We are family: Kennedy sisters to graduate on the same day

Simone Barnett and Nicole KennedyAberdonian sisters, Simone Barnett (nee Kennedy) and Nicole Kennedy will prove brains run in the family this week when they graduate on the same day.

Simone (39) who stays at Northdeeside Road, Cults will graduate in the morning ceremony at 10.30am on Thursday 9 December with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) which she studied via distance learning.  Later that day, her younger sister Nicole (35) from Cromwell Road in the city, will graduate with a BA Honours degree in Business Management.

Simone began studying for her MBA shortly after completing an MSc in Marketing at the University. Her positive experiences during her postgraduate course left no doubt in her mind that she would continue her studies there.  

Over the following two years, Simone once again juggled her academic responsibilities with her home life with husband Justin (38) and son Cole (6) and full time employment at AVC Media Enterprises where she is a Director of AVC Creative.

Considering her personal highlights of the MBA programme, Simone remarked: “I particularly enjoyed the leadership week in which I was able to finally meet my colleagues face-to-face for the first time, having purely interacted with them through the University’s virtual learning environment, Campus Moodle, up to then.  

“I also found the business simulation exercise to be hugely engaging as it offered a real opportunity to trial the business skills I was learning in the coursework.”  

Nicole’s last few years paint a similar story to her sister’s, involving a complex juggling act of work and study.

Her full time position at CSL Engineering – a project management services company to the Energy industry – meant that the part-time route of the course was a natural choice for Nicole.

Beyond that, she felt the course would offer her an opportunity to develop her understanding of business functions at a management level, thereby helping her to realise her career aspirations.     

“A particular highlight of my time at the University,” stated Nicole, “was the chance to meet and work with a great bunch of business people from Aberdeen and beyond.  During the course we were able to feed from each other’s knowledge and experience. This, in turn, enriched the ‘in-class’ and coursework elements of the degree.”

“Looking to the future”, concluded Nicole, “I aim to develop my business experience by putting my course to good use in the coming months. Who knows maybe I’ll do an MBA in the future! If my sister can do it then so can I!”

Already Simone and Nicole’s academic achievements have proved worth the effort. Both have recently been promoted within their respective companies.  

During the MBA course Simone was promoted to the position of Company Director of AVC Creative where she is responsible for the strategic direction of Public Relations and Marketing Communications services for the firm.  

During her studies Nicole was promoted to the position of Team Leader at CSL. Since completing her BA she has been promoted into the role of Business Acquisition Manager where she is responsible for identifying prospective clients and maximising business opportunities.

Both sisters will be joined on the day by family members, including mother Annetta Kennedy (64) and father Robert Kennedy (64).


Andrew Youngson
Communications Officer

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262389