
I chose my course because I was more interested in the management of a Life Science company rather than laboratory based research. I saw myself running a Life Science company and this course seemed perfect for it. It included Business Bioscience which intrigued me. The best thing about my course was that it helped me grow in terms of confidence, independence, responsibility and maturity. It also taught me how to work alone and in teams. The design of the course was intensive, stressful but it persuaded me to be disciplined, multi task and solve problems on my own. Even though I didn't see it then, this helped me to grow. I strived to give my best and each time I was rewarded, it made me want to try even harder.
I come from a developing country called Bangladesh. Biotechnology in the private sector is an extremely new field in the context of my country. Hence with a UK degree, especially fro
My Glasgow experience
I felt my course was too intense to be a part of any clubs and societies. So I just followed the activities of the International Society and joined in any event that was of interest to me. The benefit of joining clubs and societies is that you get to mix and network with other students from various years. This is important, especially at the beginning since most are alone in a new place and making friends is a must!!! I met my best friends on the Edinburgh trip I took on my second day at Glasgow. In fact I would like to encourage mixing with an international group instead from one’s own country - the experiences and friendships last a lifetime. I have so many memories from my time at Glasgow; the dinners with my flatmates, all-nighters at the library with my group trying to finish an assignment which then seemed impossible, discovering the beauty of Scotland with my friends...I could just go on!!!
Life after Glasgow
I started my job at a large local conglomerate in their agro business division called ACI Agribusiness, ACI Limited, as an Analyst in their Strategy Division. My job was to plan, develop and hire for the new seed research and biotech centre they had in mind. This included contributing to the financial analysis, scoping laboratory equipment, planning research programs with commercial benefits and hiring scientists, etc. After a year and a half, I was given the title of a Research Specialist and transferred directly to the seed research and biotech centre.
My main responsibilities at the moment are looking after the planning, admin and HR of the research centre along with my own research projects involving development of Mung Bean varieties, Marker Assisted Selection and Genetic Fingerprinting. I also have to scope donor funds, which means writing proposals and managing existing donor funded projects. I just completed 3 years at this company and managed to publish 3 papers, while more are pending. I have learnt reality of biotechnology differs from classrooms, but the experience has been nothing short of exciting.
Dr Alan Britton - University of Glasgow
I chose my degree course because I was passionate about the subjects. I also chose languages as I was keen to have a year abroad as part of my study. I didn't have any career goals in mind at the time, although in retrospect I can see that everything I did turned out to be an apprenticeship for my subsequent career trajectory. The best thing about my course was being able to spend a year abroad as part of the French side of my degree; a brilliant opportunity and a life-changing experience. I also thrived in the Honours Politics seminars which in those days involved a tutor working with small numbers of students. There was no hiding place and you had to articulate your ideas and be ready to be challenged by peers and tutors. My degree at Glasgow gave me a solid academic education that remained grounded in reality, helping to foster a lifelong commitment to social justice and to the value of education itself.
My Glasgow experience
I was very politically active - it was the time of the Miners' Strike, the latter stages of the Cold War, the introduction of student fees, and other politically charged events so opinions were polarised on campus and there were a lot of demos, sit ins and so on. I was also heavily involved in the QMU, serving on the Board of Management and as Assistant Honorary Secretary. There was a political dimension to this, but I'd freely admit that it was also about the music, the bars and the socialising. I also used the Stevie Building, mainly swimming in the pool. I acquired a range of skills through my different modes of student activism that have turned out to be highly transferable! I also met a group of friends, some of whom remain close friends to this day. My experiences at Glasgow, both academic and extra-curricular, shaped me, for better or worse. I was fairly immature and lacking in self confidence when I started (after all I was only sixteen when I matriculated!). By the time of graduation I had at least embarked on a necessary journey into adulthood.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Dr Alan Britton on The Network
Despite getting a good Honours degree, I didn't move immediately into a job; I had to sign-on for a number of months in what was a really challenging period for graduate employment. However my first post-graduation job was working in the French Alps which was predicated on my language skills acquired through my degree. My career journey thereafter was somewhat haphazard, although I was always picking up new skills and experiences along the way.
After the French Alps I came back to Scotland and worked for a couple of years in music shops in winter and outdoor centres in spring/summer. I got a range of coaching qualifications in kayaking and suchlike, and then decided to go into secondary teaching (French and Modern Studies). I did that until early 1999 when I was appointed as the first Education Officer at the Scottish Parliament. From there I got a lecturing post in citizenship at Glasgow University in 2001, having come full circle. I’m now a Senior University Teacher in the School of Education. I got my Doctorate (from Glasgow, of course) in 2013, and I teach on everything from undergraduate courses to PhD supervision, and am involved in a number of research and consultancy projects that take me all over Europe. When I work with first year students as a Lecturer or Adviser of Studies, I like to think that I’m especially sympathetic and supportive, knowing the journey that they’re embarking upon so well myself.
Alan Gilmour - Cogent Elliott
I chose my degree as I was and still am passionate about history. My decision was not based on where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do when I graduated, but about learning for learning's sake. It was that simple. The best thing about the university was the people. It is always about the people. Being with and being taught by people who could work hard and play hard but who shared similar interests and passions, was excellent. University also trained my mind. It taught me how to research and issue, to create a point of view and construct arguments. No matter what you go on to do, this is what you end up doing in most jobs, at least those that are non-vocational.
My Glasgow experience
It is one of my regrets that I didn't get involved with more clubs and societies but I was President of the History Club and I did play a lot of sport....badly! I wanted to try new things and build up a network of friends and contacts. You never know when this might be useful and helpful. I also enjoyed meeting people from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences - all helped to broaden my mind. My most memorable experiences all relate back to reading trips at The Burn, a historic country house up near Montrose which the university had access to. It was a real play hard, work hard experience.
I think you learn too late about how your experiences might and do shape you as a person. The main thing I took away from my time at Glasgow was a lifelong love of history, a passion for restless curiosity and a well-trained mind. The last two have been critical to the development of my career.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Alan Gilmour on The Network
I have never done a job directly related to my degree other than using the intellectual skills I developed through my degree. I first started at BP on their graduate trainee programme and took my career on from there through various marketing roles in banks, the Home Office and into a marketing agency. Great fun!
I am currently Head of Brand, CRM and PR at a marketing agency. My job is to provide marketing consultancy advice to our clients to help make their marketing more effective. I work with the likes of Jaguar, Landrover, Triumph, Halfords and Visa. One of my more interesting projects is to help with the branding of Birmingham to change perceptions of the city. Previously I worked at Lloyds Banking Group through a variety of marketing positions for a long time ending as Brand and Sponsorship Director there. I then was Marketing Director at a small niche bank for two years before working as Marketing and Insight Director at the Home Office for a period. Everywhere I have worked and with every position I have held, I have tried to learn something new about marketing, leadership and business management. I don't think I have done too badly in this.
Alasdair Allan MSP - The Scottish Government
I had no idea whatsoever what I wanted to do as a career when I was 18. I did have an interest in literature and Scottish culture though, and was keen to study both the Scots and Gaelic languages. I was also reasonably confident that I would enjoy being a student. The best thing about my course was that it opened up a world of Scottish culture and literature that most Scots don’t get to learn about in school. I also got to learn Gaelic and do a bit of Philosophy and Latin too. All highly employable!
The best thing about being at a university like Glasgow is the sheer variety of people from different backgrounds, countries and academic disciplines all together in one place. I really value the fact I was able to make friends from different places. The degree has given me an interest in Scottish culture which has hopefully shaped the way I go about the work I now do in the area of education.
My Glasgow experience
I value the friends I made, and I remember many incidents, not least those involving the SNP, and SRC. I got roped into helping deliver medical supplies to Croatian refugees in a town which was subject to daily air raids, which was also memorable. I remember being an exceptionally untidy person to share a flat with, as well as breaking the university's rules by answering my final exams in the Scots language. The study of languages and literature led to me doing a PhD at Aberdeen, and I hope helped me there, not only in my PhD but in my increasing political involvement.
In addition, I was Senior Vice President of the Students Representative Council, which was an elected sabbatical post. I was also heavily involved in the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association, and a member of the Ossianic Society. My joining the SNP at university gave me a lifelong interest in campaigning for Scottish independence.
Life after Glasgow
My first work after graduating was in Alex Salmond's constituency office in Peterhead. Since 2007, I have been Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Western Isles, and since 2011, I have been a Minister in the Scottish Government. I am currently Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages. Before that, I worked in various places including for a carers' charity, the Church of Scotland Press Office and SNP HQ.
I am currently working to ensure - among many other things - that Scottish school pupils all get to learn about Scottish literature, working to get Scotland's new exam system in place, promoting careers for women in science and promoting the growth of Gaelic medium education, as well as actively campaigning for the SNP in the 2015 parliamentary election. Over and above that I am representing 13 islands in Parliament and spend much of my life travelling happily between them. I was pleased recently to come back to the University and open a new electron microscope!
Andrew Harvey - Technicolor
Although I completed a Joint Honours degree, I knew I wanted to work in Film & TV and choosing to specialise in that subject seemed the logical choice. However, I'm glad I was able to study other subjects in order to broaden the scope of my degree course and enrich my experience of university. My degree has given me a top notch undergraduate education. For the first time it opened my eyes to the breadth of academia on offer - History, English Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Cinema - often being taught by top class tutors and academics. To this day, I find much is still relevant and useful.
My Glasgow experience
My degree from Glasgow, as well as the exchange that was afforded to me by the University, had broadened my outlook to the world and its possibilities. I was certainly more enriched, better educated and more confident upon graduation than before I embarked on my degree. I am all the more grateful of this fact, given recent funding cuts and increases in student tuition fees. There are also loads of good student clubs and associations on offer that I mostly didn't take full advantage of when I was at the University - more fool me! I would advise any current or prospective students this; if you've got a reasonably well formed idea of what you want to do after University, then try and network with as many people in your chosen field as you can - don't put this off until after you graduate. Lecturers can sometimes help with this so the earlier you start the better.
Life after Glasgow
I'm currently working as a Digital Restoration Supervisor at Technicolor, within the film post-production industry in London. My job involves applying digital picture corrections and enhancements that may be needed on a production - from restoring old classic Ealing films to working on recent Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Edge of Tomorrow’.
Upon my graduation, I tried getting some Film & TV work experience locally but with limited success. Scotland has some great talent but there simply weren't and still aren't enough opportunities to go around. I quickly realised the hard practical fact that you may have to take up work completely unrelated to your degree or career aspirations for a spell. The key however is to be pragmatic and stay focussed on your goal of getting the relevant kind of work experience needed to kick-start and progress your career - wherever that may be. University is only the start of your journey. So after two years of office work, coupled with a few TV production odd-jobs in Glasgow, I decided that the best way to progress my career was the inevitable move to London - the hub of the UK creative industries. When I was at Glasgow University, it never really occurred to me that a career in Post-Production or Visual Effects could be an option for me. It seemed a more obvious career choice for a Computer Science graduate or an Animator for example, but I’m proof that this isn't necessarily so.
It also seemed attractive to me because it wasn't necessarily precarious freelance work common to Film & TV production - I could have the security of a longer term job. Around seven or so years ago I started working as a runner at Framestore in London, now famous for their pioneering visual effects work on ‘Gravity’. It was here that I was able to gain my first real experience of the post-production industry and identify areas that interested me. Crucially, it also got me started on the road to making contacts - some of whom would lead to jobs years down the line. Although I was perhaps more aware of the production & theory side of Film & TV when I first graduated, I had a limited apprehension of post-production and its importance within the industry. I've now been able to work in an industry that's given me exposure to some of the best creative talent, cutting edge technology and, on occasions, the most famous filmmakers in the business. It’s also a sector that, as part of the wider UK Screen Industries, generates billions of pounds for the UK economy.
Andy Bryce - Royal Marines
I chose to study Geography as I have a passion for the outdoors and the natural world. I later chose to add Economics and complete a joint honours in order to make myself more employable. When I began studying I had no idea what career I wanted to end up in and solely focussed on enjoying myself and doing courses which interested me. I most enjoyed the fact that everyone on my course was like-minded and genuinely interested in the subject matter. My courses were all quite involved and the social nature of the curriculum meant that there was plenty of interaction time. The field trips were excellent and some of my best memories of University are of being away for weeks as part of my studies. Having a degree from the University of Glasgow definitely sets you up well for any career. It is an internationally respected institution which provides a high level of teaching. I am proud to be able to put on my C.V. that my degree is from Glasgow and I expect that employers will recognise the value of that qualification.
My Glasgow experience
I was an active member of the Glasgow University Union, a member of the Ski & Snowboard Club committee, as well as Finance Convenor for Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA). I was also part of the Mountaineering club and the Rugby club. Without doubt the best decision I made at University was to involve myself in sport. All of the very good friends I made and the best times I had were directly related to sport at Glasgow. I most enjoyed the social side of the University and the location. The community spirit surrounding the University is excellent, and the West End of Glasgow is without doubt one of the best places you could live as a student. I travelled abroad tens of times with the University, in particular the ski team, spending weeks all over Europe.
A lot of the friendships I formed at University have continued on, not only in my personal life but my professional life as well. Partaking in societies and clubs on top of your conventional studies gives you a strong appreciation of how important it is to be able to communicate and put yourself across socially, as well as professionally in order to succeed in any career path. I think that the most important thing to do with your University career is not to get tunnel vision. It’s imperative that you get out there and experience all that university life has to offer. Obviously the degree is the end product, however it is equally important that you be heavily socially involved, make the most of clubs and societies and play sport whenever possible.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Andy Bryce on The Network
During my second year of University I applied to join the Royal Marines as an Officer and was awarded a scholarship for the remainder of my studies. The rest of my degree was spent not only studying but also preparing myself physically for the career ahead of me. I joined Officer training immediately after graduation spending sixteen months training, before passing out as a Royal Marines Commando Officer. I am still in the Royal Marines today and am progressing in my career. I currently hold the rank of Captain and have had a number of roles during my time in the Corps. I am required to be very flexible in the way I work as we regularly changes jobs. The opportunities available to me are incredibly varied and I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world with my career. My main responsibility is the leadership of the Marines placed under my command. I am expected to maintain all aspects of their career including fitness, training, development and promotion. At the same time I must ensure that I myself maintain the highest levels of standards and fitness, so that I may set the best example and lead from the front.
Angus Cameron - University of Strathclyde
One of the most rewarding aspects of my undergraduate degree was my final year honours project. It was this that really sparked my interest in research. Having worked on a wide range of small research projects, both in labs and in the field (from biodiversity studies in the Ecuadorian Rainforest to counting parasite eggs in cow dung from the shores of Loch Lomond), I came to the conclusion that a PhD would allow me to further my career to a point where I would have more control in the areas of research I worked on. This has turned out to be a bit of a double edged sword, and not always entirely true, but has been entirely worthwhile. I was successful in applying for a BBSRC doctoral training grant to study at Glasgow. I was drawn to this funding specifically because it gave me the opportunity to begin with two 3-month long lab rotations, before choosing my own supervisors and deciding on my own project. I used these lab rotations to do projects in molecular ecology and mathematical ecology, as I'd only had limited experience of these as an undergraduate before deciding on a project with a mix of practical and theoretical work.
One of the best things I found during my PhD was the tight-knit community that existed in my department. I was lucky enough to be working with a fairly large group of people in the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health. All the staff and other post graduate students were extremely helpful. This meant I wasn't limited to only the expertise my supervisors could provide, and I benefited immensely from talking about my work with a range of people working in similar fields. I was also lucky enough to apply for a travel scholarship that allowed me to spend four months working at the Einstein Medical School in New York. This really allowed me to gain a perspective of academic research from another institution, and in a slightly different field of research.
The most rewarding thing I've taken from my PhD is a certain level of open-mindedness that I perhaps didn't have as an undergraduate: it's opened my eyes to whole worlds of science and research that I either didn't appreciate previously, or simply wasn't aware of. Studying at Glasgow has given me the skills that I consider important to be quite a multi-disciplined Biologist, which I feel is important for researching "big topic" problems (for example I currently research how climate change affects the function and health of entire marine ecosystems, from plankton right up to large marine mammals). I certainly wouldn't be in the job I'm in now without this qualification, or the experiences that came with it.
My Glasgow experience
As an undergraduate I was pretty active in the Zoology Society and Exploration Society. Both were great socially and educationally. The latter also provided excellent travel opportunities to the great wildernesses left on the planet that aren't readily available from your local travel agent. I would encourage students coming to Glasgow to make the most of things outside of their degrees (both within and out with the University). For me this was pretty important in keeping some sort of hold on my sanity. Luckily there's always plenty going on in Glasgow. For me, I tried to keep some time aside to go running, go to basketball games, see live music and take in more films than were probably healthy.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Angus Cameron on The Network
I began applying for jobs and interviewing before I submitted my PhD thesis and was lucky enough to be accepted for a post-doctoral research position at the University of Strathclyde. This post was initially for eighteen months and was extended a further six and I am currently still at this job. I work in the Mathematics and Statistics department. Coming from a background in biology it was somewhat surprising to be offered a job in mathematics, but the diverse set of skills I picked up during my degree made me confident enough to apply for a wide range of jobs, some of which were a bit out of my comfort zone. I research the effects climate change has on marine ecosystems. More specifically, I'm working on how changing ocean temperatures affect the physiology of marine organisms and the links between trophic levels in food webs. I also teach first year Statistics courses to undergraduates.
Anita Maitra - Plunketts (CVS Ltd)
I really enjoyed the one-to-one tuition and the lecturers were both supportive and helpful. Additionally, the tutors were aware of what I wanted to learn and helped me constantly along the way. The halls of residence were accommodating and Glasgow is a fine city to live in, which made the whole experience a very good one. My degree has given me knowledge and confidence and allowed me to apply for, and get good jobs in my career.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of the Radiology Reading Club. It was a small group and I got a lot of one-to-one attention. I was also in the Ceilidh Dance Society. It was great fun for letting ones hair down; I met lots of lovely people who studied different subjects. I found that Glasgow as a city is a very friendly – the people were kind. It made being away from home for the very first time a happy experience. My time at Glasgow Veterinary School made me gain experience and knowledge. I was taught to think for myself and work through problems in a logical manner. It allowed me to grow in confidence and by the time I graduated and left Glasgow University, I felt capable enough to apply for a veterinary job and confident enough to know I would fare well.
Life after Glasgow
I took a job as a Veterinary Assistant at Arden House Veterinary Surgery in Middlesex. My first job title was Veterinary Surgeon. I am now veterinary surgeon at Plunketts (CVS Ltd) in Ramsgate.
I started work in a small practice in Middlesex where I stayed for two years. I then moved to a practice in Kings Lynn, Mill House Veterinary Surgery which was the first veterinary practice to win Investors in People. It had specialist veterinarians in cardiology radiology and surgery which was greatly beneficial. I then moved onto a very busy referral hospital in London, Goddards Veterinary Group, where I attained a certificate in Veterinary Surgery. After seven years there, I became Head veterinarian at Warren House Veterinary Surgery in Rochester. I have since married and moved to Broadstairs where I work with three other vets in a small but busy practice. My main responsibilities are doing the more complicated surgeries /anaesthetics when they are presented at the surgery. I am currently concentrating on acquiring a higher qualification in veterinary diagnostic imaging.
Annette Chapman - Edinburgh College
Since being at school, I had always wanted to do a music degree but I left school in 1983 and the economic climate was such that there was pressure to have a "proper" career. I went into finance and it was only when I reached thirty that I realised that, despite enjoying my job, I would only be fulfilled when I had achieved my initial ambition. With no real thoughts of what my career would be afterwards, I gave up a successful career as an Accountant and took a leap that I have never regretted. I really wanted the opportunity to learn from experts in their field; to learn the importance of the pursuit of excellence in musical performance, to never be satisfied with "okay" and to love learning for the sake of learning. My degree led directly to the job that I have now which I love. Having a good degree from a well-respected university has opened doors for me and the quality of the teaching has enabled me to pass my knowledge onto others.
My Glasgow experience
I travelled 80 miles a day on public transport to university and back. I worked and organised a family and a home. When I started I asked the Honours student showing us around whether we could do the degree without joining all the various music societies. She said, yes of course although I would miss out on so much. I honestly thought I couldn't work around the vagaries of the public transport system and do all of that. I was very wrong. I made it work and it was fabulous.
I sang in the Choral Society and became Secretary. I ended up organising concerts in The Bute Hall and looking after the membership. I also became Treasurer of the Kelvin Ensemble and joined the Music Society, which is open to all students. These societies along with the student unions are great places to meet friends and really help you build your confidence. You can make connections that stay with you all your life. Because of the work I did for the Choral Society, I was funded to travel to the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Surrey and spend time with the staff of the Aldeburgh festival. This was to prepare for an opera project. This was really fabulous. I also had a few memorable nights in the Queen Margaret Union! In spite of being a mature student with a proven career in finance, I had always made safe choices in my career, perhaps through a lack of confidence. My achievements at the university helped me see that calculated risks alongside hard work can really change one's life.
Life after Glasgow
I’m now a Lecturer in Music and have also fulfilled the role of Acting Senior Lecturer. After graduating I was lucky enough to have a choice of three jobs for which I had been successful at interview. I went with my heart and took a risk on the part time singing Teacher role with the college I wanted to teach at most. I quickly became a classroom Teacher and then began teaching music business, performance, singing, instrumental teaching and research from entry level to our BA Music third year students. I have also undertaken the role of Acting Senior Lecturer in which I helped guide the curriculum on top of my teaching duties. I have recently arranged an innovative ongoing student exchange with an independent music college in Bologna and I have an employment project with a large music employment agency where students work as performers for industry rates of pay while receiving on the job training to supplement their instrumental lessons.
I have also developed an innovative way of teaching students how to project manage using an online tool. The American company who developed the tool is visiting the college this year to film the students and myself as part of their own marketing strategy. On top of all this, I also run the college popular music choir.
I've been lucky to be able to write music for and sing in The Robin Robertson Blues Band which has played in festivals in the UK and Spain and has been featured in a best of British blues album. My band members are music lecturers and degree students and I am really enjoying myself.
Brendan McKeown - University of Bologna
I chose Law because I felt that it left my options open for the future. I was toying with the idea of entering the legal profession, however I was also open to the possibility of doing other things. I felt that although Law could be viewed as a vocational course, to prepare you for a particular profession, it could offer flexibility if you wanted it to. Four years of Legal Studies taught me a lot of things, other than Law, which have proved to be very useful.
The foreign exchange was the best thing about the course, without a doubt. The emphasis placed on having a six month or one year experience in another country, studying at another university was by far the best thing that the Law School did. I think that the students who returned from exchanges brought with them experiences and knowledge that benefitted their classes. I sincerely hope that the School of Law and the university as a whole have continued this. The learning environment at Glasgow is open to multi-disciplinary thought and this by itself is the greatest advantage a student there can have.
My Glasgow experience
In my first two years I joined several clubs and societies, but never really settled in to a habit of regularly going. When I attended I enjoyed them a lot, however I wasn't willing to make sacrifices to always attend. I think you can choose one, maybe two, and give them all your attention. At one point I was a member of five. There just isn't enough time to devote yourself to so many and still be able to study or do your own things. The people I know, however, who had one club or society to which they went, had a lot of fun and made very good friends so if you are able to choose then they can be a very positive experience. Although, perhaps, the living conditions were not the greatest, I really enjoyed living in Murano Street in first year. There was always something happening, people about, unwitting comedic episodes played out in the halls/kitchens/on the street. I met some very good people there and am very pleased that I stayed there. However, in order to enjoy it, you sometimes have to take a rather laid back attitude to a lot of things.
I think the general culture/knowledge acquired via my studies and my friends have benefited me quite a lot after graduation. In the same way that you have to manage a group of friends in a group work meeting, you discover that you have to do much the same in a work meeting after graduation. These personal skills aren't directly taught but you certainly learn them.
Life after Glasgow
As I decided to move abroad (to Italy) after graduation my first job was a complete change for me since it was as an English Teacher.
Following that, I became a Programme Manager with the University of Bologna. This means that I was in charge of the organisation and logistics of two Masters’ degrees, which are taught in English at the Business School of the university. When I first moved to Italy I began working as an English teacher, while attempting to learn Italian. After a year I had a brief internship with a law firm, before deciding that even with a Law degree, I wasn't so keen on entering that profession. After that I returned to teaching briefly until I was hired by the university to be Classroom Assistant and eventually being promoted to Programme Manager for two Masters degrees, one a master of Marketing and the other an MBA. My role involved the coordination of the admissions process as well as a more operative one, where I coordinated the schedules of lessons with the professors and organised other aspects of the course. After almost three years working at the University I decided it was time to develop myself a little more and so enrolled in the MBA degree at the University of Bologna. Hopefully this choice will prove to be correct and allow me to grow personally and professionally.
Carol Deeney - Deeney's
I chose Business and Management as my final degree after also studying Sociology and Anthropology in first and second year. I enjoyed having the opportunity to study social sciences, then focus on the broader subjects offered from third year in the Business School. There were a number of courses available to pick from so I got a broad knowledge of business and could focus on certain areas I enjoyed as well. There was also the opportunity to study overseas. I transferred to the University of Toronto in Canada for my third year. It is a huge university with a broad range of subjects to choose from. I also got to learn about the Canadian culture and their work ethic when it comes to university studies. I came back with a fresh perspective and even more pride in being a University of Glasgow student. I now have a broad range of knowledge on my subject and people respect you for being a University of Glasgow graduate as it is a prestigious and historic institute. My year in Toronto also gives me a point of difference and has widened my network.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of the University Ski and Snowboard Club (GUSSC). It was great to be with so many others that enjoyed the same sport. We were all like-minded and had a great time together in Glasgow and the Alps. It was a great way to meet more people outside of your course and halls. Clubs also allow you to socialise with other academic years, it is great to get advice from someone who has already done your course and then also to pass it on to the students below you. I also organised the gradation ball for Business. It was great fun working with fellow classmates and the lecturers. The ski trips were pretty memorable as you were with a great bunch of fellow students. You also met other universities and were proud to be representing the University of Glasgow.
I made friends and connections that I still keep up with now. It is great to know people that share the same university experience that you can reminisce with. I have no doubt these people with be my friends for life. Wherever we were from or find ourselves now, we will always have the University of Glasgow as a place we all share. I found the halls of residence to be brilliant; I stayed at Murano Street and met friends for life there. Explore the city, there are so many things to see and do. Join clubs, look out for interesting events and get involved!
Life after GlasgowConnect with Carol Deeney on The Network
After graduating, I became an Account Executive with McCann Erickson Advertising in London. I am currently Director of Deeney's Scottish Flavour. After working in advertising for three years I left and set up my own business. It allowed me to combine my love of food, business and marketing. I enjoyed working with a large creative company and it gave me a brilliant grounding and network in London to start my own business. I operate a market stall up to six days a week in London and organise and cater events regularly. My daily duties include stock keeping, cooking and customer service. On top of this I deal with the HR issues, book keeping, finance forecasting, business planning and marketing strategy.
Catherine Dyer CBE - Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service
I had no family background in Law at all but was intrigued by the idea of learning about historical legal systems that have influenced our current approaches to justice as well as the most recent developments. I knew that studying Law would give insights into the many different ways in which every society regulates itself and attempts to ensure justice to all involved in complex situations, which they do not feel able to resolve without external assistance often because they have quite conflicting interests. I was also particularly interested in learning about the ways in which scientific advances allow further information to be considered in modern casework - in respect of the circumstances in both civil and criminal cases.
I found the best thing about my course was the wide variety of fellow students from all walks of life that I met in every class and tutorial and the quality of lecturers and tutors. My degree has proven advantageous to me as it has given me a very broad set of choices in my professional career and a confidence to investigate and examine the history of issues, as well as recognition of the need to keep up with emerging developments.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of political clubs, debating clubs and an elected member of the SRC. Belonging to clubs and societies allows you to try out various interests, increase your skill sets and means that you come into contact with folk doing other courses. Some of my friends ended up with careers built on the interests and skills that they had gained as members of clubs or societies rather than the coursework they studied! I also enjoyed learning from all of the courses I took, the friends I made in the clubs and societies and it was also great to be able to share flats with others while living away from home for the first time. I think that all my experiences at Glasgow made me more confident. I knew that I could take on new and different challenges. It also made me aware of the wide ranging pool of talent and the multiple opportunities that every generation of students has. Appreciate how quickly your time at University will pass and the very privileged opportunity you have while there to sample lots of experiences which will allow you to make better informed choices throughout your adult life but also give you some of the best and closest friends and most enjoyable times.
Life after Glasgow
After graduating, I was a trainee Solicitor in a small private practice firm that dealt with a very wide range of cases - from family law and criminal cases, to contract and damages claims
I am now the Crown Agent for Scotland which means I am the Chief Executive of the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) which is Scotland's prosecution service. I also act as the Queen's & Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer and decide whether to claim ownerless goods on behalf of the Crown for the benefit of the people of Scotland - items such as assets of dissolved companies or of individuals who have died without leaving a will and have no relatives to inherit and also 'Treasure Trove' which covers ancient artefacts that have been found which merit being claimed for allocation to museums in Scotland. As Crown Agent, I am the Principal Advisor on prosecution matters to the Lord Advocate who has the sole authority in Scotland to act as independent prosecutor in the public interest. As Chief Executive, I am also responsible for the day to day running of COPFS and act as 'Accountable Officer' which means I am responsible for the proper spending of the public money which COPFS is allocated by the Scottish Parliament to provide a prosecution service for the people of Scotland. I also act as one of the 'Legal 40' which is a group of Law graduates invited to mentor current Law students. Each year we meet with students at a number of events hosted in the University and share our career experiences and we also provide opportunities for students to visit our work places.
Catherine France - Longdendale Community Language College
My course was specifically related to the career I had chosen and also the modules within it offered a great range of topics, which meant that I was studying a course which was personalised to my own areas of interest as well as my chosen career path. The best thing about this course was the lecturers and the freedom they gave you to explore your own ideas. Their expertise in the topics offered was inspiring and their passion infectious. The small study groups and tutorials really allowed you to express your own views and these opinions were encouraged and developed by tutors. I feel this developed my confidence as well as my academic knowledge. My degree has allowed me to pursue the career I have always wanted and has also made me look beyond my original career goals at new opportunities that were not considered previously. The excellent reputation of the university meant that I was quickly accepted onto a further education course and my degree from Glasgow University has been a focus point in most job interviews.
My Glasgow experience
I was involved in the Conservative Society in my first two years at university. The most interesting thing about this society and the other political societies was their direct involvement with campaigns and movements. Glasgow University political societies work very closely with MPs and take an active role in party gatherings, question time and local campaigns which provide excellent opportunities for networking. It is difficult to pick what I most enjoyed about my time in Glasgow because the whole experience was one of the most enjoyable of my life so far. Living in the city of Glasgow was fantastic and I have never lived anywhere since that has so much to offer or people as friendly. The university course gave me a love of literature which will stay with me my entire life and so will the friends I made.
The way that my course was set up with small tutorial groups meant that I moved from being very shy and reserved into a graduate able to pursue my ideal career in teaching which obviously requires a great deal of confidence. The pastoral care that the university provided also developed my independence by providing the scaffolding required when you move out of home. This allowed me to become much more adventurous when it came to relocating and setting up somewhere new.
Life after Glasgow
After completing my PGCE I started work immediately as a Secondary Teacher of English at The Academy, Selsey in West Sussex.
After my first year in teaching I decided to move back to North West England to be nearer to my family and I was offered the first job I was interviewed for as a Teacher of English and Media at Longdendale High School. My career journey from graduating has been what can only be described as very smooth and stress free. I worked several temporary jobs whilst completing the PGCE and whilst waiting for courses to begin and I have never had more than a month of unemployment since graduating. I have also decided in recent months to venture into setting up my own business whilst working full time which I would not have had the confidence to do if it wasn't for my experiences at Glasgow University. I am responsible for the secondary English education of 11-16 year olds moving them through Key Stage three to GCSE. I also work with SEN pupils to develop literacy skills and provide pastoral support to pupils in their transition year between Key Stage three and GCSE . In addition to this I have taken on additional responsibilities such as KS4 co-ordinator for English and I am the union representative in school with a place on the division committee. I fully believe that the drive, passion and willingness to pursue my goals were seeds planted by the University of Glasgow and this has allowed me to grow into the person I am today.
Charles Mann - Pacific Corporate Consultants Inc.
I believe that engineering is the foundation of all life. If it were up to me, I would have everyone study engineering before any other discipline. Engineering teaches a person to think logically and through the toughest of problems. I chose to study my degree programme as I wanted to help people live better, more efficiently and to personally be able to earn some good money in the process. Mechanical Engineering helped me to think and brought out the necessary discipline and determination needed to become a better person, not just a better engineer. Maths and Chemistry were great courses that helped challenge me to succeed. The first major Maths test I got 18/100 and that was one of the better scores in the class! My father had told me if I failed in any subject he would stop helping me through university. That test was the turning point for me. I realised that I was going to have to study seriously.
My degree has given me the self-confidence to tackle any problem. Although I am an engineer, it doesn't mean I know how to work on cars, or fix a kitchen faucet, but having the engineering background has allowed me to learn most things. The same has been true in my professional career. I have been able to add value in my employment.
My Glasgow experience
While at University, I joined several clubs. My favourite was the Water Polo team. I enjoyed the company of my fellow students and the trips that got me going to places that I normally would not have gone. I was also a member of the Swimming team which forced me to train and workout in the gym. I designed the first t-shirt for our team with the University logo. That got me in trouble because I had not asked for the University’s permission. I learned how make things happen going through the proper channels. Being a student at Glasgow University taught me to be responsible for my actions. If I wanted to party and fail my classes, or if I wanted to study harder to pass my classes, those were my choices that gave me freedom and responsibility. That lesson stayed with me for the rest of my life.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Charles Mann on The Network
My first job after graduation was perfect. I was a Project Engineer for a major shirt manufacturing company and my job was to automate some of their hardest stitching operations and make them more efficient. I would have paid to have that job and here, they were paying me....Life was great.
I currently am the President of a financial planning firm with eight offices in California which I started in 1979. After my experience with the shirt company, I became Department Manager for a company making metal caps for jars and at night I earned a MBA in finance. Then I became Plant Manager for a company making beverage cans in the US. I then got promoted to VP of company's International Division, where I met a financial advisor who helped me with my personal financial planning. I was so impressed with the complexity of all variables that were involved in finance that I decided to learn more about it. I earned a Masters’ in Taxation and started to write a computer program to find the most efficient solution in complex financial equations. That is when I started my own financial company in California. I then earned a PhD in finance.
I currently plan and supervise the company's direction and scope. I still provide financial advice to individuals and companies. I enjoy researching financial alternatives. I have always been interested and fascinated about how markets react to different variables.
Christina Macaulay - BBC
I wanted to study the History of my own country in an international context. Glasgow University offered this. I was also keen to study Politics as I was interested in entering journalism and the Glasgow course and the student newspaper had a good reputation. I got my first job in television because a then Professor of the Politics department recommended me to the politics team at Scottish Television. I got a three month contract with them in 1986 and have worked in the television industry ever since.
My Glasgow experience
I was on the SRC and edited The Guardian. I also was active in GUSNA throughout my university career and enjoyed the GUU debates. The Ossianic society and the Archaeology Society were very important to me too. There are too many memorable experiences to mention. Campaigning in the rectorial campaigns, the Hillhead by-election, going on archaeology field trips, being invited to Jenny Wormald's flat in the West End, being treated as a grown up..... engaging in the rough and tumble of student politics..... And enjoying Daft Friday and Slade! I grew up at Glasgow. It made me a Journalist and also encouraged me to be ambitious (I got a first and won prize as best female arts graduate in my year). It gave me confidence. I would say that this came mainly from the political and journalistic activities as much as from my degree course.
Life after Glasgow
I joined STV's political programmes team and used my knowledge of Scottish politics. I was a Journalist. I am currently Executive Producer BBC Wales Commissioning.
After two years at STV I moved to BBC Scotland political programmes. I then switched to Arts programming - always a passion of mine. In 1993 I moved to BBC Wales to set up their arts coverage. I did a couple of years as a Commissioner with Channel 4 before returning to BBC Wales (and having two children). I took on an unpaid position as Trustee of National Museums Scotland - for eight years - and was involved in the Royal Museum redevelopment. I'm currently in my second term as a trustee of the National Museums of Wales, bringing my involvement here up to almost eight years. I have worked for BBC Wales on local and network programmes. The role I currently have is commissioning English language programmes for Wales. I work with independent companies and in-house teams to deliver the highest possible standard of programmes on tight budgets.
Dickon Copsey - University of Glasgow
I never particularly considered the career I would end up in before I came to Glasgow. I was very much focused on finding a subject I would enjoy and be good at and I think, for me, this was the right approach. The opportunity to travel and teach English abroad was the single most 'impactful' part of my course. It really speeded up my language learning process and helped build my self-reliance and ability to work with people from a range of different cultural backgrounds. My honours years were great and the department offered some excellent honours options in popular German culture - this became the topic for my PhD - post-Second World War literature. The support of particular staff, such as my undergraduate dissertation supervisor, was fantastic and enabled me to go on and do a PhD which was a really brilliant opportunity. The range of teaching and tutoring roles that were available both within and outside of the University during my PhD and the contacts I made ultimately helped me into my chosen career in higher education.
My Glasgow experience
I became involved in the German Amateur Dramatics Society in my honours years which was an excellent (and slightly scary) experience. In retrospect, I wish I had got more involved in student media and possibly student politics too. I see many students whose involvement in these areas has led directly to career opportunities. I particularly loved my PhD years at Glasgow and have very fond memories of lunchtimes in the Research Club with fellow PhD students...stretching into afternoons...into evenings... discussing all the issues that we were learning about in our studies, as well as life, football.... The views of the University when you're walking around campus when the weather is good are spectacular and still make me stop and stare. I think my experiences at Glasgow gave me a lot of confidence, a massive network of contacts, some good research skills, and a real love of teaching. These have stood me in good stead in my future life.
My advice to current or prospective students would be, from day one, take a deep breath, and throw yourself into every opportunity that comes up, including the massive array of extra-curricular activities available. I wish I had done more to get involved with student societies in my 1st and 2nd year after seeing the massive benefit that students get in terms of their social networks and employability skills. So, head to the Fresher’s Fair and sign up to everything you are interested in!
Life after GlasgowConnect with Dickon Copsey on The Network
After my PhD I didn't go into lecturing but joined a Schools Widening Participation programme called the GOALS Top-Up Programme. My Initial job title was Top-Up Programme Administrator. (It was more interesting than the title suggests...honest!)
I am currently an Employability Officer for the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. From Administrator I moved to Assistant Director of the Top-Up Programme, then into some work supporting care leavers entering the University, and finally, into a role facilitating the articulation of students from Scotland's colleges into the University. My current remit is to develop and implement College objectives relating to employability, graduate skills training, and work-related learning, provide professional development support for undergraduate and postgraduate students within the College of Social Sciences, and to liaise with University Services and graduate recruiters.
Eileen Williams - Retired Consultant Anaesthetist
I wanted to study Medicine for two main reasons. I had been impressed by my GP's knowledge of bones and ligaments when I had had a minor injury as a young teenager, and thought that there might be interesting things to learn in Medicine. I also wanted a job where women were paid the same as men, and could have the same career prospects. I don't think at any time that it crossed my mind that I would be working as a Doctor! I also liked the very structured nature of the course. For two years (I was on the last six year course) you studied the basic knowledge-building blocks of basic sciences and biosciences, then, armed with that essential background you were introduced to basic medicine and surgery, before widening your knowledge with the various specialty subjects. Practical skills were added along the way and learned under the eye of qualified Doctors who practised these on a daily basis and could give you tips from their own experience. I felt, and still feel that I was given a really solid foundation for my career. I have always been very proud to say I was a Glasgow graduate.
My Glasgow experience
Medicine is fortunate in having the Year clubs. I was in the Alpha '77 Club and by final year was the Vice President and chaired the Final Year Dinner committee. Looking back, the Alpha Club was my 'study course' for strategic thinking, organisational management, committee work, and operational work. I loved the organisation aspects of it; getting people together, hearing their views, forming a plan, getting any info needed and putting the plan into action. My most memorable experience came when the Prof of Anatomy came into the lecture theatre, arms outstretched and draped in a bed sheet, announcing 'I am the Uterus'! (Never forgot the anatomy of the broad ligament after that!) Other memorable experiences include going into town in fancy dress, hopping on and off the buses for free and hanging out and chilling with friends in the QM Hall.
My degree gave me the confidence that I had the background knowledge and practical skills to be able to start work and contribute to the work straight away. Other people commented that I could be trusted and relied on to do the work properly. I had learned how to organise myself and my work and so was able to 'hit the ground running'. I was able therefore to put my mind to learning more in-depth knowledge about each specialty. I was also able to have more fun as I was confident in what I knew and didn’t have to 'catch up'.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Eileen Williams on The Network
I did my 'Pre-registration' house jobs after graduating. The first job was in General Medicine in the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl in North Wales. As I was in the last of the six year course and the first five year course was graduating the same year, there weren't enough house jobs to go round, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to see a bit more of the world, so applied to every job matching scheme in the UK! I chose the Rhyl job because it was on the sea-side and I loved it. I've just retired from my job as a Consultant Anaesthetist.
After my house jobs, I went straight into an Anaesthetic training job. (We'd had great Anaesthetics lectures from AA Spence at Glasgow and the then Prof of Anaesthetics had sold me Anaesthetics as a career after I had expressed an interest to him in Final year.) I took a year out to do a bit more Medicine and Care of the Elderly, then went back into Anaesthetics, moving through registrar and senior registrar jobs. I took three years off completely to have my children, then went back to train part time, before getting a full time Consultant post in North Wales. My special interests were in Critical Care and anaesthesia for complex Head and Neck surgery. After about five years, I also took on more managerial aspects: director of Critical Care, then Clinical Director of Anaesthetics, and a spell as Deputy Medical Director.
Laterally I was the Clinical Lead for a £100 million hospital refurbishment project and was based in the project Site Office with the Construction planners and architects! I worked half time as a Consultant Anaesthetist, and half time as part of the Planning Department in the Clinical Lead job making sure that the public, partnership organisations and hospital colleagues knew what was happening, were able to bring their thoughts, feelings and experience forward to influence it and were able to express any concerns or worries that they had. I held public meetings to get people's views and used them to write the Project launch document which set the public a clinical tone of the refurbishment project and got public and hospital staff together on design groups to work directly with the Architects.
Eoin Neylon - Structural Systems (UK) Ltd.
Given my wish to work as a Structural Engineer, the choice of course was very straight forward for me. The high regard the course is held in meant that my employment prospects were greatly enhanced by it. The link up with Edinburgh University meant that not only was I getting a broad engineering education but I was also exposed to a broader Scottish experience and, through the diversity of those on the course, an international education too. I’ve found that an MSc from a well-respected institution put me well ahead of others on the job scene.
My Glasgow experience
As someone coming from Ireland, playing Gaelic Football for the University meant that I immediately had a community I had a shared interest with and as such I never once felt homesick. The International Student society was a fantastic experience from beginning to end and through that, I have made some of the best friendships that now span over the entire globe. The whole experience was a pleasure and I'd do it all over again if I had the chance. Given the parameters of the course, it lead me to be a lot more personally motivated and independent, readying me for a career in engineering and later, in politics. The diversity I experienced there gave me an insight into cultures I had never experienced before. Given the ever more globalised nature of business this also helped me get ahead in business.
Life after Glasgow
Since graduation, as most engineering graduates have found at the time, finding a footing in the employment market was initially turbulent but after a couple of short contracts I found myself in a permanent job for a number of years in an area I always wished to be involved in; designing multi-storey buildings in London City and all over the UK. There I was making a lasting difference to the skyline of one of the most iconic cities in the world. My daily responsibilities were focused on the design of a structure and the implementation of said design. This involved liaising with the design team and alongside them, deciding on a scheme which economically met the needs of the client. In order to achieve this, the company I worked for, Structural Systems (UK) Ltd., became a national leader in concrete design especially in the area of post-tensioning for fast, more economic and environmentally friendly design solutions.
The skills and experience from this role allowed me to return home to Ireland where I now work as Operations Director for MBN Construction Ltd. The company is involved in residential and commercial contracts and is more of a management role than my previous positions. As part of my post, I deal directly with the client to ascertain what they require before coordinating the various sub-contractors and suppliers in order to deliver the design solution of the design team in a cost-effective, timely manner to the client’s specific requirements. The skills I gained at Glasgow University, and those honed in my various roles, also helped to open up a career in politics. The interpersonal skills and ability to problem solve I gained studying at Glasgow eventually saw me elected to the National Executive of the Fianna Fáil party in the Republic of Ireland and subsequently President of the party’s youth wing, Ógra Fianna Fáil. This position has given me a direct input into the legislative process where I represent the views of the grassroots members and young people from all across Ireland. It also requires media appearances, lobbying and campaign coordination all of which require the application of skills I learnt or honed during my time in Glasgow.
Fiona Hart - National Roads and Motorists' Association
I chose my degree course as I was interested in the subjects. I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I knew a general Arts degree would open quite a few doors for me. I enjoyed having the freedom to pick up extra subjects in years 1 and 2 and giving them a try. I ended up taking one of my "throwaway" subjects in first year through as a joint degree subject! I'm sure that my degree helped my C.V. get through more of the graduate recruitment doors than I realise. It's also given me confidence to talk about my Glasgow education, knowing it's a well-respected, interesting institution.
My Glasgow experience
I joined the QM and was a Freshers' Week helper a couple of times. I also joined the Cecilian Society, as well as the Chamber Choir. Being part of the Cecilian Society was a real blast - putting on shows is such a buzz. I also really enjoyed going to lots of theatre and finding out about lots of cool shows courtesy of my Theatre Studies classes. Even if you don't study theatre, pop into the department and check out the notice boards.
I found that university is the time when you realise the world is bigger than yourself. Interacting with new people, being intimidated by great talent and then finding out those people are just as approachable and nervous as you are - it really helps you understand how big the world is, and how you can best walk within it. I’d advise current or prospective students to get involved! There are so many great groups and clubs, many of which I didn't even know about until I was leaving - check them all out, stick at the ones you like, and enjoy meeting different people and trying new things.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Fiona Hart on The Network
I completed my MA (Hons) and then went straight on to do an MSc in I.T. (also at Glasgow). After my MSc, I joined an I.T. graduate scheme at the BBC. Fast-forward twelve years and I'm currently the Head of Digital Channel at a member organisation in Sydney.
My career path went as follows;
From I.T. technical roles (testing, coding, requirements gathering) to I.T. project management (business analysis, project planning) and also I.T. projects commercial support (proposal coordination, managing bid budget). I was also a Digital Agency Account Manager which involved liaising with clients, submitting proposals, ensuring projects are running to client satisfaction. I then moved up the ranks and ended up as the Client Services Director at a digital agency, running a team of Account Directors. I moved to Sydney during this phase and having a solid university behind me was definitely helpful. As mentioned above, my current role is Head of Digital Channel at National Roads and Motorists’ Association (an Australian organisation like The AA). I’m responsible for maximising member engagement through our digital channels.
Gary Brown - Student Tours Scotland
I never knew that I'd study Psychology and I haven't really studied or worked in the field since. However I knew it would be a course that would be great for day to day real-world interactions. It's been so useful and that was what attracted me to it. The fact you learn about how people function was the biggest draw. I found the course was well organised, great for interactions and just really interesting. The staff were fantastic and I've kept in touch with many after graduating. There was a great range of subjects and never a dull moment. I’d say that it was a really awesome course. I found that studying at a University with such a prestigious history, was obviously one particular advantage but the course itself is well respected. Working and studying at the University of Glasgow opened up many doors in life.
My Glasgow experience
Between 2007 and 2007, I was Queen Margaret Union President. I had been involved with Subcity Radio and as a Peer Assisted Learner leader also. I was a Student Network member and part of several clubs and societies. I even hosted the Friday quiz at Queen Margaret Union at one point. The benefits from these things are just unimaginable. You meet people you would never have had the chance to otherwise. Some of my closest friends were from my time at Queen Margaret Union. I even went on to write a book on the history of the Union which was published in 2010. Being Queen Margaret Union President was particularly memorable. I got to meet so many interesting people, both students and staff. Getting to work with people on a range of projects really made the time fly. I would highly recommend people get involved in student politics in some way no matter how small. I became more confident in myself thanks to my time as Queen Margaret Union President but it was the chance to come up with new ideas and projects while on the Board of Management and in societies that has given me the drive to go on and start my own business after leaving the University.
Life after Glasgow
My degree helped me understand people better. I've had two jobs since leaving the University and finally after all of that, I started my own business. Things were never easy leaving University but each experience led me to where I am now. Without my time at Glasgow I would never have had so many friends, who would never have motivated me and I would never have started my tourism business. I think the most important thing you do at University is develop as a person. Regardless of the studying you do; your result; the people you meet, it is what you as a person realise about yourself that really lies behind University life. I've had many plans and life changes since leaving the University but that particular train of thought has always been there.
I work with students and people every day with my tourism business and so studying Psychology and working so closely with students every day at the University of Glasgow really gave me the skills I needed. Without my time at Glasgow I would never be able to do the things I now do. I keep in touch with the current boards of management at Queen Margaret Union on a regular basis and work closely with key staff and students on my tourism business. I'm never that far away from the University of Glasgow at any time. It's always in the back of my mind.
George Fisher - The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
I had an interest in combining my interest in the outdoor industry with a broader course in Management - at the time the course was the best option for me. The course has been enormously beneficial - the fact that I studied a wide base of subjects has stood me in good stead in my career. We also enjoyed a close relationship with our lecturers and most of our subject matter was delivered in tutorial style which increased my analytical skills to a good level. I believe that I would not have enjoyed the career progression that I’ve had, if my application and experience was not 'backed up' with a degree from a reputable university. The focus on analysing and questioning concepts has stayed with me and played an important role in my career to date. I also remember with clarity the message at my graduation - it is not what degree you have, but what you do with it that matters.
My Glasgow experience
I studied at the Scottish Agricultural College in Ayr so had a different experience to the majority of students studying at Glasgow but I would say that the university has tremendous facilities and history behind it. Glasgow is a great city that enjoys a rich cultural heritage that has endured. I was the Vice President of the Students Council at the College and played a role in pulling together social and sporting events - it is important to put something into your time at University - you get a lot back. I thoroughly enjoyed the course that I studied and welcomed the rigour of the exams and coursework. I have strong memories of my engagement in sport and the tours that we undertook. I had the fortune of studying for a Glasgow degree but at a small College - the atmosphere was extremely welcoming but there were always opportunities to engage in student community events.
Life after GlasgowConnect with George Fisher on The Network
My first job after graduation was as Area Manager for Ocean Youth Trust. I spent eight years working within the organisation, rising to General Manager for Ocean Youth Trust Scotland following restructuring in 1999. I became responsible for this new charity in Scotland and established all aspects of initiating the new organisation, including employment, financial controls, regulation and compliance, as well as developing the business model. I spent a brief period as the Charity Officer for a major football blub before joining The Duke of Edinburgh's Award as the Assistant Award Director in 2003.
I become Director for Scotland in 2006 and am now responsible for the strategic and financial planning of the charity in Scotland and for developing new markets and maintaining quality standards across our delivery network. I’m currently working on financial and strategic planning as well as external affairs, particularly with the Scottish Government and 32 Scottish Local Authorities. I engage with national agencies including Education Scotland, Creative Scotland, SportScotland, Youthlink Scotland, COSLA etc.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award engaged with the Film Unit to provide opportunities for students to work with our project for young people undertaking the DofE at Polmont Young Offenders Institute - the film that was created is now part of a national toolkit used to educate young people about the reality of life in prison.
Gerry O'Donnell - Edrington
I was originally accepted for science at the end of 5th year but got cold feet about whether that was for me and switched my application and majored in Politics. The degree was different, interesting, and allowed me to win arguments with my Dad for the first time in my life!
In the mid-seventies Russia and China were not as open as they are today. Being able to spend time understanding how these very different systems worked was really rewarding, and that ability to work independently and analyse different systems has stayed with me. It also gave me an edge many years later when I visited both those countries on business. I also chose a year of English literature and that was a great decision. Despite a good grade in school, I didn't have the confidence to take it much further than a one year filler but it was fantastic. Edwin Morgan lectured as part of this course and that remains a highlight to this day. I now do a lot of technical business writing as part of my job and I am sure my current confidence dates back to my time in those English Lit classes and tutorials. It was at University that I learned to work independently, think critically, and present work coherently. Those are all attributes that gave me an edge over others who hadn't experienced this.
My Glasgow experience
An exemption at the end of first year gave me confidence to rebalance my time in second year. I probably crammed four years of socialising into three! I quickly worked my way into the debating scene and joined the Distributist Club, one of the six clubs participating in a parliamentary style of debate in the Union. Usually held on a Friday they started at lunchtime and culminated in a post–debates party that went on long into the night! Nowadays there is a demand from employers to see some evidence of interests outside of a chosen academic course. Try and find something that you could be passionate about. Apart from meeting other likeminded people it indicates that you like to have some balance in your life
Looking back after such a long time is bound to result in some sentimentality, but I can honestly say I enjoyed everything about the University experience - the new friends, the discos, the parties, but especially debating. Learning to command the attention of a noisy gallery in the Union Debates Hall gave me the skills and confidence to speak in public and argue my case, all very necessary attributes in my later career. I can't mention the truly memorable experiences on a public website but my young brother and I still recall going to The Apollo with Charlie Kennedy to see Devo. (November 1978). The bouncers wanted to chuck my brother out but Charlie came to his rescue. Not a bad claim to fame!
There's no doubt that the sense of accomplishment at completing a degree propelled me a long way. Being able to knuckle down and work independently, being able to socialise and have fun, being a leader when the occasion demands it - all these features of life at Uni all resurface in later life. The challenge remains how to retain some balance between them.
Life after Glasgow
My first job after graduating was not at all related to my degree. With hindsight I was a bit impulsive. Ten years of exams at school and university contributed to a haste to get out and earn money. A few weeks after my finals I joined Procter and Gamble (P&G) as an Area Sales Representative in the Packaged Soap and Detergent division. P&G had an outstanding reputation and their graduate recruitment had nurtured some brilliant business careers. Sales wasn’t my first calling, but it got me through the door.
Since then I’ve changed disciplines a number of times, working in media management (planning and buying TV ad space for P&G), brand marketing, sales distribution, and finally corporate and public affairs. During that sequence my family and I were living in a part of England that was scenic but a bit dull, and that drove a determination to return to Scotland. I’ve worked in the Scotch Whisky industry for 25 years now and am currently the Corporate Affairs Director for Edrington. In the UK people think of Scotch whisky as a traditional product. However it’s very dynamic and growing in many other countries. Edrington is also a company with a modern business model; it is owned by The Robertson Trust, the biggest charitable donator in Scotland.
A recent project, completed with the help of colleagues, is a revamped corporate and sustainability strategy. My role also involves communication and we are always fully occupied on that agenda. Interestingly, a part of my role is to assess public policy and set out how it might affect the company. So, finally, after 30 years I am working on the subject that I graduated in! My involvement with the University has increased in recent years. One of my four children studied Politics and English at Glasgow. The ‘father and son’ tour of the Union & QM was quite something! I have also spoken at a few events and my wife and I are lucky enough to live a few streets away from the campus.
Gillian Martin - Tesco
I had already studied Law for year and decided that it wasn’t for me, although I did find some aspects of it interesting. Because I could choose three subjects in my first two years, it meant that I could delve deeper into what I thought I would be interested in, rather than narrowing it down before I'd even started the course. I appreciated the wide variety of modules and courses available. I was able to study the media and gender, as well as venturing into European Politics. Lots of people assume politics just looks at UK party politics but I got such a great insight into politics in a wider sense. You are encouraged to work independently, which prepared me well for work environments. The discipline required to complete assignments shows in the work I do now, and I have the ability to 'think outside the box' and consider others' points of view - this has been commented on since I graduated. I'm often told that I am logical and articulate - I credit this to my degree and studies. What sets me apart as a Glasgow graduate is that I've had an all-round education and I was encouraged to have my own opinions.
My Glasgow experience
I played as part of the Kelvin Ensemble and found that clubs and societies can be great for meeting like-minded people. I do have some fond memories of Tuesday Revolution nights in the QMU - we often still reminisce about going to Rev for £1 drinks! One of my friends also ran as a Student Rep and we all pulled together to help him campaign on University Avenue, which was a good day. I'm still great friends with the people I met at Uni - the friendships you make here are for life. I met my best friend in the queue for my first class and met my fiancé here – he even proposed in the quadrangles when he graduated with his Civil Engineering degree in 2012!
Life after Glasgow
After graduating, I started at Tesco on a graduate scheme for their Support Office. I am currently a Project Manager for F&F, the clothing arm of Tesco.
I spent a year on project rotations in the Support Office - achievements included leading the first F&F retail day for 550 Clothing Managers and creating the first customer service focused induction, which is completed by every new colleague joining Tesco stores. After I was signed off the graduate scheme as a Project Manager, I joined the customer service team, where I was a key part of our Tesco’s service initiative. I worked cross-functionally with teams to create customer-focused training solutions, linked up with teams across the business to ensure their projects were on-message and acted as a consult for training teams. In addition to this, I had the opportunity to present at our company retail days to managers and directors across the business. Our team of four were awarded 'Office Team of the Year' at the annual Tesco Values awards, which are voted for by colleagues around the business and approved by the UK board. I was approached to join F&F as a Capability Manager. This involved engaging stores, influencing managers, creating and leading training and helping develop F&F Managers. I personally recruited and trained the team for the world's first F&F boutique in our flagship Kensington superstore - the boutique has been highlighted by many media channels, including Vogue, Glamour, Grazia and online fashion bloggers, many of which have commented of the outstanding service given by the team.
I was then asked to look over the training and capability plan for a new tagging technology F&F is introducing. This involves creating a capability and people plan, to help roll out the technology across the UK and Central European business. I’ve been able to create assessment materials, hold assessment centres across the UK, recruit a team of coaches, create video content to engage Tesco’s director population, set up an eLearning platform and run the team’s Twitter account!
Gordon Neilson - Neilson Consulting Ltd
I chose Civil Engineering because it seemed best suited to my skills and it was my intention to follow a career in engineering. The course provided a solid platform from which to progress to graduate studies and, after some years of working experience, to membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The engineering degree had an emphasis on maths and analytical methods which has been of great value throughout my career. My degree enabled me to become an English Speaking Union Scholar to the USA and study for a MSc. at the University of Virginia (UVA). I had decided that I wanted to study urban planning and transport since the profession of transport planning was in its infancy at that time. The GU degree was demanding and good preparation both for the post graduate degree and subsequent employment.
My Glasgow experience
As a home-based engineering student with lectures and labs four and a half days per week, there was not much time for extra-curricular activities. I was however heavily involved with the swimming and water polo teams and during my time at Glasgow - the swimming team were British Universities champions. While this required considerable allocation of time for training and team events, during the more stressful periods at University the swimming training provided a regular break and helped maintain a balanced lifestyle. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the swimming and water polo teams, the superb facilities at the Stevenson Building and the great times we had with the inter-varsity matches both in Scotland and England. The civil engineering students were a very sociable crowd, strong supporters of the then Men’s Union, and through the GU 68 Engineers Charitable Foundation there has been ongoing contact over the years. The swimming team had a memorable away match with Cambridge University where we were hosted by Nobel laureate Lord Todd of Trumpington, the then Master of Christ’s College and a GU graduate. If I had my time again I would try to expand my extra-curricular activities to include a socially active group and be more involved with the Engineering Society - assuming time permitted.
Life after Glasgow
My first job after Glasgow University was as a Research Assistant at the Virginia Highway Research Institute which was linked to my Masters’ degree. Initially I participated in on-going research projects but subsequently worked on my own project on computer modelling of trip distribution, the results of which were used for my Masters’ thesis. After graduation, I worked with Alan M Voorhees Inc., (AMV) one of the pioneer transport planning consultancies in the USA, on a wide variety of projects in Florida, New York, Kentucky and California.
After working in the States for about three years I transferred to AMV’s newly opened London office where I worked on a number of projects including justification for rail line electrification in Birmingham, economic evaluation of the Tyne and Wear Metro and congestion control proposals for London. In 1978 I was asked to head up a small team of consultants to advise the largest public transport operator in Hong Kong, KMB, a private bus company which carried over 3 million passengers daily, on how best to prepare for competition from the first line of the soon to be opened Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway. This period coincided with massive illegal immigration from China – about half a million people in three years – and also the arrival of some 80,000 refugees from war in Vietnam, all of whom were allowed to live and work in Hong Kong if they made it across the border.
At the same time the Hong Kong Government was pursuing a program to re-house people from the overcrowded urban areas to new towns located in rural areas. Both the rapid population increase and the longer journeys resulting from the new town program placed huge demands on the public transport services and most of the increased demand fell to KMB. The company therefore decided they needed professional transport planning skills to help determine operational requirements and to forecast future demand. I was asked to join the management of the company and set up a planning, marketing and development department. In this role I oversaw the development of KMB for ten years after which I set up my own consultancy firm based in Hong Kong. Since then I have worked on a wide range of transport projects in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Government and also acted as a specialist consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and major consultancies for projects in a number of countries including China, India, Vietnam, Mongolia, Thailand, Barbados, Kenya and Ghana.
I continue to act as specialist consultant on transport matters, mostly for the World Bank. Current work includes preparation of transport projects in Yunnan and Hebei provinces of China who will be recipients of World Bank loans totalling over US$300m and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Nairobi, Kenya.
Hamish Kerr - Albany Medical Centre
I initially chose Medicine (as a High School student) and did envisage a career in Clinical Medicine as a Paediatrician. I did an intercalated degree in Physiology and Sports Science and came close to pursuing a career in research, however I ultimately managed to combine my interests in a Paediatric sports medicine career. My course provided me with a great education and I was taught by excellent teachers and role models. My degree from Glasgow gives employers confidence that my training was unrivalled worldwide in terms of curriculum, teaching and exposure to patient care.
My Glasgow experience
I was involved in the GUU, our year club and Med-Chir. I played football throughout my seven years at Glasgow with various clubs including the infamous ‘Chicken Kiev’ and the equally tragic ‘Parklife’. There are too numerous memories to list, but my favourites mostly revolved around sharing a flat off Kersland St with my friends. We had some great times. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of student life. Glasgow is just a great place to live, study and explore. I think living in a relatively big city and learning to balance study/work and play were the big life lessons I learned in Glasgow. I continued to do the things I love such as playing football and spending quality time with friends despite the increasing burdens of studying and exams. That has shaped me since as I have gotten busier, I still prioritize the same things I did at university.
Life after Glasgow
Currently, I’m an Attending Physician, equivalent of a Consultant, in Primary Care Sports Medicine. I graduated with a medical degree in 1998 before moving to the USA after my house jobs. I completed a four year residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in Albany, NY then returned to Glasgow in 2003 to complete an MSc in Sports Medicine. I moved back to the USA in 2005, and finished my sports medicine training at Harvard in Boston where I worked as a Fellow. I now work in Albany at the Medical College running my own fellowship and acting as team Doctor for a local college (Siena) and for the US Rugby team. My main responsibilities are the clinical care of area athletes and active people including musculoskeletal injuries and concussion in sport. I teach medical students, residents and a sports medicine fellow. Additionally, I also work on biomechanics research into contact sports including football, rugby and martial arts. I chair the US Rugby sports medicine committee.
Hannah Ensor - The University of Edinburgh
I really loved my mathematics courses; they were very interesting, hard but interesting. I work as a Statistician now. I think the best thing about the statistics part of the course was the dissertation in fourth year. It was the first insight for me about what working life would be like. Using the skills I’d developed to learn something about and make sense of what would have otherwise been a spreadsheet of random numbers. I have to give some praise here to the Lecturers at Glasgow - such lovely, clever, helpful, interesting and occasionally hilarious people. More than anything else, as I have moved through my career I have always been grateful that I gained such a solid understanding of the more complicated theoretical aspects of statistics and mathematics from my time at Glasgow. In other roles I have had and other courses I have completed I have not struggled as others have (even some with statistics degrees) since I was taught these very important fundamental concepts. At the time they never seemed as daunting as I think they must to people who want to use mathematical and statistical applications but lack the grounding that the degree at Glasgow gave me.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of some sporting clubs, mostly swimming and running. Both were really great. I think I probably could have done with joining a few more! I was also a member of the QM Union. This was possibly one of the best things about my time in Glasgow, a great place to bump into random friends and have a quiet drink or impromptu night out. It’s so great there are two student unions - both have merits and everyone’s catered for. I don’t think it’s disputed that the QM is more individual, they have some really fantastic music on offer if that’s what you like. But the GU puts on an awesome ceilidh and cheesy night out!
I think my course in particular taught me a lot about logic and the best way to approach problems and I was lucky enough to enjoy it. It gave me a great grounding in the field that I have pursued as a career. I think I chose the right course for me at a great university in a really fun and lively city. Even though I have now studied at three universities and worked at another, Glasgow will always be my favourite as it was a perfect combination of factors that made it a great university experience.
Life after Glasgow
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left Glasgow. My dissertation supervisor gave me some fantastic advice about doing a taught Masters’ in Statistics. He highlighted those with the best reputation in Britain and told me that quite often it is possible to get funding to do them. Since I still wasn’t sure I went for a gap year in Canada. While I was there I applied for several Masters’ programmes. In the end I had a few offers and Reading’s Masters’ in Biometry (statistics applied to the biological sciences) looked like the most interesting. I was offered funding from Pfizer Ltd. which covered fees and a full stipend. (Most people on my course were offered funding either from other companies or other avenues.) I got a 2:1 in my degree so don’t be put off the idea thinking you need to be a top student to be in with a chance of a studentship.
That year was so fantastic; it was very, very hard work and quite intense but it was worth it. I learned a lot and I realised that I definitely was interested in a career in stats. It’s also, along with my experience at Glasgow, one of the reasons I landed such a great job. I applied for several and in the end accepted one at the Leukaemia Research Cryogenics Group at the Northern Institute of Cancer Research at Newcastle University. I worked there for three years. It was a sharp learning curve especially considering that I hadn’t even done a standard grade in Biology, but it was really interesting. I was responsible for contributing the statistical analysis needed for academic publications. Genetic abnormalities are generally deemed to be the cause of leukaemia, as such all patients are screened at diagnosis for particular abnormalities, the presence of certain abnormalities would dictate treatment or guide prognosis. My job was to investigate the particular outcomes of patients with said abnormalities; this information could then be used by clinicians to inform therapy.
It was quite a responsibility given the importance of the work and I was the only trained statistician in the group (though my boss was an epidemiologist and highly numerate). But it was a great three years. After this time I realised if I wanted to progress further in the field I would probably need a PhD. Many of my friends had already completed them. My old supervisor from Reading told me that the Medical Research Council had several HUBs for trials methodology research around the country. Basically the researchers in these groups look into the best approaches or develop new tools for analysing clinical trials data. So I applied to do a PhD with the Edinburgh Hub and I am now in my final year. I don’t regret not going straight from undergrad to a PhD I feel that I have learned a lot in the interim period that will help me with the work I’m doing now, and has guided me to the best PhD to suit me. Again, I have to attribute a great part of how comfortable I have been tackling the mathematics required in my PhD to my degree at Glasgow.
Dr Helen Sedgwick - Wildland Literary Editors
I chose to study here because I was living in Glasgow already, and the MLitt in Creative Writing at Glasgow University had an outstanding reputation. I wanted to become a writer and editor, so the MLitt in creative writing was the ideal qualification for the career I wanted. I really enjoyed being part of a community of writers, which included both the other students on the course and the tutors. I have gone on to become an editor, a publisher, and to teach creative writing for Strathclyde University, Glasgow University (DACE) and SUISS at Edinburgh University. My creative writing also improved over my year on the MLitt, and I have been published in journals, magazines and anthologies including Gutter, Spilling Ink, Litro, The List, and been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. I won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers’ Award in 2012.
My Glasgow experience
The best thing about it was the people I met on the course - who are now some of my best friends. I was a mature student, having already had a career as a research scientist, and I was already a graduate of both Bristol and Edinburgh Universities. The MLitt was a hugely enjoyable experience.
Life after Glasgow
After graduating, I started working as a Creative Writing Tutor for the Department of Adult & Continuing Education (DACE) at Glasgow University. The MLitt was one of the main factors that led to my change of career. Moving from being an academic research scientist to a freelance writer, editor and tutor was a huge change, and the MLitt helped me achieve that change of career. A proportion of my work since graduating has been freelance editing and writing. Being a freelance writer involves writing my own fiction, writing book reviews and non-fiction articles, and sometimes working for larger institutions as a copy writer. I am represented by literary agency Johnson and Alcock. As an editor, my job involves reading the work of other writers and suggesting ways to develop it, working with the writer to make the manuscript the best it can be, and later on copy editing and proofreading the manuscript.
I currently have several jobs. I'm joint managing director of Cargo Publishing, founding director of Wildland Literary Editors, and I also still work freelance as a writer, editor, and creative writing tutor. Along the way, I established my own literary magazine (Fractured West), I worked as managing editor for Gutter, and I taught creative writing classes for several universities and community based projects. I took every writing-related part time job I could, and never said no to an opportunity.
Henda Uananisa - University of Botswana
As an academic, my choice of the program was related to the specific specialisation field or area that I wanted in order to strengthen a particular research area within my establishment, and the program at the University of Glasgow's Department of Mechanical Engineering met my ambitions. The qualitative facilities from which the School operated were a huge inspiration to every student, especially from the developing world, where most of these wonderful facilities are a rarity. Moreover, the technical expertise within the department also provided a good "practical approach" to the program delivery, which in my view was an important aspect of the skills training that I needed. I have found that any qualification from an internationally renowned institution places one above their peers, and is a huge boost to one's C.V. and recognition. My MSc qualification from the University of Glasgow earned me a promotion from a 'Staff Development Fellow' within my department to a ‘Full Lecturer’ position, something which has motivated me to dream even bigger.
My Glasgow experience
First of all, for someone coming from the so-called "Third World", like myself at the time, a move to the "Developed World" can be both exciting as well as daunting. One has to just remain focused and disciplined, as well as maintain their wonderful roots and be proud of their identity. The cultural & environmental "shock" can lead to loneliness and depression, hence interaction with local communities is a very important step in enjoying one's experiences. The only society or grouping that my wife and I got immediately involved with was the International Office's social activities. It was one of the best experiences that we still carry memories of, with various social trips to some historic sites and it enabled us to network amongst other colleagues from various cultural backgrounds. Exposure to the cultural diversity that existed at Glasgow University was an exciting experience to be part of in the first place. Moreover, this also helped us to be more outgoing and enabled us to shake-off the daunting thoughts of being "home-sick". The Glasgow experience will surely remain in our minds for a very long time.
Life after Glasgow
I would say, from the on-set, I was fortunate enough that my country, Botswana, provided free education (and still does) for all its citizens. I am hence a fortunate product of that education system, from primary education, until my university graduation. After graduation with my Bachelor’s, I joined the industry, first as a Junior Engineer, and later as an Assistant Operations Engineer at a local power plant. Six years later, I decided that I wanted to take advantage of my good grades in my Bachelor’s degree and take my career further, hence I joined the local university as a Staff Development Fellow. It wasn't long before I found myself in Glasgow to further my studies. Armed with an MSc from a top university, I am now reading for a PhD in Material Sciences & Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Pretoria in neighbouring South Africa. My current research work looks at an industry based material failure problem, with emphasis on crystallographic texture analysis of a certain stainless steel, and it is an interesting as well as a challenging diversity from my mechanical engineering background.
Ingigerdur Erlingsdottir - Icelandair
I did Civil Engineering for my undergraduate, and was looking to broaden my horizons. I was initially thinking of doing solely Management. But when I found the program of Engineering and Management, it suited me perfectly. Between my B.Sc. and my M.Sc. I worked for two years for an engineering firm and found that I was more interested in the management side of things. I honestly loved everything about my course. The Professors were just great and the subject interesting. It was more than I had dared to hope for. It was easy getting a job right after graduation, and working now as both Manager and Engineer, I feel like I have an advantage, having studied both sides. Understanding the management techniques as well as the technical engineering side is helping me deal with different type of things every day. I get better projects and have a unique view of both people and projects.
My Glasgow experience
I was somewhat active in the International Society, although most of my social activities involved the great group of people that were in my classes. The benefits of socialising with people from all over the world, who can become the friends you make for life, can enrich not only your personal life but also help your professional career at the same time. I got a different view of things from my time at Glasgow. I really enjoyed making friends from all corners of the world and seeing how different people perceive things depending on the cultural background has for sure helped me in my career, made me a better person and a bit more understanding towards different needs people have. Concerning memorable experiences there are plenty to choose from. One of many was the Tall Ship Gala that the Management Department threw for all postgraduate students. The location was great and there are few things more fun than a Scottish ceilidh. I gained a lot studying in Glasgow; self confidence and believing in my own capabilities were just the tip of the iceberg.
Life after Glasgow
I was lucky enough to get a job right after graduation, which was related directly to both my Civil Engineering degree and my Management degree. It was as Project Manager for a Development Centre, managing international EU founded projects, mainly about public transportation. I was working with people from Sweden, Iceland, Scotland (Dumfries & Galloway, and Shetland) and Finland. My current position is Deputy Manager Engineer as well as being Senior Airframe/Interior Engineer for Icelandair Technical Service.
After working as a Project Manager for two years in East-Iceland I wanted to change it up a bit and work for a bigger company so I applied for the position of Senior Airframe/Interior Engineer at Icelandair Technical Service (ITS), which I got. After working there for fifteen months I was offered the position of Deputy Manager Engineer at ITS. I am responsible for a part of the technical support of the maintenance Icelandair's aircrafts. As a Deputy Manager, I manage the Engineering Department of Icelandair Technical Service, people and processes, and am partly responsible for making sure we are obeying the regulations of both European and American Aviation Authorities. As Senior Airframe/Interior engineer I am responsible for the structural components of the fleet as well as the interiors and the maintenance there of.
Jahan Rezai - Motion Consulting
My course was related to the general topic area of interest to me - i.e. Business Management. In addition to this, the course seemed unique compared to others I was looking at in that there was a specific focus on entrepreneurship. The course was also new - I was applying to be in the second batch of students who'd taken the course. There was a vast variety of topics covered, which were all tied together by entrepreneurship. Our class was small which I liked (approx. 20 people), this meant that we had close interaction with Professors. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the globe. The university is a reputable one and well-recognised globally.
My Glasgow experience
I played football (6-a-side), volleyball, a bit of badminton and used the gym regularly. I also attended several of the International Students Society events. All of the above allowed me to meet with new people regularly. From a study perspective - pretty much all of my modules involved group work. Looking back at all of the hours we spent working in the library on projects together, it was actually good fun. In general all of my experiences in Glasgow provided me with more confidence. Be it when applying for jobs after finishing studying, or communicating with people I've just met. The city is absolutely beautiful and there is so much to do and experience.
Life after Glasgow
I was the Sales Manager at a small start-up company producing conferences for the transport industry. The company was small, but growing and a lot of the challenges it faced were things related to what I studied. Currently I am the Founder and Director of a consulting company called Motion Consulting, helping small-medium sized companies develop their business activities. It is absolutely, 100% related to what I studied in Glasgow and I never would have started it if I hadn't studied the course I did. I decided it was time for a change from the job I had after graduating, so I decided to do some freelancing for a while until I decided what to do next. Working on a freelance project for one company, led to another company getting in touch, which led to another etc. - until I thought, 'How about I give this a name and do it full time?' All of the work I do revolves around helping small-medium sized businesses develop their activities, be it from getting things off the ground initially, to helping older companies give their business a 'face lift'. A core portion of projects involves assisting companies internationalise their activities. This was a core element of my course in Glasgow.
James Hosea - NHH - Norwegian School of Economics
I chose to study Geography because I have always had a love of the outdoors and a curiosity for understanding the processes that have shaped the landscape around me. For me the best thing about the course was learning to combine theory and practice, especially through field work. This helped engender a focus on problem solving, based on an analytical approach that starts with a solid understanding of theory, gathering quality data and applying the theory. Carrying out field work in often challenging conditions also taught me a lot about teamwork and leadership. The analytical approach to problem solving I learned has provided a solid foundation for my career ever since, even though I do not work in a related field. The University of Glasgow is also a well-known institution with a very solid reputation internationally, which is certainly an advantage of having a degree from the university.
My Glasgow experience
I was involved in the Exploration Society and led an expedition to Iceland in 1994. Leading the Iceland expedition was very challenging, but great fun. We were twenty-five people, had to raise all the money ourselves, plan the logistics and live in a remote field camp for a month. The experience gained was invaluable. University is a very safe place to learn and make mistakes before embarking on a career and facing similar challenges. The professors were very good, the social life was fantastic and Glasgow is a wonderful city to be a student in. There is so much on offer academically, culturally and socially. I remember well my Freshers’ Week in 1989 and I still can't believe I got away with so little sleep for so long. I certainly grew up and matured a lot during my time in Glasgow, becoming a much more independent and confident person.
Life after GlasgowConnect with James Hosea on The Network
My first job was completely unrelated to my studies. I became a Sales Executive with Lombard Motor Finance. I now work as a Senior Advisor for Strategy and Development at NHH - Norwegian School of Economics, Norway's oldest and leading Business School.
After working in sales in the banking and finance sector for five years, I moved to London and worked as a Strategy Consultant for two years. My mentor in London advised me to take an MBA and I decided to combine further studies with quality of life and moved to Bergen in Norway to study full-time for two years while skiing and hillwalking at weekends. On graduating I decided to stay on in Norway for a while and started my own company in strategy and marketing consultancy. I was approached by NHH and asked to apply for a new job as Marketing Manager. After a few years I got more and more involved in advising the school's management and moved into a new role supporting the schools strategy and development. I advise the school's senior management on strategy and development. Tasks include: strategic analysis of sector, competitors and activities; performance measurement and benchmarking; leadership and implementation of strategic projects.
James Lush - Equality Challenge Unit
It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to study. I originally wanted to do Medicine but I didn't get a place. I was accepted to study Biomedical Science but I knew about the flexible system at the university, and I ended up doing my Honours in Anatomy, mainly because I found it the most interesting option based on all the different modules I had studied in second year, and also because I had liked the lecturers. Perhaps naively, I never really thought about any of the vocational aspects, but I was always confident that the university experience and the degree I chose would set me up well for whatever I decided to do in the end. And, since I didn’t really know what that was, I didn’t worry about thinking about it. I found that the camaraderie that developed amongst the Anatomy students and staff was brilliant. I think this was partly because it had a small intake relative to most of the other Life Science Honours options and it was quite selective, but also I was definitely lucky to find myself in that group. We were mostly all really good friends and all wanted to do well, and a real team spirit developed that also meant it was really sociable, including with the lecturers. I’ve gained a great network, both through my degree and the other things I got involved with, a wide range of experiences, and a lot of confidence. The Glasgow name carries a lot of weight and has helped me get to where I am now. I was also able to explore different interests – and discover that I didn’t want to be an Academic Scientist!
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of the Tennis Club throughout my time at Glasgow and served as Team Captain and Secretary in different years. I also read the news on Subcity radio and was Vice President of the Student Anatomical Society. Plus, I got involved with the Stop AIDS Society and tried out a few other things. The best thing was that these groups were a way to meet people and have a fun and interesting time! The Tennis Club was particularly important to me because it meant I had good experience of positions of responsibility, and travelled around Scotland with the teams. Being a member also meant I could go to the GUSA Ball, which was always memorable. Making lasting friendships was the best thing about my time at Glasgow. It was also brilliant just to live in the city, which is a fantastic place; I’d be really keen to move back some day. It rained for almost all my first semester but when the sun shines you can’t beat it! It’s so green in the West End compared to other cities. Daft Friday was always amazing, and graduation in Bute Hall after champagne in the Anatomy Museum (which is fascinating but not for the squeamish!). It was four years of a lot of laughter. I grew a lot during my time at University. I never really developed a plan, but I did grow in independence and self-assurance. It’s really hard to put my finger on it, but I feel like I learned loads, much more than just from my course.
Life after GlasgowConnect with James Lush on The Network
Soon after I graduated, I moved to London, did a few internships in Science Communication and Policy positions, and eventually in March the following year I got a temporary position as a Press Officer at the Medical Research Council (MRC). I now work on the Athena SWAN Charter, which is run by the Equality Challenge Unit and recognises commitment to advancing women’s careers in research and academia. The scheme originally ran in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) but now covers all academic fields. It’s been running since 2005. I knew my job at the MRC was only temporary so I got a job at the Biochemical Society, a learned society, moving into Science Policy in the process. Part of my job there was to look after the diversity work of the Society, who are supporters of Athena SWAN. Through that, I got involved with the Charter judging panels, and when a job opportunity came up there, I jumped at it. The University is one of the members of the Athena SWAN Charter and part of my role is to specifically work with universities in Scotland to advance the Charter there, although I’m based in London. I also still try to make it to the Tennis Club alumni days, and always make time for a wander around the campus and surrounding area when I’m in town.
Jason Graham - City of Glasgow College
I had grown to love the notion of International Law whilst studying it in my undergraduate Law degree. I knew the desirability of obtaining a Law degree, but also wanted to add something else to my qualifications - the LLM International Law was an inspiring course of study to me, and one I knew I would develop my passion for. At the time of applying, I had no definitive plans for a career in Law, but knew it would open my mind to ideas. It has certainly proven to link to my career, however, as being a Lecturer in Law now, I am fortunate to be able to communicate with students of various nationalities, and hear insights about their domestic legal systems. The subjects involved were fascinating - International Criminal Law was very thought provoking, and also having the opportunity to complete a dissertation at the end of the course was a challenging but ultimately rewarding experience. The next best thing about my degree - my fellow students. I was the only British born student on the course, so working alongside and sharing experience with so many different nationalities was fascinating.
My degree has given me a real sense of pride - to have obtained a Master’s degree from my 'hometown' University has been a great confidence boost. It has also allowed me to go onto teach Law at various other institutions, a career I find exceptionally rewarding, and one whereby I provide students with a real edge when teaching international aspects of Law.
My Glasgow experience
The autonomy given to me and other postgraduate students was excellent - the support of the lecturing staff was always there, and they were extremely friendly and open. It was very much an 'open door' policy when it came to meeting them. I particularly enjoy being asked to facilitate with and comment on group presentations made by undergraduate Law students in United Nations Law, and made me feel that studying the LLM was worthwhile, as well as providing me with an early indicator of what teaching could be like. My experiences allowed me to appreciate not just the international perspective of Law, but how meeting so many interesting people could make you look differently at the world. It gave me a great feeling of self-worth, to have graduated from one of the top Universities with my LLM at the age of 23. When applying for jobs soon after leaving, I was always keen to emphasise on my C.V. that the University of Glasgow was my most recent place of study.
Life after Glasgow
My first job after graduating was with the former credit card company, Goldfish, as a Process Analyst. I started there in October 2002 (the same year I graduated). The company was taken over in 2006 by Morgan Stanley, and I kept the same position until leaving through voluntary redundancy in January 2007. I also worked part-time as a Law Lecturer whilst there, from September 2005 until 2008 at Glasgow Caledonian University. Currently, I am a Lecturer in Law at City of Glasgow College. I have been here in a full-time post since August 2007. After leaving Morgan Stanley in January 2007, I worked part-time as a Lecturer in Law, before being given a permanent contract in August 2007. I have been ever since. Whilst at University for my Undergraduate degree, I worked part-time as a Sales Assistant in Safeway at weekends.
Aside from Lecturing, I am also a Guidance teacher to help and assist students with any academic problems they may face. I am currently working within a project called NPA, which means National Progression Awards, which is an SQA approved module designed to let school students (S5 and S6) come to College one afternoon per week to allow them to obtain a qualification in Law, which they can then use if they wish to apply to University or College. It is an extremely worthwhile project which the students enjoy, and given them a 'taster' of what Further and Higher Education can be like. My teaching experience has also led me to working closely with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) in developing and updating assessments for them, mainly in Law. I am also involved here in checking assessments used by Colleges and Universities overseas, ensuring that their assessments and methods are of the quality required and are being properly marked. I also have the position of External Verifier with the SQA, which involves me visiting other Colleges within Scotland to ensure their assessment methods and marking are of the requisite standard.
Joanna Reid CBE - Department for International Development (DFID)
I was determined I was going to be a Vet, so that was the degree for me – a vocational one. I must admit at the time I never imagined that my career would take such a different direction. I’ve done an MBA and an MSc subsequently – though not at Glasgow. Spending 5 years with essentially the same group of people, becoming really close was the best thing about my course. And being out at the Vet School was a great location. I now have a degree from a University with an excellent reputation, and it’s amazing to come across people in different places and walks of life who have also been there!
My Glasgow experience
I confess I didn’t take part in any societies – something I now regret. Studying Vet Medicine was a pretty heavy schedule, and friendships and life at QM hall and then in a flat was intense enough. I loved living in Glasgow, and walking around the West End – even all the way up to the Vet school. I particularly remember that the new Social Democrat Party fought its first by-election in the West end and the political circus came to town – all the big players were on Byres Road at one time or another. I grew up during my time at university – learned to look after myself (including cooking for myself and flatmates!) and developed lifelong friendships and a passion for Glasgow.
My advice to anyone thinking of coming to study at Glasgow - if you’re from the city, don’t live at home. You need to live and work the university life to get the most out of it. Do explore the rest of Glasgow beyond the West End – get to know the breadth of this wonderful city. Raise your eyes also to the broader world – politics, economics, the world and its issues. It’s too easy to become insulated at University and for the real world to be a bit of a shock.
Life after Glasgow
I became a Vet in rural Aberdeenshire when I graduated – just what my degree had set me up to be.
Currently I’m the Head of the Department for International Development’s programme on Sudan.
I didn’t work as a Vet full time for very long, but decided to take my life in a different direction. After a stint working for a coffee company, I joined the National Health Service as a Management trainee. I used to do locum vet work in my spare time for a number of years afterwards, which was fun. A series of hospital management jobs led eventually to me being an NHS Trust Board Director – and then I decided to take my skills and apply them to development work. So I started all over again – firstly with VSO in China and then running a health project in Bangladesh. I joined the Department for International Development (DFID) in 2003 and have since worked in India, Sierra Leone, Yemen and Somalia. I’ve never regretted it my change of career: how else would I get to meet Presidents and sex workers, Government Ministers and school kids with smiles wider than their shoulders?
As Head of DFID Sudan, based in Khartoum, I run a programme which this year has spent £46m. Sadly, most of that is humanitarian aid; most people have forgotten the horrors of Darfur, but the conflict there is still going on, and after 12 years, there are still over 2.5 million people displaced in Sudan and 6m people in need of life-saving assistance. It’s my job to make sure the world doesn’t forget Darfur, or the other conflicts still going on in Sudan. We are also doing some more positive work on providing clean water and sanitation and supporting Sudanese people who are working to end Female Genital Mutilation. It’s so sad that the optimism around the secession of South Sudan in 2011 hasn’t resulted in a brave new nation but another country mired in civil war. Many refugees have come to Sudan and we are helping them too. In 2014 I went back to Sierra Leone to head up DFID’s Ebola response for 4 months. It was an incredibly intense time working flat out with colleagues from the military, from NGOs, from the NHS and the United Nations to tackle this frightening disease. I’m in no doubt that the British effort helped Sierra Leone get on top of the disease and I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of that.
Joanne Singer - Department for Work & Pensions
I chose to study an MA in Theology & Religious Studies, having enjoyed studying Religious Studies at school. When I started university I didn't know what I wanted to do when I finished, and I think that's totally okay when you're 18 and fresh out of school. The thing about my Theology degree, and about an Arts degree in general, is that it's so versatile and gives you so many opportunities to study different things and learn lots of transferable skills. I found the best thing about my Arts degree was the ability to study different modules in addition to my core Theology modules, which offered a lot of variety. The department is also really good in offering a range of Christian theology courses alongside other religions such as Buddhism and Islam, and this was something I really valued.
Studying different faiths, cultures, beliefs and ways of life has opened my eyes and given me a deeper understanding of society. Studying at the second oldest university in Scotland is something I'm incredibly proud of, and Glasgow’s reputation is simply outstanding. I think its good standing is reflected in the esteemed teaching staff it attracts; one of our lecturers once studied under Pope John Paul II! Studying at such a well established Divinity department has given me an excellent grounding in history and theological developments, and I'm incredibly proud to be a Glasgow alumnus.
My Glasgow experience
During second year, after settling in and making friends through my course, I joined the Cheerleading squad. Cheerleading as a sport is physically demanding, so it was a great way to keep fit and try different experiences, such as participating in national cheer competitions. The club is really sociable, and attracts a wide range of girls from different courses, years and backgrounds which is another major benefit of being part of a club/society. I was also involved in the university’s Student Services in a variety of ways. I was an e-mentor, acting as point of contact by email for current and perspective students who may have questions or concerns about university life. I was also a Student Ambassador and led tours around campus for young people considering starting university - this was a great chance to share my experiences and help allay any fears or concerns they may have had about moving into higher education. It was a really rewarding experience and I greatly enjoyed being part of something that gave back to the university and future students. Doing extra-curricular activities, while also balancing university work and any other commitments, helps to show future employers you are determined, flexible and adaptable. And if it is something as unique as cheerleading, it’ll always give you something interesting to offer as an icebreaker!
I absolutely loved Glasgow for so many different reasons - the cloisters, the quadrangle, the view from the south flag pole, the QMU, Byres Road, Kelvingrove Park, the subway, Ashton Lane, Botanic Gardens, the university's cafes, the view from the 10th floor of the library… All of my memories centre on good times with great friends, and that's certainly something Glasgow University is not short of - interesting, unique people from all over the world!
Studying at Glasgow University and the different opportunities that I experienced definitely helped me grow as a person. Academically, it challenged and stretched me; allowing me to explore exciting, often controversial, topics that traditionally may not have been associated with Theology and Religious studies. Moving into the world of work, I think employers were really impressed with the range of topics I'd studied at Glasgow. As an Arts student, I recognise the many valuable skills I've gained while studying such as being analytical, having good communication skills and being forward thinking.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Joanne Singer on The Network
During university I had several part time jobs, from waitressing to working in a call centre for O2. I carried on working in the call centre after graduating, as it gave me valuable experience in working for a large organisation. It also helped develop my communication skills and ability to think creatively - as a Customer Service Advisor, I was certainly presented with some challenging situations!
After university I spent a lot of time considering where my interests lay, and what I wanted out of a career. Having always worked with the public, I began to consider Human Resources as I was interested in the variety of people issues that organisations are presented with. I discovered the Civil Service HR Fast Stream after an email from Glasgow University's Career Job Alert service. After researching the scheme I proceeded through the gruelling application process; from online tests, supervised tests to a full assessment day with group activities, individual presentation and an individual interview. I spent a lot of time researching the qualities that the Civil Service looked for in its employees, as well as the desired qualities of the graduate programme. Drawing on all of my experiences, from university to work I was able to provide examples of times I've done things such as worked as a team, succeeded against adversity and displayed qualities such as leadership.
Having successfully passed the assessment day I was invited on to the HR Fast Stream as one of 58 graduates to join in 2012. I initially joined the Department for Work and Pensions as a HR Change Business Partner based in Preston. Here I worked on critical change programmes related to the government's high profile welfare reforms such as Universal Credit and the State Pension Programme. After 18 months in that role, in April 2014 I moved on to my second placement as a HR Business Partner for HM Revenue & Customs, based in Newcastle. This is a high profile and exciting role as I business partner the part of HMRC that is driving forward the department’s digital and IT agenda, helping to make HMRC’s services ‘digital by default’. I am due to ‘graduate’ from the programme in September 2015, meaning I will be eligible to apply for senior HR roles within the Civil Service.
Joseph McLean - Partickular Films
I was torn between studying Film & TV or English Literature & Politics. I opted for the latter as I felt it gave me a broader area of study, but I was always conscious of making sure my course choices were relevant to my career sector. I wanted to work in media and broadcasting and I felt that English Literature would give me a great foundation for a future career. I also opted for Politics, as I felt that current affairs would play a big part in my career as a filmmaker. The best thing about the course, for me, was the opportunity to study abroad. I studied at the University of California for a year and it really was a life changing experience. I studied English Literature & Politics, but I was also accepted into their screenwriting programme. This led to me making two short films in California and I also wrote my first feature length screenplay, which was voted runner-up at the 20th Anniversary University of California Screenwriting Festival. I feel my degree has given me credibility in my chosen career, to say I studied at the University of Glasgow and University of California will stand me in good stead as I embark on my chosen career.
My Glasgow experience
I joined the Horse Riding Club, the Horse Racing Society, Cut Filmmaking Society and the Glasgow Guardian newspaper. I met lots of new friends through these various organisations and without them my experience of University would have been less fulfilled. I think the benefits of joining societies and clubs include allowing you to develop a passion, while being surrounded by likeminded people. For example, I made a few short films at Cut Filmmaking, I was President of the Horse Racing Society and I was the Sports Editor at the student newspaper. All of these allowed me to meet new people and to collaborate with them on various projects. I loved being part of the student newspaper, I really felt honoured to be an Editor on the Guardian. Overall, I enjoyed everything associated with being a student at Glasgow; it was a life changing experience for me. I feel I have developed as a person while at Glasgow, I gained more knowledge about my chosen subjects, but I also learned more about myself and that has stood me in good stead.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Joseph McLean on The Network
I started my own production company when I graduated. It's related to my degree as it involves me writing, producing and directing various projects including commercials, documentaries and music videos. I feel that both my course choices have been useful in setting up my new business. I'm now working full-time as a Writer/Director at Partickular Films. My company is based at Pacific Quay next to the BBC and Film City.
My work involves writing scripts and outlines for projects. I also produce and direct a variety of projects, such as commercials, documentaries and music videos. The work is varied, which keeps it interesting. I have also been featured in local and national media, which has been a boost to my career since leaving university.
Julie Craig - Sporting Index Group
I originally started studying Physics and Astronomy but soon realised that this was not what I wanted to do. Philosophy had always interested me so I decided to switch. I didn't have any career plans at 18! I found my career path by becoming involved in the GUU and learning about running a business. Glasgow has an excellent reputation and is known as being an 'ancient' university. At a time when most young people attend university, Glasgow is still seen as something more than the newer universities out there.
My Glasgow experience
I enjoyed organising events for other students to attend. I was lucky enough to be involved in Freshers’ Week 2001 and 2002. It was amazing to see all the new students enjoying themselves and getting into university life. I gained a lot of confidence from being involved not just in the Union but also from debating and sport. I was Honorary Secretary of the GUU in 2002-2003. This position had the single biggest impact on me as it allowed me to become involved with a relatively big business for someone my age. I was lucky enough to have an excellent manager working in the Union who taught me a huge amount. Employers still ask me about this experience over a decade later.
If I could offer any advice to any new students, I would tell them to make sure they are involved in as many activities as possible and that they have a part-time job too. Employers need to see that you balanced your studies with life experience.
Life after Glasgow
None of the jobs that I have had have been related to my degree. I moved into commercial roles as although I was interested in Philosophy, I eventually knew I would have a career in business. My first job title was Sales Manager. I am currently the Senior Business Development Manager at Sporting Index Group where I work with a selection of international bookmakers to supply their fixed odds trading on sport.
When I left university, I worked as a Sales Manager in a shop before moving to Sky TV as the Business Development Executive for central Scotland and worked my way up to the National Account Manager, responsible for betting. I then moved to the Racing Post as the Senior Account Manager responsible for the advertising revenue from UK retail bookmakers before moving to the Press Association where I managed the data contracts for bookmakers.
Karina Atkinson - ParaLaTierra
I originally applied to study anatomy, but the nature of the course at Glasgow meant I could study everything for two years, then pick what it was I was really interested in to take into my third and fourth year. I changed my mind and chose to study genetics instead. I didn't know whether genetics was what I wanted to do, but at the time I loved reading about it, and it's always a good idea to pursue what you like. The best thing about the course was the broadness of the material we learned. Even in classes in third and fourth year, we were still learning about immunology, pharmacology and other aspects of science. The course content gave me a really good grounding in general science. Upon completion of my degree I worked in several laboratories which I was able to do through having a degree in genetics. After deciding that lab work wasn't for me, I was able to make the jump between genetics and zoology, with the money to go abroad and pursue other interests. I also left university with a plethora of life skills which I'm still employing today as the founder and director of my own NGO called Para La Tierra. I now live in Paraguay.
My Glasgow experience
I enjoyed field trips and being in the city. Glasgow prepared me for life. I left with a well-rounded science education and able to communicate with anyone on the planet which has proved extremely useful in my line of work.
Life after Glasgow
My first job after graduation was in a pub in England. I went to try and gain experience in a safari park and ended up having to work just to make money.
After working in a pub I looked for a job in genetics and couldn't find one. Just to make ends meet, I ended up working in a call centre which felt to me like I was selling my soul on a daily basis. I saved enough money to get out and travelled to South America where I took a volunteer position in Paraguay in 2008. I realised that I wanted to work in Science and Conservation and came home to Scotland in 2009 in order to set-up my own NGO. I worked in Aviagen Vetlab for a year as a Virology Assistant, using many of the scientific techniques I had gained at Glasgow.
I came back to Paraguay in 2010 to open the first Para La Tierra field station. I am still living at a beautiful reserve in Paraguay, employing six members of staff, and on the verge of opening up a second ecological station. Me and the fieldworkers have discovered over 50 species which were previously unknown of in Paraguay, plus some which may be new for science. In November 2012 I became a Rolex Awards for Enterprise Young Laureate which has propelled me and Para La Tierra to further success. I am in charge of all aspects of the research station and all of its projects. This includes scientific work, community outreach and collaborations with funding organisations and other conservation organisations in Paraguay. More specifically my day involves; responding to emails from international students who want to carryout internships at the research station, teaching a biology class in the local school and returning to the reserve to check traps as part of a scientific project.
*photograph credit - ©Rolex Awards/Kirsten Holst
Karina Atkinson was Young Alumnus of the Year 2013
Kenneth Fraser - Bain & Company
I started university thinking I would be a professional footballer, and initially viewed my studies as a safety net. I was only 16 when I matriculated and I had been involved with the Celtic and Motherwell youth academies for the past few years. My father gave me the (sage) advice to pursue something tangible – Medicine, Law, or Accountancy. Medicine? Not smart enough. Law? Seemed a little dry. Did I ever believe I would spend my career as an Accountant? No. But it was a solid platform for a career in business for when, as transpired, I lacked the talent to play football for a living. My sister had done the BAcc – her colleagues seemed fun and her firm gave recent graduates an opportunity for international work experience. That all sounded pretty good to me. What I value most about my undergraduate degree is the breadth of the education I received. Glasgow’s BAcc was not about teaching technical skills – rather, it focused on developing students’ intellectual capacity, tackling epistemology, ontology, history and ethics. Those subjects set me up for a more thoughtful and fulfilling life, and for growth beyond the University's walls. There was plenty time to learn specific technical skills on the job after graduation.
My Glasgow experience
While at Glasgow, I played as a goalkeeper for the Glasgow University Football Club and was President of the Accountancy Society. I met some great people through GUFC and learned a lot about how complex organizations with ill-defined boundaries work. I ran for President of the Accountancy Society on a whim, seeing it as a potential feather for the cap of my C.V. As it turns out, it taught me a great deal about team dynamics and inspiring others to action. Developing lifelong friendships was the highlight of my time at Gilmorehill and Garscube – I won’t incriminate anyone here with tales from The Shack, The Garage or The Hive, but suffice it to say we had our fair share of good times.
Life after Glasgow
My first job after graduation was as an Associate at PwC, where I had a great experience training as a Chartered Accountant. The people on my teams were great, my client base could not have been better, and I was given managerial opportunities very early in my career. Still, I wasn’t sure it was for me in the long term. I moved into the firm's Corporate Finance team, where we advised entrepreneurs, family businesses and large publicly traded companies on buying or (more typically) selling businesses. I loved it but felt that there was more to be learned about how businesses functioned and how to run a business (as opposed to just producing accounts for or selling one), and I had a strong urge to travel. So, I moved to the US to do a two-year full-time MBA at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. From there, I joined Bain & Company, one of the world's leading strategy consulting firms, where I’m now a Manager in the Boston office. I’ve spent time in our Private Equity group and have advised Fortune 500 companies in a range of industries on topics from international growth strategy to merger integration to organizational transformation.
In 2010, I married a graduate of Glasgow University’s Medical School – by far the greatest of many gifts the University has given me. I’ve tried to stay involved since graduation: as a Financial Accounting tutor, through recruitment events, and to play in the Diddy Sixes, a tournament founded by some of my GUFC teammates. Since leaving the West End for New England, I’ve enjoyed the strong alumni community over here, with Burns Suppers, monthly drinks events, and chance encounters in unexpected settings – always a pleasant surprise. A painting of the University Tower is, and will always remain, prominently displayed on our wall at home.
Laura Crean - Imperial War Museums
I originally went to study English Literature and Film and TV studies but chose to do History after my first year. I chose History as it is such an engaging and important subject. I realised that I wanted to be surrounded by history, but I did not have an end goal in mind when I chose it. The Professors and Lecturers were brilliant. They made history come alive and relayed their enthusiasm onto the next batch of Historians. Receiving a degree from the University of Glasgow has allowed me to go on to study in the U.S. through BAAS and get an amazing job at IWM as a consequence. It also gave me a zeal for life and passion for history which is the biggest advantage anyone can have.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of the QM Union and contributed and edited the magazine 'Qmunicate'. It was a brilliant way to meet other people, do things I would never otherwise done and learn skills that have proven useful for both getting jobs and when in them! Glasgow helped me develop as an adult. As a University, it treated me like an adult and gave me the opportunity to become independent and even more determined. My advice to people reading this considering Glasgow or currently studying - keep an open mind. Being able to take three classes in your first year is really beneficial - so don't squander it! Use those classes to explore what else you may like to do and to supplement your final subject choice.
Life after Glasgow
I went straight into a Master’s programme in the U.S. (at University of New Hampshire) where I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant. My first full time job outside of education was Collections Management Project Officer at IWM (Imperial War Museums). My current role is Planning and Project Coordinator at IWM, after two and a half years at the organisation. I went on to study History and Museum Studies at University of New Hampshire for two years while teaching seminars for General Education classes. When I returned to the UK, I volunteered at IWM North whilst looking for jobs in the heritage sector. I managed to find my current role at IWM within three months of looking for full time work. I deal with the administration of projects such as the upgrading of storage facilities and collections review. I also help with the roll out of location and movement control procedures and deal with financial budgets and staffing administration.
Lauren Johnston-Smith - The University of Edinburgh
I studied English Lit, Music and History of Art in first year, and then did Music, History of Art and Greek Civilisation in my second year. After much deliberation about whether to study joint honours, in the end I played to my strengths and chose History of Art as single honours. I'll be honest and say that, at the time, I had no career plans whatsoever, although I was pretty passionate about the arts, so I always hoped that my degree would take me into that sector (which it did!). However, I knew nothing about marketing or communications as a career (I didn't even really know it was a career I guess!) and it was only once I was offered a job in an art gallery press office after graduating, that a career in marketing and communications became apparent to me.
I love art history, so it was a wonderful thing to be able to spend four years writing about art! I also enjoyed the diversity of courses on offer, and really enjoyed studying Chinese art. But it was also great to be able to try out a few different subjects in first and second year, as I hadn't really worked out what I wanted to specialise in by that stage. Without a doubt, my degree gave me an excellent grounding in writing and communicating ideas - which is fundamental to my career.
My Glasgow experience
With a big love for music, I sang in the Chamber Choir, Choral Society and Opera Society. I also taught English in Romania - over two summer holidays - with the charity SCROLL (Scotland-Romania Language Link) - this was an amazing experience which let me meet other students from all around the university as well as from other Scottish universities. It gave me a great confidence in myself and my abilities, as well as an unusual work experience for my C.V. I was also involved in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award (chairing the society in my final year) - many a fun camping trip was had with these guys and Glasgow is so well-placed for quickly getting out to the Highlands. My most memorable experiences include the freedom of being a student, the lack of a 9-5 routine, learning new things, the opportunities to do new things, and the friendships that were made. And I guess I should say - meeting my future husband at the start of my final year!
Life after Glasgow
I found graduating and being thrown out into the 'real world' a bit of a shock. I had no plans and hadn't even thought about what I might like to do for the rest of my life. I signed up with a temping agency and landed a short-term contract at Glasgow University Vet School. At the time, I was a bit cross with the world - thinking things like "Did I really spend four years studying History of Art so that I could temp for a Vet school?" But funnily enough, this turned out to be the beginning of my career as it stands today and, although I didn't appreciate it then, it gave me my first taste of working in higher education and an excellent grounding in communications! I worked at Glasgow University for a year before going to do postgraduate study in Chinese (I had a notion of doing a PhD in Chinese art at the time!) So the important message I would take from this, is that all work experience is valid and even if you don't know what you want to do, the path may become clearer once you are working!
I am Marketing and Communications Manager at the University of Edinburgh's College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (you see! the temping at a Vet school thing happened for a reason!) where I am responsible for postgraduate student recruitment. However, my first job following postgraduate study was nicely related to my undergraduate degree - I landed a job as Press Assistant at the National Galleries of Scotland, and later moved into a marketing role there.
From there, I moved to Edinburgh College of Art (doing both arts-marketing and student recruitment) and then to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra where I combined my marketing and press background in a managerial role. Early on in my career, I did the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing (part-time study in the evenings) - a qualification like this is pretty much essential if you want to climb the marketing career ladder. I am responsible for leading, developing all aspects of the marketing strategy for the College. I provide high-level advertising for the collective College portfolio, and work with Masters programmes research centres to provide specially-tailored marketing campaigns.
Lesley Henderson - The Rare Malt Whisky Company
I started studying English Literature at Glasgow however I ended up changing to English Language. I absolutely loved learning about the phonetics, semantics and pragmatics of language. However, I cannot say my degree is directly related to my choice of career however studying English taught me to argue and analyse critically- a skill which I use every day in life. The lecturers were definitely the best part of my course – the lectures were so interesting and some of the teachers in particular were very entertaining! Throughout my degree I have undeniably become more confident. Studying abroad was a huge challenge for me and I really grew as a person. If I had not received my degree from Glasgow, I don’t think I would have been able to set up my own business today.
My Glasgow experience
For two years I was a member of The Glasgow University Cheerleaders. I absolutely loved cheerleading! It was physically difficult as well as nerve-wracking, having to perform in competitions. As a girly girl I also loved the prep for the competition such as having our hair perfected, our uniforms pristine and glitter spray aplenty! In my final year at university, I joined the Cecilian Society and performed in Jekyll and Hyde. I have always loved singing and dancing and I’m so glad I had a chance to do this in my last year. After studying abroad I returned to Glasgow for my fourth year and worked as part of the Glasgow Welcome Team. I loved waiting at the airport to greet new students about to start their own adventure in Glasgow. When I started my degree I was quite self-conscious and I didn't have the most confidence in myself. Four years later I am an accomplished public speaker and have just launched my own business. My time at Glasgow helped make me the person I am today.
Life after Glasgow
Throughout my degree I worked part-time at Glengoyne Distillery. Once I graduated they took me on full-time as a Brand Heritage Assistant. This role involves conducting tours around the distillery as well as hosting whisky tastings. I have also been working on launching my business whilst still working at the distillery. In April 2015, I launched the business (The Rare Malt Whisky Company) which predominately focuses on the sale of rare bottles of whisky. However we can also host whisky tastings and whisky pairings. I am responsible for the management of company. At the moment my focus is on promoting the business through various outlets such as social media.
Liliana Marczak - FMCG Company Dubai
I liked the flexibility Glasgow offered. I’d chosen to study economics and business management because I was not sure what I wanted to do after university and this seemed like I could get a solid knowledge-base, and later be able to take my education anywhere. I learned about things that seemed foreign to me at the time, but now I draw upon my education a lot in my working life. My courses have taught me how to write quality essays in English. My course was also flexible enough so that I was able to go on a one year exchange to the USA during my third year. I had always wanted to experience being a college student in America and that dream was realised. My degree has opened me up to the world for sure.
My Glasgow experience
If you’re considering Glasgow or already studying here, I would recommend joining societies and making as many friends as possible in the first months of your university adventure. Dive right in, especially if you are from abroad. My fellow students were mostly free-wheeling individuals and people would not really bond in tutorials and lectures so societies and common interests were the way to go. Towards the end of my degree, I got involved with AIESEC, a student-run organisation, where students can gain impactful professional and volunteering experiences. These societies are also important because a Social Sciences degree alone is often not enough. My time at Glasgow was important and character-building.
Life after Glasgow
My first job was a graduate scheme in the USA in the field of logistics. The internship was demanding, and has helped me become a lot more confident. After one year, I relocated to Poland with the same company. It was a good experience to go back to my home country, and be thrown right at the deep end. In 2015, my husband and I moved to Dubai where I currently work for a large FMCG company.
Lisa Horton - Academies Trust
I quite simply wanted to be a Zoologist and the Zoology department at Glasgow was far superior to any other I had seen. It felt like home and it soon became the case. My fellow graduates were a ‘riot’. They weren't friends, they were family and some still are. The Drs’ and Professors’ were always approachable and experts in their fields with a true passion for their individual subjects, which made the lectures a pleasure to attend. The university offered me opportunities to study subjects around my main degree (maths, microbiology, environmental science & geology) and this allowed me to follow my dream, as well as to diversify into others occupational fields whenever I needed to or chose to.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of the Zoology Society, the GU, the Queen Margaret Union and the library. Join the society of which ever School or College you are in so you can form good relationships with those students who you will work with for your duration there. A union is a must: to keep you up to date with what's happening and the social events. Making contacts that can last a lifetime is extremely rewarding. Comedy nights were brilliant some of the most famous stand up comics of today did their first gigs at the union bars. University, if utilised appropriately and intelligently, will provide you with knowledge, contacts, expertise and diverse opportunities that will last you a lifetime.
Life after Glasgow
I have worked in many fields with some very famous people for over five years since initially leaving university. Family then had to become my priority, which moved me towards research or education where I found I had an unbeknownst passion for teaching and passing on my passion for science. I am currently an Outstanding Teaching Practitioner of Science: Lead on Tracking & Assessment: KS3 specialist: Learning Coordinator for Science: Director of Project Based Learning and an ECO School Coordinator.
I have enveloped cross curricular teaching into my colleagues practice. I introduced outdoor projects, project based learning and ECO schools into the schools that I have worked for: improving students learning by a variety of new skills, incorporated by the teachers that I trained, encouraging them to utilise a broader spectrum of incorporated subjects into their own. This has resulted in European recognition by the European Parliament as well as biodiversity awards for my work with our students to increase the Zoological awareness in schools. We gained Olympic recognition from Lord Coe for our cross-curricular work with sporting projects, which resulted in our attendance at the Paralympics athletics events, which was unparalleled in uniting what true British spirit embodies. We (the students on my ECO Team) have also won further recognition for our work in energy saving initiatives winning tickets to rugby matches in Edinburgh and Twickenham.
I am now furthering my opportunities outside of teaching by writing independent critiques for restaurants and hotels. I am also regularly requested to analyse websites regarding their accessibility.
Lucia Carassiti - Jaguar Land Rover
I went for a PhD at the University of Glasgow because I had found a scholarship for a really interesting project - synthesising ceramic materials using microwaves. At that time I wasn't really clear about what direction I wanted my career to go; if I wanted to stay in Academia after my PhD or go into industry, but I have always been sure I wanted to work in Science, Engineering or Technology. The University of Glasgow is such a renowned establishment that I had the advantage of being exposed easily to good companies and employers, after graduation.
My Glasgow experience
I moved to Glasgow without having visited the place before and I fell in love with it. The University Main Building is such a stunning place and I liked being in the heart of the West End, while still being able to easily walk to town. To move from being a student to a graduate of the University, I got involved with the community, finding time to work as a Tutor for the Student Disability Service and volunteered in the Oxfam bookshop on Byres Road. I also took part in a charity bike ride across Malawi and fundraised for Link Community Development.
I moved to Glasgow without knowing anyone and for the first couple of months I joined the International Student Society to meet people and explore the area. I was then involved, for a while, with the University of Glasgow Japanese society. They organised a film festival and helped raise funds for the tsunami victims in March 2011. If I could have my time at Glasgow again, I'd definitely have joined the Caving or Mountaineering clubs to spend more time outdoors and up in the Highlands.
Life after Glasgow
I used my Science and Engineering background to get a job in Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in 2012. I am currently working in the Suspension System Tuning team at the JLR engineering centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
The first thing I did towards my career was taking part at an event at University called "The Engineering Network for Women", organised by JLR, where I won a trip to visit the engineering centre in Gaydon. I then applied to and was accepted on their graduate scheme. I first worked in a dealership and then I spent two years in between placements around the business and then got a role in chassis, getting involved with the design and development of air suspensions. Since then, my role has evolved and now I am looking after the suspension tuning system for a few Jaguar vehicle programmes. I was extremely lucky to get involved in the Jaguar Land Rover Scottish Campus Team and I have been back to Glasgow in the past to support the recruitment activities. I am still involved with the University and I am looking forward to be one of the tutors for GRADschool in June 2015.
Dr Maggie Scott - University of Salford
I have wanted to be an academic for most of my life, and Glasgow University made it possible for me to achieve this ambition. I successfully completed my MA (Hons) in English Language and Literature at Glasgow in 1997, and was delighted to have the opportunity to continue my studies in the English Language Department. The culture of the Department of English Language was both stimulating and supportive, and I always knew that I had friends and colleagues I could turn to for advice and guidance. My PhD has given me an excellent grounding in my chosen field of study, ensuring that I was able to pursue relevant employment, both as a Lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary and Scottish Language Dictionaries, and in my subsequent career as a university lecturer. Glasgow provided me with a nurturing environment where I could try out ideas and develop my skills, and I undertook a variety of interesting part-time jobs in the Department during my degree.
My Glasgow experience
I was a volunteer Committee Member for the Postgraduate Research Club in Hetherington House for several years and found this an excellent place to share ideas and meet students from across the University. I was also a member of GUMPAS (the Glasgow University Monty Python Appreciation Society), and we spent many a pleasant evening at the Quiz in the Beer Bar of the Glasgow University Union. I have maintained many friendships with people I met during my PhD. The combination of studying subjects I really enjoyed, in a social environment that I found positive and encouraging. I very much felt like I was part of the academic and social community of the University and volunteering for the Research Club allowed me to give something back to that diverse community. As a PhD student, you need to be able to work very independently, and this experience trained me to have the confidence to take on new tasks and responsibilities after I graduated. However, it is also important to know that what you are doing matters to other people; the community spirit at Glasgow helped me to understand this better.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Dr Maggie Scott on The Network
I began working for the Oxford English Dictionary while I was writing up my thesis. The part-time work I undertook at Glasgow University for the Historical Thesaurus of English was also invaluable preparation for this role. I was an Assistant Etymology Editor, working on the revision of the word histories for Third Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. After I graduated, I continued to work for the Oxford English Dictionary and for Scottish Language Dictionaries (SLD) in Edinburgh, but I always wanted to teach. I managed to pick up some part-time teaching at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and I taught a course on the Scots Language at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (as part of my outreach work for SLD). I also published a few academic papers during this time.
These experiences allowed me to build up my academic portfolio and since 2008 I have worked as a Lecturer in English Language and Literature at the University of Salford, where I am also Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) English Literature and the BA (Hons) English Literature with English Language. My current role involves both teaching and research. One of my modules, The Language of Names, has grown out of my long-standing interest in the study of names, which formed the basis of my PhD research. My students are able to engage with the historical and etymological development of place-names in the UK, and to consider how names are used in literature and other contexts. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the many inspirational teachers and students I encountered during my years at Glasgow University, and especially to my PhD supervisor.
Mareth Griffith - Alaska Wildland Adventures
As a student, I was very interested in developing a career in music and audio recording, and the course I chose at Glasgow was very relevant to that. Many of Glasgow's technical and production courses were simply not available at my US school. The Music faculty were excellent, and I felt that the level of teaching was much better than at my US institution. The faculty were enthusiastic about their subjects, and were very good at passing that on to their students. Spending my junior year abroad was the first time I'd been out of the US for any length of time. Spending time in a foreign country, not just as a tourist but as a student and temporary resident, was one of the best things I did as a university student. Having international experience on my resume was also very helpful from a career standpoint, especially as I now work in tourism.
My Glasgow experience
I was involved with Student Theatre at Glasgow, and the Dirty Weekenders conservation group. Dirty Weekenders did multi-day volunteer conservation projects in various places in Scotland several times a term. I was broke as a student, so I joined Dirty Weekenders mostly as a way to travel around Scotland for free. As it turned out, I loved it! This work eventually led to a week-long volunteer placement with the RSPB over spring break, which lead to a summer-long volunteer position the next year, which then lead to a paid position back in the US the following summer. I now work full-time in tourism and conservation, but it was my experiences in Glasgow with the Dirty Weekenders that first got me started in that career. I also enjoyed the Uni being so close to Kelvingrove Park. I could walk out of a lecture, and five minutes later, I'd be watching herons and dippers right in the middle of Glasgow.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Mareth Griffith on The Network
After graduation, I returned to the UK as a volunteer with the RSPB, and after my visa ran out, travelled to Alaska and worked a summer as a Tour Guide. After this 'year out', I returned to my 'real' career in performing arts. I completed an internship at a prestigious theatre company, which lead to an entry-level job as a Sound Technician at a smaller theatre. Eight months later the US economy crashed and I was laid off, along with approximately a third of the theatre's technical employees. At this point, my experience during my year out proved to be extremely valuable, as I was able to find work in an industry that had not suffered quite as badly in the recession. I returned to my former employer in Alaska, and the following year was hired as a Wilderness Guide for a remote lodge in one of Alaska's national parks. I worked for this lodge for five years, eventually becoming the Head Naturalist and Program Director.
I now work as an Expedition Guide for a small tour boat company in Alaska’s Inside Passage. On a typical day, I could be leading guests on a kayak trip to a nearby glacier, hiking up a ridge to view a bald eagle nest, giving an evening lecture on the migratory journeys of Alaskan birds, fixing a broken kayak, or just talking with a guest about their vacation over a glass of wine.
Margaret Cooper - South Lanarkshire Council
The Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work was specifically geared to graduates who sought an additional qualification. The modular programme offered a good balance of the components needed to work in the field of generic Social Work. It was linked to the then current themes associated with the Social Work Scotland Act 1968. It combined the practical with the academic. The course leader and associated Lecturers were widely recognised in their field. Since qualifying I have gone on to use my skills and knowledge as a Chief Officer in Education, as a Child Protection Committee member and as an Associate Inspector with Her Majesty’s Inspectors for Education. I now sit on the Scottish Government Tribunal service for Children & Young People with Additional Support Needs and as a Convener on the General Teaching Council Fitness to Teach and Registration Panels. In my role as a local Councillor I sit on a number of Committees in the related areas of Education, Children’s Services and Child Protection and my professional background proves useful.
My Glasgow experience
I took part in many sporting activities. The leisure facilities offer a wonderful opportunity for students and I highly recommend the classes and facilities on offer. I am a gregarious person and I enjoyed the wide variety of people I came into contact with. The friendly debates we had over a glass or two of wine was memorable. The chance to mix with people from many different academic faculties and different parts of the country were a fantastic opportunity to establish a network of friends and contacts that have helped me professionally and personally.
Life after Glasgow
I was already a qualified Secondary Teacher who had taught for a number of years. My postgraduate qualification took me into a new career in Social Work. My career began in Education as a Secondary Teacher and moved into Social Work when I left Glasgow University. Following a number of years in Social Work mainly dealing with child protection, young people, fostering/adoption I returned to Education. I immediately took up a promoted post as a Guidance Teacher because of my Social Work experience. I returned to evening study at Strathclyde University where I completed a Diploma in Special Education Needs and an MSc. I had a part time secondment from school as a Higher Still Officer and finally moved out of school to take a post at Authority level as an Advisor in Special Educational Needs. I was a member of the National Steering Group for SEN at the then Scottish Executive. I have been a part-time lecturer with the faculty of Education at Jordanhill College now University of Strathclyde. Since May 2012, I am an elected local Councillor.
I am also Deputy Chair of the Finance and Corporate Resources Committee. I chair a two Town Groups and the Integrated Children's Services Area Group. I sit on the Education Committee, Rural Task Force, Employee Issues Forum Children's Services Steering Group. I convene surgeries in my local ward and deal with constituency issues. I am a member of the Labour Party Scottish Policy Forum.
Matthew Lee - Parliamentary Research Service
I completed my BA in History in 2010. I became really passionate about Central and Eastern Europe so I decided to deepen my knowledge of the language and culture of the region. At the time, I was hoping to undertake a PhD. The Czech course offered very small class sizes. There were two of us in the class so we received real attention from our tutors. Being able to learn in this environment definitely quickened the pace with which I picked up the language. Studying a language has certainly improved my communication skills. I'm a better writer than I was previously and I'm a more confident public speaker. Czech isn't the most common of subjects so having it on my C.V. made for a useful talking point in interviews. In the interview for my current job, I had the interview panel laughing when I explained the highly vexing differences between perfective and imperfective Czech verbs.
My Glasgow experience
I found that Glasgow has a very vibrant postgraduate scene. Being able to meet people who were interested in a relatively unknown part of the world was really enjoyable, especially as they came at the subject from slightly different angles to me. My favourite part of the week was watching a Czech film on a Friday afternoon, followed by a few drinks in the pub. It helped me improve my language skills, learn something about cinema (not my main field of expertise) and helped me make friends. I arrived at Glasgow University after a fifteen month stint of unemployment. Suffice it to say my confidence wasn't at an all-time high. Going back to university to study something I found really interesting gave me a real shot in the arm. I had a purpose again. Indeed, as soon as I accepted my place at Glasgow, I was offered not one but two part-time jobs. My time at Glasgow showed me that if you chase what you want - and chase it with purpose - things will work out in the end.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Matthew Lee on The Network
The job that I currently have has nothing specifically to do with my qualification: I don't speak Czech every day (alas)! It is related in broad terms because a huge part of my job is written and verbal communication. After graduating, I had considered seriously the possibility of going on to study for a PhD. I applied for funding but, initially, was unsuccessful. I've always been interested in politics and worked part-time for an MSP during and just after my studies. I decided to apply for a position as a Researcher in the House of Commons and landed the job. After that, I received an offer of PhD funding but decided Westminster was too good an opportunity to turn down.
After a year or so at Westminster, I moved on to a political monitoring company where I helped public affairs professionals engage with politicians. I have recently taken a Public Affairs role with a large energy company.
Dr Moira Fischbacher-Smith - University of Glasgow
I chose my course initially for personal interest. I was keen to understand more about the NHS and the PhD presented an opportunity to explore in depth the relationship between Government Policy and its implementation in practice. I didn't know what career opportunities it might open up in the future. I was working full time in the NHS at that point and simply wanted a challenge in an area that interested me. I didn't envisage leaving my NHS job when I started the PhD. The course challenged me intellectually, opened up new career options and allowed me to develop skills and capabilities that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to develop.
Whilst undertaking my PhD, I secured a Research Assistant position, and then at the end of my PhD, I successfully applied for a lectureship. The degree itself allowed me to develop the appropriate research skills to begin an academic career. Along the way, I took the opportunity to teach and to contribute to other activities within the Business School; all of these provided an excellent grounding for a change of career. Studying at an institution with as good a reputation as the University of Glasgow has opened doors in research terms too, because individuals and organisations trust the University of Glasgow and as such, have allowed me research access very readily.
My Glasgow experience
Because I was a part-time student, I had limited involvement in the clubs and societies. I did socialise with other PhD students through the Social Sciences PhD network and the Business School provided a Scotland-wide doctoral training programme through which I was able to develop good relationships with PhD students from other Universities. I enjoyed meeting new people, particularly those with different academic and cultural backgrounds. I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to direct my own studies (as is required in a PhD) and to learn from others who were at different stages in that same journey. I have vivid memories of the social events and the range of topics that our small PhD group managed to cover when we got together. The diversity of our group meant that we were exposed to attitudes and values that were all very different, very interesting, and that made us all reflect on our own views and why we held them.
There's no doubt that when doing a PhD, you learn a lot about yourself. You realise how little you know (!), you find your skills and views are continually challenged, and your character is tested at those points when your research proves particularly difficult or hurdles arise that you struggle to overcome. It's not an easy journey which means it's hugely rewarding to complete, and the sense of accomplishment never really goes. I think that finding a balance between study and social time is key to enjoying all that the University life has to offer. There is the opportunity to be challenged intellectually, to be exposed to new ways of thinking, and to meet people from all over the world. The societies, study groups, and University-organised events all offer the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with people who will remain part of your network for years to come. Get to know people from different backgrounds and learn to work with people who think differently from you; this will help equip you to work in a global economy.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Dr Moira Fischbacher-Smith on The Network
I secured a lectureship at the University of Glasgow a year before I graduated with my PhD. My job title was "Lecturer in Strategic Management". The PhD is the typical 'training process' for a lectureship so the job was very much related to my degree. I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management and I am also the Dean of Learning and Teaching in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.
I didn't expect to pursue an academic career, but towards the end of my PhD, it did start to become the natural choice. Throughout the years since completing my PhD, I have had the opportunity to become involved in a number of research projects that allow me to sustain my interest in health care. I have also taught on a range of courses, and have always had some responsibility for coordinating or managing degree programmes. In the last few years, the managerial/organisational responsibilities of my job have grown and this has suited my interests well. After serving on the Business School Executive at two separate periods in time, and having undertaken activities across the University related to learning and teaching, I became Dean of Learning and Teaching in June 2012; a role that I really enjoy. This allows me to become involved in the strategy for learning and teaching for Social Sciences, and to contribute more widely to learning and teaching and related activities across the University.
My main responsibilities relate to providing direction and support for learning and teaching across the five Schools within the College of Social Sciences. I work closely with the Heads of School and their Directors of Learning and Teaching, to enhance the student learning experience, to encourage innovation in learning and teaching, and to support staff who teach on the degrees offered within the College. Together with the Vice Principal and the three other Deans of Learning and Teaching, I have responsibility for contributing to the University's initiatives to develop the learning and teaching infrastructure, and to ensure that the University adopts best practice in relation to learning and teaching.
Neil Armstrong - Kana Software
I chose my undergraduate in Physics because it's what I was good at in High School, and I didn't really know what I wanted to do next. I then studied for a Masters in I.T. because I learned through my exposure to programming in Physics/Astronomy that it was a big interest for me. The best thing about my degree was how challenging it was. Additionally, I had some excellent experiences through the people I met, the student unions, the clubs and attending events, all of which broadened my horizons. They helped to make me a lot more confident. I believe that the Glasgow University experience helped me to not only be successful in my first job interview, but also after that, when I have gone for a promotion. I have been able to apply the skills, knowledge and problem-solving experiences that I picked up at Glasgow in these situations.
My Glasgow experience
I was in the Rowing Club for two years, and took part in a number of other sports. Being in a sports team was great fun, provided an escape from academia and kept me fit and active. I was in the Debating Society for the full five years. This gave me the opportunity to travel the world, to meet politicians, academics and leaders in broad fields. It helped me network and make friends from dozens of universities as well as my own, most of whom I stay in regular contact with to date. More importantly though I learned a lot, and gained a lot of confidence. The thing I enjoyed most about the University was campus life. In particular I have many good memories of spending time in the student unions, making friends and gaining new experiences.
University made me more confident, and I have a broader experience than just my technical abilities. My classes taught me everything I needed to know to function at my job, and challenged me enough to become good at it. The University gave me the experience to learn broader skills, which are applied every day at work when moving up the chain into positions with more responsibility/management requirements.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Neil Armstrong on The Network
After graduation, I took a job with a company called Sword Ciboodle, based just outside of Glasgow, working as a Software Engineer. I am still in the same job five years later, although the company has changed through various mergers and acquisitions. I’m now employed by Verint Systems, a major global I.T. firm working in their Customer Services division. I am currently a Senior Solutions Architect.
I was originally put on a project as a Junior Developer. Over the first 6-12 months, I grew in the team, formed relationships with the client and worked hard to become the Senior Developer on the project. In my second year I was offered a promotion to the role of Solution Architect. In that role I’ve now lived in both the US and Australia, and travelled to work at various times in ten different countries, across four continents. My responsibilities include implementing solutions for large clients, recruitment of new staff, support of technical sales, steering the roadmap for future software products and design/planning of upcoming solutions. Working originally out of Glasgow, then Philadelphia and finally Sydney, I was responsible for a large number of existing and upcoming projects across UK, North America and then the Asia Pacific region. Based now out of Chicago, I’m part of a larger team, working in a senior role and supporting a number of Architects and Developers, providing mentoring for junior team members as well as technical oversight of projects.
Niall Rowantree - Total E&P UK
I was unsure of the career I wanted to pursue throughout school and while choosing a University course (I’m still not really sure). I ended up going for Chemistry because it sits at the apex of the physical sciences, offers graduates great employment prospects and is a well-respected, challenging degree. It sounds strange, but the most valuable part of my degree was its difficulty. Based on conversations with friends and colleagues I think a chemistry degree at Glasgow is one of the most challenging courses you can sit. It requires commitment, organisation, huge amounts of work and an ability to prioritise. I found it a real challenge and it prepared me really well for working life. I had some failures and learned that sometimes there is no substitute for hard work. A degree in chemistry from Glasgow is universally respected and helped me secure several job offers. The discipline I needed to gain the degree has stood me in very good stead since I left University. The ability to prioritise, meet deadlines and deliver work to a high standard were attributes that were strengthened at Glasgow.
My Glasgow experience
I ended up as President of the Glasgow University Union after a spell as the Convenor of Debates and as a student member. The experience I gained as President and through debating has been as valuable as my degree in life after University. I enjoyed travelling around the world debating. Locations included Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, London, Oxford, and Dundee! A club or society might be where you figure out what you want to do with the next part of your life. If there isn't anything that takes your fancy then start a club of your own. There still isn't a University of Glasgow Pipe Band!
I lived in a wonderful city, met my future wife, debated and danced in the Union, revised with friends in the library, realised that getting a degree was going to require a huge amount of hard work, reached the finals of the European Debating Championships, helped to improve the student experience as President of the Union and made friends for life. If it were not for Glasgow; I wouldn't have the job I have now, I wouldn't have met my wife, I wouldn't be as rounded an individual as I hope I am, I wouldn't have made the friends I did, I wouldn't have the love of learning I have.
Life after Glasgow
My first job was as an Analyst in the oil & gas industry with the research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. I worked there for five years and ended up as a Senior Analyst in the Unconventional Resource team. ‘Unconventional’ refers to oil and gas deposits that are exploited using technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracture stimulation. The company gave responsibility to people that wanted it and I was fortunate to manage a range of projects early on in my career. I worked with some inspirational people and travelled across the world. Around two years ago I was recruited by the French oil company Total. I joined its Commercial Officer programme, which is intended for people with around five or six year’s post-Uni experience. I work in the New Ventures team in the Business Development department. I have responsibility for finding and negotiating new business opportunities, managing internal projects, liaising with the government and industry bodies and a variety of other tasks. It’s a great job – varied, challenging and always interesting.
Nina Persson - The Swedish History Museum
I initially applied to do a Joint Honours degree, but eventually changed it to Single Honours for various reasons. I envisaged, or at least dreamed of, working in the history sector. I found that the range of courses available was a great plus. I also really enjoyed the seminars, as they were based around discussions rather than lectures. I feel that my degree has given me a very solid foundation on which to build my life, both socially and professionally. My years in Glasgow shaped me and helped me figure out what kind of career I wanted. Sounds a bit cheesy, but it is true!
My Glasgow experience
During my time at Glasgow, I managed to clarify to myself what direction I wanted my life to take. My experiences from Glasgow also gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities, which has been very important to me. I think that doing well in your studies is important, but your social life is equally important. In my experience university is where you make friends you will have for the rest of your life. It can be difficult to find a good balance between studies and social life, but try to find work out what works for you.
Life after Glasgow
After graduating from Glasgow, I continued studying, completing an MA in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. I am currently Senior Curator at The Swedish History Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. I have held this position since February 2012. The position I originally applied for was a maternity cover. Fortunately, my contract was extended, and I have now secured a permanent position. My main responsibilities are general collections management, processing artefact loan applications from other museums, as well as answering questions about and taking care of visits to the museum collections.
Paul Kay - Perfect Ink Media
I had actually intended to study Law, but after successfully applying to all the major Law schools in Scotland I had a last-minute change of heart and decided to go for my fall-back course of English Literature & Film and Television Studies, subjects which were much closer to my own heart. At that time I really wanted to write and direct films, so this seemed like a solid start on that path. I also appreciated the opportunity to study, analyse, discuss and write about the books, films, plays and poetry that I loved. I can still remember being in my final exam and writing an essay on Pulp Fiction and thinking 'seriously, how cool is that?!' I also loved getting to make a film as part of my Film & TV course, which was probably the most intense but enjoyable few weeks of my degree. A degree from Glasgow has given me a set of transferable skills, good working practices and a degree that is recognised around the world (which was crucial for the employment visa process in moving to Hong Kong).
My Glasgow experience
I was mainly involved with the GU Guardian, as a contributor in third year and as Arts Editor in my final year. I had always been interested in writing but it was through doing the GU Guardian that I decided to pursue a career in journalism. It was great experience in being responsible for producing a publication that thousands of people would see, and in learning all the basic skills an Editor needs to know, including story selection, picture sourcing, meeting deadlines, etc. It was also the best group of friends I made during my time at university and there are about ten of us from the Guardian who still keep in contact regularly and meet up whenever we can despite the fact we are now flung to the four corners of the globe. Everyone who wanted to make a career in the media from that gang has done very well. I was also involved in organising Longshots, which was, I believe, Glasgow University's first short film festival, with entries from around the world. I also did bits and pieces for GUST, the student television station.
The times that stick out the most are all those late nights in the Guardian office in the John MacIntyre Building, working to deadline on the next issue of the paper. The friendships forged over those nights, over endless cups of coffee and cigarettes, are the ones that have stuck, and the experience made me fall for making newspapers/magazines, a love affair that continues until this day. Much as I loved my degree, it was on the Guardian that I started to learn most of the vocational skills that I still use today. And when I was applying for jobs, it was the experience on the Guardian, and the contacts I'd made through that, which got me my foot in the door.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Paul Kay on The Network
I recently started my own company, Perfect Ink Media, in Hong Kong, where I have lived for the past twelve years. We supply editorial and training services to a variety of publications, brands and other companies in Hong Kong and beyond. In tandem with the new company, I am getting back into freelance writing, which takes me back to my passion and provides a good balance for the corporate work.
After graduating, I did a few regular freelance gigs, such as editing the content/website for the Glasgow part of Student Pages, but my first proper job was as Deputy Listings Editor of The Metro newspaper in Glasgow. I looked after the music and clubbing sections, so I got to write about stuff I was very interested in - plus I don't think I paid to get into a club or a gig for the whole time I was there! Before leaving to start my company, I was Managing Editor of Hong Kong Tatler, a monthly magazine about high society and luxury lifestyle based in HK, for just over two years. I had a lot of glamorous perks such as international travel, attending high-society parties and interviewing the rich and famous around the world, from Hong Kong billionaires to Hollywood superstars like Scarlett Johansson. Prior to that I founded Time Out Hong Kong, the HK edition of the well-known city magazine and was Editor-in-chief for three years, and before that I worked as a writer/sub-editor for the South China Morning Post's 'Post Magazine', also in Hong Kong.
Robert Lawson - Birmingham City University
My original intention was to study English Literature with a view to going into teaching. English Language was more of an afterthought to complete the requirements to graduate single honours Literature. After my first year though, I realised that Literature wasn't for me. Instead, I carried on with my studies in English Language, but with no real idea of what I was going to end up doing with it. It wasn't until about halfway through my third year (during a presentation I had to give in one of my classes) that I started seriously thinking about postgraduate research. Once I finished up my undergraduate degree, I was lucky enough to secure funding to carry out research on Glaswegian. My lecturers introduced me to a whole area of study I had no idea even existed and their professionalism and expertise made my degree all the more enjoyable.
My Glasgow experience
Beyond my membership of the QMU and the GU (it varied year on year), I never joined any of the clubs unfortunately. Looking back though, I really wish that I had. My friends who joined clubs always said that they were a great way to meet new people who shared a common interest, and I wish I had plucked up the courage to attend some of the groups with them! I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of West End life, the architecture of the university, the hidden nooks and crannies around Byres Road and Great Western Road, the late night pool sessions at the GU... I could go on and on! I spent a long time at Glasgow, from my undergraduate through to my Masters and then my PhD, and it was really tough for me to leave both the city and the university once I was done. But I knew that all the experiences I had at university could only stand me in good stead and that I was as well-prepared as I could be for moving onto the next stage of my life. Glasgow is a great university for building memories that will stay with you long after you graduate and I'm still in touch with many of the lecturers and friends I met nearly fifteen years ago when I started my undergraduate degree.
Life after Glasgow
During my PhD, I had a brilliant supervisor who made sure I did all the right things that would help me once I'd finished (presenting at conferences, meeting new people in my field etc). As I was coming to the end of my studies, I started applying for academic jobs. I was lucky enough to be short listed for a job at Birmingham City University. After the interview, I was offered the job on a full-time basis and I’m now a Senior Lecturer in Sociolinguistics. I’ve also been a Fulbright Scholar in Scottish Studies and given talks and presentations all over the world. I definitely wouldn't have been so prepared for my progression into academia if it hadn't been for the support that I received from my supervisor and the rest of the department.
Sarah Lock - HM Prison Service
I chose my course as I had always been interested in Politics and I thought that the Civil Service might be somewhere I would apply to, and thought it would at least give me an understanding of decision making at that kind of level. I was also very interested in international issues, and the course offered me lots of opportunity to look in-depth at the political situation in a variety of countries. The teaching staff were all excellent and very knowledgeable about their subjects. There was a really wide choice of areas to focus on and I just absolutely loved my three years studying Politics. I now have an excellent degree from a well-respected University, and there is no doubt that this opens certain doors that are not always open to everybody!
My Glasgow experience
I only had 9 hours of lectures a week, and whilst I then spent a lot of time studying and writing essays, it still gives you so much more time than you will ever have again, to do what you want! I also worked in a variety of part-time jobs throughout my time at University, for at least 10-15 hours per week - which in itself gave me great experiences and allowed me to fund my time there.
I was in the RAF Air Squadron for a couple of years, which was fantastic. I got paid to learn to fly and met some incredible people, and although ultimately I decided the RAF wasn't the career for me, I learnt so much about the military and flying than I ever could have done on my own (and the parties weren't bad either!). I wish I had been involved in other societies, but I think joining in the second year did put me at a slight disadvantage. Also, having to work on weekends can clash with a lot of the sporting activities. I loved:
Getting to know fellow students at Murano Street - many of whom I am still in touch with.
The all-night Balls at the GUU and QM - great fun.
Flying over Loch Lomond in a Bulldog.
Wandering back along Sauchiehall Street late at night......
Working with some prison charities helping offenders released from Barlinnie.
Meeting some incredible people, from very diverse backgrounds and nationalities and having the best time ever.
I think my time at Glasgow was incredibly important - I was the furthest away from home that I had ever been, and I really had to just get on with it when things were tough - a good life lesson. I met some fabulous locals in the variety of jobs that I held, and they provided me with a real grounding away from the fairly rarefied atmosphere of the University. It was just the most amazing three years, which really helped me go from A-level student to young adult ready to make my own way in the world.
Life after Glasgow
My first job wasn’t actually related to my degree. I worked for a Venue Finding and Events Organiser in London. It was just a job to get me down to London (I spent 18 months travelling after graduation) and to allow me to pay the rent! However, it was great first step into the world of work.
I worked in my first role for 12 months and then moved to the Medical Research Council as a HR Assistant, I was soon promoted to HR Manager and stayed at the MRC for 2.5 years. I then decided to move out of London and took a role as Policy Advisor with the Prison Service, based in Warwickshire. I have been with the Prison Service for just over 12 years and have done a variety of HR type roles, in leadership and development areas. I have completed my CIPD whilst being here, a Level 7 Coaching Certificate and I have recently completed a part-time Masters in Criminology at the University of Cambridge, which took me right back to being a student at Glasgow!
I am now the National Manager for Leadership Development in the National Offender Management Service (HM Prison Service and National Probation Service). I’m responsible for the strategic direction of all leadership development across this large organisation, which can include anything from development interventions for 1000+ operational staff or one-to-one work with our high potential senior managers who are looking for career progression. I have been doing this role for twelve months and prior to this I was the National Fast Track Development Manager for HM Prison Service, I was responsible for all fast-track employer programmes across HM Prison Service, from attraction and recruitment to development and promotion. I recruited people who had the potential to be prison governors and then looked to develop their skills and knowledge across a set period, including a graduate programme and a senior manager direct-entry programme.
Scott Miller - Self Employed Piano Tuner and Technician
I loved the variety of subjects in the MA course, and even within individual departments. In Music for instance, I could be programming synthesizers in the morning and playing in a viol consort in the evening, all under the guidance of excellent tutors. Since graduation, I have found that simply having the letters after my name has given me a distinct advantage over others, not to mention pride! The General Arts degree also opened my mind to several avenues of study that would never otherwise have occurred to me, and has left me with a lifelong thirst for learning, and the confidence to try new things.
My Glasgow experience
I was in the University Orchestra, which made Tuesday evenings my favourite part of the week. I learned a great deal under the various batons of Maestros Ryecroft, Edwards, et. al., and made some good friends too, not just from the music faculty. One of the oboe players, for example, happened to be my Italian tutor! I also played in the viol consort, which opened a whole new world of sound for me, and I subsequently took up the viola as a result, once I got the hang of the C-clef...
When I was at Glasgow, the Music Library was on the very top floor of the university library and I have fond memories of playing LP's (remember them?) while gazing out over the marvellous view. I recall many excellent lectures, particularly in Music, English and Spanish, and spending hours in the studio "helping" with recording sessions (and sharing cigarettes with a prominent Glasgow composer). My time at Glasgow brought me right out of my shell and gave me the confidence to face anything life could throw at me. It's been twenty-two years since I graduated, but I still feel immensely proud to be a Glasgow graduate.
Life after Glasgow
After graduation I returned home and resumed my vacation job in a restaurant. I gradually established a piano teaching practice in my home town, and eventually left catering to teach full time. I’m currently a Piano Tuner.
After teaching piano and violin privately for about eight years I began teaching in schools as an instrumental instructor. After a further five years of that I decided to change career and trained under an established piano tuner. I still have a handful of pupils, and I freelance as a piano accompanist and orchestral viola / violin player, musical director and arranger. My main responsibilities are obviously tuning and repairing pianos! I also play for music and ballet exams, festivals and recordings. A current project is recording practice tracks for a male voice choir, which they can download from a website and practice at home (in theory). I was invited back by the university to play in the orchestra as part of their 750th anniversary celebrations with a huge performance of the Verdi Requiem, which was an experience I'll always treasure!
Shiona Paterson - Met Office
I chose to study chemistry because although I did not have a specific career path in mind, I just knew that I wanted to work in science. The course allowed me to study biology and chemistry for the first two years, which opened up more options as to what my final degree would be. The best thing about my course was the great teaching staff who were supportive and approachable. There were lots of tutorials and study sessions which again really helped to consolidate lecture material. My degree has enabled me to apply for graduate jobs in many different sectors and has given me a well-respected qualification. My time at Glasgow has also allowed me to develop other more social and multi-discipline skills and has made me more confident in my abilities.
My Glasgow experience
Employers are always interested in your hobbies and interests outside of work and they can give you some common ground in an interview situation where you might share interests with one of the panel. It could be this little extra that gets you selected for the job over someone with a similar degree to you. Aside from the qualification itself, being at Glasgow allows you to develop transferable core skills employers want, such as confidence speaking in public, good team-working and the ability of being able to talk to people from all different backgrounds and levels.
My advice to any current students or others thinking about study at Glasgow would be to get involved in as many different activities as you can at first, you can then work out what you like and don't like doing. Clubs and societies are great places to get to know people, even if you are not the greatest at whatever the club is for, as long as you have an interest in it that's all that matters. It's the taking part that counts! Being from Glasgow, I already had a network of friends and family around me, but there are so many social events around the University aimed at those who have come from afar and there really is something for everyone! But don't let coursework pile up as you can fall behind on things quickly if you don't keep up!
Life after Glasgow
I secured a place on the Met Office graduate training scheme as a Trainee Operational Meteorologist. Although I had no real meteorological background, I was accepted due to my knowledge of physical science processes which was reflected in the written exam at interview. I spent one year in Exeter, Devon at our headquarters going through the intensive Initial Forecasting Course. After passing the final exams, I moved to Aberdeen to complete my on-the-job training and I am now a fully qualified Operational Meteorologist.
I currently produce forecast products for all Scottish airports, private helicopter companies serving the oil and gas industry in the North Sea and for other commercial and public service customers such as the BBC, ITV, energy companies and construction. Working in such a large organisation gives me the opportunity to pursue many different career avenues, from working with the military in the UK or abroad, creating TV or radio forecasts, scientific research and development, management, training - even space weather.
Stephen Bartelmez - BetaStem Therapeutics Inc
I choose immuno-parisitology because I wanted to work in the Tropics where so many people were very ill with parasitic infections. However, during my first year of study at Glasgow I became intensely interested in how the human body responded immunologically to different micro-organisms. For instance, how does the human immune system know that the invading pathogen is a tissue migrating parasite, a single cell protozoan or even a bacteria? This then, ended up to be the centre of my PhD Thesis.
Glasgow University/the Zoology department were of course very professional and academic and allowed me to pursue my specific interests: cellular immunology. After spending much time learning more about tissue migrating parasites, I needed to learn more cellular immunology. But all the labs at Glasgow were full in this area at that time and I suggested looking elsewhere for experience. To my surprise, the University said "go for it". So, I finally identified two labs at Bowman Gray School of Medicine in North Carolina. I trained there for a year and came away with enough results to write four manuscripts. Then I returned to Glasgow to write up these results and continue further thesis work. It took me most of the year to write my thesis. I wanted to do all this independently which made things very slow! A year later I defended it. This was such a fantastic experience for me. My doctoral degree changed my life totally. It opened up Academic positions for me and has allowed me to submit grants for millions of dollars from NIH and other Foundations. Later, I founded my own Biotech … a PhD is not a requirement but made life so much easier! People tend to accept what you say more.
My Glasgow experience
I loved being in a university that was established in the 1400's, like Cambridge and Oxford. So many great Professors, for example like Malcolm Kennedy who went on to be the Chairman of Zoology. Now back then Malcolm graduated as an undergraduate from GU with the best First undergraduate degree of all time and he was my PhD classmate under Professor Bruce. What a time I had trying to keep up with Malcolm! (I could not, but had to try!). I lived in a cottage at Easter Carbeth Farm (near Loch Lomond), walls 3' thick (just twenty minutes outside of the city). I had beautiful views of Loch Lomond and wonderful walking up the Campsies. I could walk to the Carbeth Inn after I finished my studies and have a pint of 80 schillings beer...fantastic! I loved the darts as well as hiking in the Outer Isles...in the Highlands. It was so spectacular, with so much history.
Life after Glasgow
My career path to date…
2006-present President, CEO and Founder of BetaStem Therapeutics Inc. in San Francisco (August 9, 2006, develop an autologous adult stem cell therapy for Diabetes and Cancer)
2005-2006 President and CEO, Ixion Biotechnology Inc., Florida (R&D, isolate and expand primary human pancreatic stem cells for replacement beta cell therapy in type 1 diabetics)
2004-2005 V.P. and Director of Research, HemoGenix Inc., Colorado Springs, CO (R&D focused on assay of human, non-human primate, murine and canine stem cells).
2001-2004 Director of Research, ViaCell Singapore (subsidiary of ViaCell Boston, USA) (R&D, mechanisms of human cord blood stem cell expansion). I went out to Singapore to start a Research Subsidiary and it turned out to be very interesting time. We lived in true luxury and my wife Beth actually managed a shop that sold Norwegian goods! Everyone loved the shop especially the Singaporeans.
1995-2001 Assistant Professor, Department of Pathobiology, University of Washington (Human and Murine Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology)
1992-1995 Instructor, Department of Pathology, University of Washington (Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology)
1988-1992 Staff Scientist, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington (Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell biology, Murine Embryonic Stem Cells)
1983-1987 Lead Scientist, Cell Biology Group, Peter MacCallum Research Laboratories, The Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Australia (Murine and Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology)
But let me step back: In 1980 I joined the lab of Dr Richard Stanley at the Einstein College of Medicine. There my focus would turn from immunology of parasitic infection and eosinophils and neutrophilis (WBC of the immune system) to hematopoietic stem cells (the source cell for all WBC). That line of research and interest has continued to the present day. As mentioned above, I founded BetaStem Therapeutics with a focus on the circulating STEM CELLS in healthy and diabetic patients. My responsibilities are Science, business and obtaining funding for development of our clinical products.
Stephen McFeeley - Nokia UK
Having graduated with a BEng (Microelectronics), my career was already developing into management and leadership. I chose the MBA as a mechanism to drive my continued personal development. I was very clear at the time that I wanted to really focus on leadership in business. The Glasgow MBA was structured in a way that helped me manage my work as well as my personal commitments. The course structure was a real differentiator for me. Coupled with the content of the MBA, the fact that it included the opportunity to gain international exposure through advanced management summer schools really appealed to my interests and my career development aspirations. Since graduating, I have found that reputation, academic standing and pedigree are clear advantages of my degree from Glasgow. This has been particularly beneficial as my career developed in Asia Pacific where I now live and work. I spent five years in Singapore where the University of Glasgow has a very solid reputation.
My Glasgow experience
I would advise any current or prospective students to try and strike a balance between study and your social life. Also try to use the resources that are available to you at the University to their fullest. Finally, be sure to make the best use of the teaching staff; use and benefit from their experience and knowledge. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet with other people in management and leadership positions, where we could share experiences and challenges. This helped tremendously as a young manager.
Life after Glasgow
After graduating with my MBA I successfully moved from the manufacturing industry to telecommunications. This shift was as a direct result of my MBA and the fact that my education had helped mature my thinking. I not only moved industries, I concurrently moved from an Engineering function to a Product Marketing function. My job title after graduating was Senior Project Manager, having been recruited into Ireland's leading fixed line telecommunications business (Eircom) to drive the development of a broadband product for the Irish marketplace. Currently I am the Managing Director for Nokia Solutions and Networks in Australia / New Zealand.
From graduating with my MBA (1999) and embarking on a career path within the telecommunications industry, my development and career progression has been constant and over time has accelerated. I have held many senior technical and operation positions in the UK and Ireland and across Asia Pacific. I have had senior exposure to most telecommunications operators from India to New Zealand. I moved to the role as the Managing Director of NSN’s Australia New Zealand business in April 2012. I have full profit and loss responsibility for a business value of more than €300 million. The role encompasses people and leadership responsibility for all staff in the business. Sales, Marketing, Finance, Procurement, Legal & Compliance, Delivery and Real Estate are amongst the functions that report into me in the role.
Effective April 2015, I have moved to a position where I head Global Sales for Nokia’s Managed Services business. This is a European based role where I head a fully verticalised Managed Services Sales and expert pool that will drive sales cases across all Markets globally. A key responsibility of the role is the Managed Services Sales strategy definition and execution coupled with the go-to-market performance and the definition of the overall go-to-market approach. Portfolio penetration and the initiation and driving of sales improvement programs, sales practices, terms and conditions definition, contract renewal and pricing practices are key success factors in this role.
Terry Sweeney - Royal Air Force
I had made my mind up that I wanted to study and then work in aerospace engineering. That being said, I had not envisaged joining the military when I first applied, instead assuming that I might work for a civilian company as a Designer or something similar. Nevertheless, I would still have chosen the same course and the same university, even with the benefit of hindsight. I was impressed by the calibre of most of the lecturers and with the facilities within the department. I also found the course extremely difficult; on a completely different level from anything I had done previously - a good sign that was properly challenging myself. What I have achieved is a degree from a prestigious, well-respected university. My particular degree course was also accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society meaning I could use it to eventually become a Chartered Engineer.
My Glasgow experience
I was involved in the Glasgow University Engineering Society, although in hindsight I wish I had played a more active committee role. It was a good way of making new acquaintances and the social events were actually very good. The most valuable benefit would be gained by being involved in an organisational capacity; in my experience, employers also recognise this type of work as a discriminator between lots of otherwise similar graduates competing for jobs. The university environment was amazing. I was always grateful for being there, and didn't take it for granted; I rarely, if ever, heard anyone claim "Glasgow Uni's rubbish" or similar and everyone seemed to take pride in studying there. Furthermore, Glasgow remains to be one of the most underrated cities in the UK, and it's hard not to develop an affinity for the place. Graduation and the Graduation Ball were epic, unforgettable experiences. Arguably as important to the student experience - the major Christmas functions in the Unions such as Daft Friday were unbelievable and were the envy of other Universities at the time.
I think being constantly surrounded by other high-calibre people and academics rubs off on you and helps shape the way you work and conduct yourself in a positive way. It also gradually builds your confidence. University takes place at the most important time in your life for shaping your personality and this is why being involved in extra-curricular stuff is so important (even though I didn't fully realise this at the time). One extremely influential thing I did do at university was act as leader in our group Final Year Project. This made me realise that I was a competent and confident leader and was largely responsible for shaping my desire to be a RAF Officer, which I succeeded in becoming. In turn, this has also helped shape who I am, and my career is progressing well. I sometimes wonder, "What would I have ended up doing if I hadn't taken on that challenge at university?"
Life after Glasgow
After graduation, I joined the Royal Air Force as an Engineer Officer. I had to go through Initial Officer Training first like all new inductees applying to be officers, but upon graduation I was accelerated to the rank of Flying Officer because of my degree qualification.
I am now a Senior Officer in the rank of Squadron Leader. To achieve this I have undertaken a broad range of appointments in the RAF to build up a good portfolio of experience and further qualifications. As a "first tourist" Flying Officer I held a post in charge of a small team of 30 Engineering Operations staff in the RAF Search and Rescue Force Headquarters. About eighteen months later I took command of the RAF aircraft transport and crash recovery team (about 70 personnel), often working alongside Air Accident Investigation Branch at aircraft crash sites around the UK. Another eighteen months later I was able to branch out and do a non-engineering job with the Army Intelligence Corps in Afghanistan for four months, which was an excellent, life-changing experience.
When I returned home from operations, I became one of two Junior Engineer Officers (JEngOs) on a reconnaissance aircraft squadron, responsible for all engineering activity on my shift of engineering personnel; I spent two years in post, deploying overseas on operations twice in that time in support of my aircraft platform. I then moved to an equipment support and procurement "desk job" for the Typhoon fighter aircraft; in this post I ran several successful procurement projects for equipment to support the aircraft, and learned much about the Typhoon and its systems. I was promoted from this job after eighteen months, and then spent two years as a military Requirements Manager supporting several major MoD projects, to which I provided engineering advice and military realism. I translated the users’ requirements into technical system specifications needed to procure equipment solutions against, and developed test strategies to ensure we could validate and verify competing bidders' solutions and ensure best value for money for the taxpayer. During this tour I achieved Chartered Engineer status, having by that point finally demonstrated sufficient suitable qualifications and experience to earn this accolade.
In my current tour, I am an Engineering Authority with delegated airworthiness authority for all air vehicle avionics and electrical systems on the Sentinel R1 reconnaissance aircraft. This is a highly responsible post in which I manage a specialist team covering everything from investigating safety arisings on our systems, authorising repairs, and even managing modifications and capability upgrades.
Tracey Berg-Fulton - Carnegie Museum of Art
I chose Decorative Arts and Design History because I saw it as "art's useful bits". It is the art history of every-day stuff, which I found fascinating, and it offered an opportunity to cross disciplines (archaeology, sociology, and urban history). I originally chose my course with an eye on progressing to the PhD and university teaching, but through my studies I discovered how much I love museum work, and through my work study with Glasgow Museums, I found my specific calling as a museum registrar. The postgraduate cohort was small- about twenty students- and my particular course was a course of three. We were given a lot of freedom to explore our interests under the large umbrella of “decorative arts”, and individualized support of our research topics.
The rigour of my postgraduate study has helped me develop my research skills, as well as giving me the ability to be self-directed and self-motivated. Further, the quality and reputation of the University has distinguished my application from others during the hiring process.
My Glasgow experience
My most memorable experience was climbing the main tower of the Gilbert Scott building during my first week. It was an unusually sunny and clear day, and you could see the entire city spread out below. It's an image and experience that I revisit in my mind frequently. I have a lot of fond memories of afternoons spent in Kelvingrove park talking about nothing and everything, of staying up late writing and drinking too many pots of tea, and of using Kelvingrove Museum as my front room- stopping over whenever I felt like it for a coffee or to visit a picture or to show a visiting friend the excellent Haggis specimen.
My time at Glasgow has given me a permanent connection to and a deep love for Glasgow and Scotland. I graduated almost seven years ago, and I've made four trips back, and each time it is like I never left. Friendships pick up where they left off, like I left two days ago, not two years. I can’t emphasize enough how much the decision to move to Glasgow changed my life and changed me as a person. I would highly encourage students to take courses in other departments if at all possible. I was fortunate enough to take a course through the department of archaeology that was very useful in writing my dissertation and in connecting me to other resources within the university. It is a great way to see how your discipline fits in amongst the rest of academia.
Life after Glasgow
I am now a Provenance Researcher and Database Associate for the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. I am working on a project that will turn provenance text into structured text and eventually in to linked open data. I research the history of ownership of artworks, with a particular emphasis on art and objects that may have Nazi-era provenance issues.
My career progress was a little wobbly- graduating in 2008 at the peak of global recession was difficult, and further complicated by a major injury shortly following graduating that left me unable to work. Once I recovered, I volunteered and interned in various museums, continued to look for work, and dove headfirst into a position with the Registrars Committee of the American Alliance of Museums. I then took a full time position in a University museum, from which I transitioned into consulting work which allowed me to be flexible and care for a family member during the last stages of cancer treatment. I transition out of private practice and in to a job as a data manager for a tech start up, which seems like a bit of a jump for an art history student, but the ability to think about data and the connections between data, and to understand the workings of a database, are all transferable skills from art history.
In July of last year, I was hired to be part of the Art Tracks provenance project at Carnegie Museum of Art, and to take the lead on data standards and begin to conduct my own research. My career certainly hasn't been a straight path, but it has been rewarding, challenging, and I have the distinct privilege of being able to learn new things every day. Over the last year, I’ve learned to read French and Italian, learned to code and build websites, and corrected ownership records of hundreds of items in my museum’s collection. It’s the best job I could possibly imagine- I spend hours a day reading and looking at art!
Tullia Giersberg - King's College London
I chose English Literature and History because these were the subjects that I loved the most when I was at school, and I couldn't imagine studying anything other than the subjects I felt passionate about. And while I did not envisage an academic career, I knew that I wanted to work in the cultural industries at some point after my degree. Seeing that the modern job market is geared towards individual versatility and favours transferable skills, studying English and History seemed to be a good way of gaining a broad yet profound education that would qualify me for a range of professional activities. The best thing about my course was the intellectual diversity it offered and encouraged. Although strictly speaking I studied English Literature and History, I was able to take modules on the history of ideas, classics, and even ecclesiastical history. Some of my happiest memories are of those courses and those lecturers who pushed us to be curious about many different and often disparate things.
Among the many advantages that my degree offered was the chance to study abroad during my junior year. I went to study at UBC Vancouver for a year, which opened a whole new world to me that I believe helped me develop both academically and personally. As far as my experience after graduation is concerned, I realised fairly quickly that a degree from the University of Glasgow is prestigious and well regarded. I had no difficulty whatever finding a suitable MA course (also in the UK), and after that, a PhD studentship - both of which I knew I wanted to do by the time I returned to Glasgow for my final year.
My Glasgow experience
I was a member of the University of Glasgow Aikido Club throughout my undergraduate degree. I enjoy physical activity immensely, and learning a martial art had been an ambition I'd held for some time. What I enjoyed most was the camaraderie that develops when you become part of a fairly tight knit community, and I'm convinced that being part of the club taught me a lot about self-confidence, about what I could do, and about the person I wanted to be. Plus, there are worse things than spending an evening on the tatami, followed by a trip down the pub.
What I remember most about my first year in Glasgow is the constant confusion, which was a weirdly pleasant experience. Not being a native English speaker, I found it quite a challenge to come to terms with the Glaswegian accent - which I did, even though it took a while. Four years later, what sticks in my mind is the gruff charm of the locals, and I distinctly remember being amazed at how friendly everyone seemed to be - not just the other students, but the academic staff as well. I feel that by the end of my degree I was a much more confident person than I had been just after I left school. Not only did I learn how to live and work on my own - I also realised for the first time how satisfying personal responsibility and personal achievement can be.
Life after Glasgow
I realised fairly early on that I wanted to pursue postgraduate studies in English. I applied for an MA in Early Modern Literature at King's College London, which enabled me to pursue some of the academic interests I had developed while at Glasgow. After the end of the course in 2010 I successfully applied for a PhD studentship, also at King's, which I finished with a doctorate in English Literature in 2014. Currently, I’m learning to come to grips with the non-academic job market, having decided to return to Germany for a bit after the end of my research degree.
Valmiki Sharma - East of England Deanery
I chose to study at Glasgow as it has an internationally renowned Medical school with its own college of Surgeons. My brother and a couple of friends were also studying Medicine at Glasgow. I returned to study being already dentally qualified because it is a pre-requisite for a career in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. Glasgow has a very powerful and internationally renowned team of Maxfax surgeons based at the Southern General Hospital. It’s very difficult to focus one favourite thing about the degree course in particular, but it would probably be the overall format of it, largely being PBL based. It allows you to work through things at generally your own pace and puts you in control of what you actually learn.
Naturally having a medical degree from an institution of excellence has its advantages but my Glasgow degree allowed me to seamlessly enter my current role as SpR in OMFS and it (even internationally) fosters strong links and camaraderie just because of the people you’re speaking to have affiliations in Glasgow – it’s almost like an exclusive club on an international level that you’re a member of just because you studied there!
My Glasgow experience
I played badminton, but although asked to represent the university, I couldn't due to work commitments. I attended the Stevie Building on a regular basis and was a semi regular at the Union.
I have way too many memories to mention and all are memorable. As a 4th year student when I was on elective in Trinidad, we went out one night and had a truly excellent evening. I'd had a few too many and was apparently chatting to this young lady for what I was later told, was hours. She finally gave me her phone number - I thought just to get rid of me and therefore didn't call. I was accosted by her cousin the next day who happened to be a good friend of mine and thoroughly chastised for not making the call. I went on a date with that girl the very same night and I'm pleased to say she's now my wife of six years and mother of my two daughters.
Life after GlasgowConnect with Valmiki Sharma on The Network
I started my career as a junior doctor in General Surgery. Currently, I am a Senior Specialist Registrar in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in the East of England Deanery.
My career journey was very scripted and (for me) quite seamless. I spent the first two years following graduation as a "Foundation Doctor" in the West of Scotland. Following this, I was accepted for "run-through" training in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in the East of England Deanery, largely based in Cambridge. I am largely responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the clinical and surgical activities of the department, and when the Consultants are away, I am absolutely responsible for this. I take the lead role in arranging teaching sessions for the junior doctors and medical/dental and nursing students in the department and sometimes directorate (Head & Neck).
Victoria Abercrombie - Sainsburys Bank
I chose Business Management as I had always envisaged a career working in business although I was unclear what sector in particular I would work in. Having taken Business Management higher at secondary school, I found the various theories of management, operations, human resources and finance all very interesting. In particular I enjoyed financial analysis and deriving trends from business data, utilising this information to make decisions. I think the scope of subjects covered was the best thing about this course, as I learned everything from project management to marketing communications. Potentially every aspect of a business and how everything links together was covered. I think this was particularly useful when looking to find a role in industry, as I hadn't pigeon-holed myself into focusing on one particular element of business. I believe this was more appealing to future employers.
I believe having a degree from the University of Glasgow enables you to stand out from the crowd. The prestige and reputation of the University gives you an advantage over other students who have studied elsewhere. Employers recognise the high expectations the University has of its graduates.
My Glasgow experience
I utilised The Internship Hub programme (formerly Club 21), whereby each summer the University helped me to secure different placements, enabling me to obtain relevant work experience. This was invaluable when looking for a job post-graduation. I enjoyed my course at Glasgow, and being able to apply practical experience to my course work, through The Internship Hub placements. I think my most memorable experience was meeting Princess Anne whilst working for Scottish Enterprise, a placement organised via The Internship Hub, and explaining to her what my role in the organisation was and how the University was involved. I definitely think my time at Glasgow shaped me as a person, in terms of becoming more self-confident and having the courage to speak up and voice my opinion, rather than just agreeing with everyone else. The skills you learn at University will serve you well in later life.
I would recommend to prospective or current students to get involved as much as possible, whether that is joining a University social club or attending Freshers’ Week, in order to make new friends. I stayed at home whilst at University and kept my own circle of friends from school and found it difficult to make friends given the large class sizes and many of the students in the class had flats together. So, for those students who plan to stay at home I would recommend getting involved.
Life after Glasgow
I am currently a Liquidity Stress Testing Manager for Sainsbury’s Bank. My career path is as follows;
- 2006: Dell Student Placement via The Internship Hub (Formerly Club 21)
- 2006 - 2007: Resolve Professional Appointments - Accountancy Recruitment Consultant. Main responsibilities: updating database, website, development of marketing strategy and Eshot campaigns, interviewing candidates, and sourcing new clients.
- 2007 - 2009: Dunfermline Building Society - Financial Risk Analyst. Working within the Treasury department, reporting to the Financial Risk Manager. Duties included: development of stress testing and scenario planning to monitor customer behaviour and prepayment rates, running of the interest rate risk management model (v10), production of monthly MI for the Asset and Liability Committee, completion of return on capital evaluations and so on.
- 2009 - 2010: Hewlett Packard - Business Analyst. Working within the Change & Improvement team, reporting to the Commercial Manager. Responsible for all month end accounting and accruals, development of audit procedures throughout the organisation (Erskine site), calculation of sales compensation, financial and operation expense analysis, production of annual financial plan and issuance of SLA's to key stakeholders.
- 2010 – 2013: Sainsbury's Bank - Senior Analyst - Asset & Liability Management. Development and integration of interest rate risk management software (QRM) within the Bank. Responsible for full ALM month end cycle and presentation of papers to Asset and Liability Committee. Management of the Bank's interest rate risk by developing robust risk metrics, policies and procedures to report against.
- 2013 - 2015: Sainsbury's Bank - Asset & Liability Management Manager. Responsible for: development of the ALM team (recruiting 3 A&L Analysts), Market Risk Policy, understanding both EBA and PRA regulations/guidelines regarding the management of IRRBB and translate these requirements into KPI's for Sainsbury's Bank. Project lead in the migration of the Bank's IRRBB software from Lloyds platform to FIS.
- 2015 - present: Sainsbury's Bank - Liquidity Stress Testing Manager. Responsible for the modelling and management of the Bank's liquidity, under idiosyncratic, market and firm stress scenarios. Ensuring compliance with all relevant regulation from a liquidity management perspective.
Cindy Goh - University of Glasgow Singapore
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