From a visitor centre manager on the “Queen of the Hebrides” to a surveyor with a leading environmental consultancy.
Many students graduating from Scotland’s Rural College today (Friday 6 July) have already taken their first exciting steps on the career ladder.
Nearly 200 students are attending SRUC’s summer graduation ceremony at the University of Glasgow’s Bute Hall, with degrees, masters degrees, postgraduate certificates and postgraduate diplomas being awarded.
Among today’s graduates is Ailidh Reid, who has recently swapped East Kilbride for the west coast. The 21-year-old, who has attained a degree in Countryside Management, has moved to the island of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides, and is now Visitor Centre Manager with the Islay National History Trust.
As well as overseeing the day-to-day activities of the centre, she also plans nature-based family events, school group sessions and guided walks around the island, which is known as “the Queen of the Hebrides”. She will also be carrying out pollinator surveys and carry out outreach work to rural communities and schools.
She said: “This opportunity has only come full circle from my time at SRUC studying Countryside Management, through being educated in subjects such as ecological surveying, leadership skills, visitor management, environmental education and taking part in the weekly Conservation Society Group, which has contributed to the improvement of my skills and confidence.”
Another Countryside Management graduate, Joanne King from Dumbarton, recently took up a position as a surveyor with Ecus. Based in the environmental consultancy’s Stirling office, she is working with companies such as Network Rail to help protect a number of species, including bats, otters and birds.
The 30-year-old credits SRUC with teaching her the surveying skills, as well as good codes of practice and how to conduct herself professionally, adding: “SRUC taught me a variety of transferable skills and the courses provided gave me an idea of the types of jobs I could apply for.”
Ian Carlisle, meanwhile, has set his sights further afield after attaining his degree in Agriculture. In September, the 20-year-old from Dumfries will be jetting off to Australia to represent the Galloway Cattle Society at the Galloway World Congress in Melbourne.
Ian is interested in developing an insight into the Australian farming and meat processing industries and hopes to apply his insight to develop how Galloways are processed in Scotland.
In his address to graduands, Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC, said: “While today we are celebrating the success resulting from your recent hard work, it is also a time to look forward – to think of the future and the limitless opportunities that lie ahead for each of you. The same can be said for SRUC as we develop our exciting future plans.”