Lynn adds extra string to her bow with new degree

A mum-of-two from Inverurie who was made redundant during the final year of her studies is celebrating graduating with distinction and recently securing a new job.

Lynn DownieLynn Downie (35) graduated from Robert Gordon University (RGU) with an MSc in Commercial Practice for the Energy Sector on Friday, July 15 at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen.

Lynn, who worked in fashion merchandising in London before returning to the north-east, said completing the course has given her a great feeling of achievement.

“When I moved back to Aberdeen it seemed logical to transfer to the oil and gas industry as although my undergraduate degree had focused on the retail industry, general principles of business management are the same across all industries so many of my skills were transferrable,” she said.

“After gaining five years’ experience working in commercial roles with major subsea contractors, it was on a bit of a whim that I decided to apply for the course to help consolidate my career development and in the first few months there was more than one occasion that I wondered what on earth I was doing adding this into an already busy life.

“But I got there, and to receive a distinction has been the cherry on the top, making all the late nights, blood sweat and tears worth it. I also think it’s been great for my kids, Emma and Arran, to see that I have been studying to encourage them to in the future.”

Lynn, who now works as a business analyst for Serimax, said she is already starting to see the benefits of having her Masters.

She said: “With an industry downturn and numerous job losses in the Aberdeen area there is huge demand for any position that comes onto the market. Having experienced redundancy over the last year I believe that not only having the extra string to my bow, but also showing that I had the commitment to take on something like this at this stage in my career and life has helped me to secure my new role.

“I had to learn to be very disciplined with my time as I was also having to juggle a full-time job, look after a house and two little kids thrown into the mix. It would have been all too easy to keep putting things off.”

Talking about her experience of studying via distance learning at RGU, she said: “There was a slight change in the structure and teaching method as I moved into my second year which encouraged more interaction with my peers and also included weekly online forum discussions which went towards your final mark. 

“This definitely made a difference with helping to keep on top of the workload but also made a huge difference in getting to know who else was on the course since there was no face to face interaction.  And with all of the participants having a wide range of experience in industry it was a great learning platform, building on each other’s knowledge and options.”

Now she has her degree, Lynn is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her family.

“Although I tried as much as possible to keep studying out of the way of my kids, I would generally disappear to the computer once they were in bed, so it will be great to even just sit down to watch a movie with my husband Scott, rather than him passing me a cup of tea into the study on his way to bed,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to having more time with my family without always having things going round in my head and making mental notes of what needs to be done next. 

“I’ve also applied for a charity space to run next year’s London marathon so fingers crossed I get a space - then I will be using my extra time to pound the streets.”

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology