High flying Huntly student celebrates graduation

A high-flying Huntly student is celebrating life in the fast track after receiving her degree with merit and securing a job straight out of university.

Melissa MorrisonMelissa Morrison (22) picked up her MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Robert Gordon University (RGU) at the Music Hall in Aberdeen on Tuesday, December 8, which she completed in four years as part of the university’s fast track programme.

The former Gordon Schools pupil was awarded a scholarship in her second year by Sparrows Offshore to support her through studies, and Melissa has now secured a job with the company as an engineer.

She said: “I have really enjoyed my time at RGU. I've been lucky to have met so many of my friends here through my course and living in Woolmanhill Halls during my first year, which was an experience on its own.

“Doing my degree has helped me develop personally and professionally - I feel I have gained confidence in myself and my capabilities. I have built up transferable skills as well as knowledge to take with me into an engineering role in industry.”

Melissa added: “There were many aspects of the course I found challenging but that was kind of expected at the beginning as you can't expect to get the end result without a challenge. This was what made the course interesting and being at university puts the responsibility on yourself - I think you definitely get out of it what you put in.

“The university provides you with all the material, help and facilities to succeed but it's down to you to put in the work to make it happen. At times it was a struggle, but making it to the end of the degree makes it worthwhile.”

Melissa said she did not think of engineering as a potential career opportunity until her final year at secondary school.

“I was always set on studying architecture from a young age and was interested in design and the built environment but I would never go back on the decision I made now,” she said. “You do have to put up with being in a male dominated environment but that didn't bother me and there are more and more girls choosing to study engineering, which is great.

“As well as engineering paying well compared to other professions you also get to work in an environment which is always changing and developing using new technologies which is really interesting and although there are days that can be routine there are just as many days where a fault or problem arises that you have to provide a solution for.

“In addition to this you are not tied down to one industry or role and there are plenty of opportunities to travel if you want to.”

Talking about how the scholarship with Sparrows Offshore helped her, Melissa said: “The placements in particular were of a huge benefit as I was able to gain industrial experience which is invaluable in helping me develop as an engineer, giving me knowledge and skills I wouldn't gain from university.

“It also allowed me to gain contacts from the industry and source my Masters project from within Sparrows.”

Having started full-time employment after finishing her final placement in September, Melissa has barely paused for breath but is looking forward to life after university.

She said: “I’m looking forward to being independent, progressing as an engineer in industry and working towards becoming chartered. It will be good to utilise some of the experience and knowledge I have built from my time at RGU and hopefully I won’t miss it too much.”

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology