Top marks for local students

Karen Duthie from Stonehaven
Karen Duthie from Stonehaven

It was top marks all around from pupils across Kincardine and Mearns as they graduated recently and now look to their futures.

North East Scotland College graduates received their degrees last week as part of graduation ceremonies.

Kara Davidson from Portlethen

Kara Davidson from Portlethen

Kara Davidson from Portlethen recently completed her CIPD Foundation Diploma in Human Resource Management whilst working by studying part-time at NESCol. The 21-year-old, who attended Portlethen Academy, built up a portfolio of administrative experience before securing a post in human resources at a major oilfield services company.

Kara said, “I’ve always been interested in the behavioural side of people and my administration post in the HR team made me realise that I would enjoy a career in human resources. Soon after joining, I was delighted to be promoted to the post of HR Assistant.

“With my promotion, I was given more responsibility including immigration, graduate onboarding and payroll, which was great experience to add to my CV.” Kara was half way through her College course at this point and was able to apply the knowledge to her everyday tasks at work.

At the end of 2014, Kara applied for and was offered an HR Assistant post at an oil operator in Aberdeen. She said, “In my new post, I am the only HR Assistant for our Aberdeen office and I support over 500 employees. I use my knowledge from my previous post and the theory I have learned at College every day.”

Charlotte Nelson from Stonehaven

Charlotte Nelson from Stonehaven

Kara plans to pursue her career in HR and hopes to start studying for the Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Management soon.

Karen Duthie (20) attended Mackie Academy and whilst at school, she became involved in a number of projects including being a member of the school’s Rock Challenge committee. She said: “I really enjoyed being involved in events and meeting new people. This inspired me to pursue a career in event management.

“I really wanted to study at RGU and was delighted to discover that it is possible to go straight into third year of BA (Hons) Events Management at the university with an HND in Events Management from NESCol.” With this in mind, Karen applied for, and was offered a place on, HND Events Management at NESCol.

Two years down the line, Karen has had some great experiences at NESCol. She said: “I learned so much during the course and made loads of contacts in the industry from work experience I was able to take part in. I loved helping out as a volunteer at the Kiltwalk, the Stonehaven Harbour Dip on New Year’s Day and at various balls held in hotels. As part of my course, I also had to organise charity events and my group organised a few different things to raise funds for CLIC Sargent, including a high tea at the Great Western Hotel. A particular highlight during my time at NESCol was working at Techfest where I was given responsibility for scheduling lunch breaks for the groups of children attending the event.”

On finishing her HND, Karen was delighted to be offered a place in third year of the Events Management degree at Robert Gordon University. She said: “I’m looking forward to meeting new people during my course and being able to volunteer at even more events.”

Her long term plan is to work in events management although she hasn’t decided exactly what she would like to do. She said: “I’m interested in performing, so perhaps I will get involved in theatre-related events. Alternatively, I’m passionate about Scotland and would enjoy organising events to encourage people to visit. I’m also considering wedding planning or conferences and exhibitions.”

When Charlotte Nelson (19) left Mackie Academy she knew she wanted to continue her education but wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. She was interested in forensics and had studied Higher Human Biology at school so she opted to apply to study NC Applied Sciences at North East Scotland College’s Aberdeen City Campus.

She said: “Applied Sciences turned out to be the perfect choice for me because I found the units we studied really interesting. The course covered a wide range of subject areas and really made me want to learn more.

During her HND, Charlotte discovered an interest in cell development. She said, “I completed a research project on the effects of maternal smoking and alcohol consumption on embryonic and foetal development.” This project has had a long-lasting effect on Charlotte and, since finishing the course, she has been accepted to go straight into the second year of a degree in Human Embryology and Developmental Biology at the University of Aberdeen.

She said: “Once I complete my degree, I hope to join the NHS training programme in this demanding and interesting field of life science.”