Trisha Pirie of Laurencekirk, former owner and MD of Journeycall Ltd, graduated from RGU on Monday with a BA in Business Management.
Trisha, 46, said her career advice was to not even consider university and that college would probably be a stretch too.
However, she has gone on to prove her teachers wrong and has enjoyed a very successful career to which she is now adding a degree to her list of achievements.
She graduated from RGU’s Aberdeen Business School at The Music Hall.
After a short spell working in an office, Trisha became a nurse and graduated from Ninewells College of Nursing and Midwifery in Dundee, but gave that up when she was expecting her first child.
Ten years later, she decided to return to full-time work and applied to do nursing refresher training.
She said: “In the interim I took on a part-time admin job with a rather eccentric gentleman who’d just set up a new transport business in his house in Fettercairn, Angus, and for months we shared a laptop and desk.
“The work was pretty slow but I loved it. The challenge and the learning was just great fun and I never left.
“Over the next five years the business grew, we moved into premises in Laurencekirk and Brechin, took on staff and gained big clients.
‘‘By 2009 our turnover was £3million and the founder decided to sell up and retire and I became co-owner and managing director.
“Over the next five years I grew the business to almost 200 staff, all local people and mostly full time jobs, and generated a turnover of £30million.
“I decided perhaps my career guidance teacher had misjudged me and thought I’d like to gain a degree.
‘‘I applied to RGU’s Aberdeen Business School and was accepted on the distance learning BA (Hons) Business Management course.
“It’s been a real challenge, fitting in my study time with work and family but I wouldn’t have missed it.
‘‘Since starting the course I’ve sold my former business shares and now work with Scottish Enterprise advising and supporting Scots businesses to realise their growth ambitions.”
Trisha added that while doing her course she’s made some great friends, learned so much and gained such a sense of personal achievement and satisfaction.
“For anyone in a similar situation I’d definitely recommend taking the plunge.”