Our new S6 Lecture Series launched earlier this term offers pupils the opportunity to learn more about the many ways Gordonians, and friends of the College, are making an impact in the world and the options they have taken to follow their pathways beyond school.
The series is designed to challenge their way of thinking, encourage them to critically reflect and give insight into the many future pathways our alumni have taken since leaving the College.
Introduced by Mr Hardie, Head of S6, the series will run year round and includes speakers who have made an impact in their career with fascinating, motivational or uplifting stories.
Katy Reynard, Class of ‘13, was the inaugural speaker in the series. Katy spoke about her journey through drama school, auditioning for various theatre roles and the need for her to be able to adapt quickly and be resilient in the face of difficulty in the industry, especially when the Covid-19 pandemic hit with all theatre productions being halted.
Sharing her story of entrepreneurship and how through adversity she and friends formed their own theatre company which is still thriving today was inspiring. Katy also stressed that life after school is not always what you had envisaged; to supplement her creative arts career, she works in the hospitality industry and has recently qualified as a sommelier, it is a job she also loves.
After her talk, Katy spent time with a small focus group of Higher and Advanced Higher students. Miss Boyne, Principal Teacher of Drama, said: “The Drama department was delighted to welcome Katy back to school to share her experiences in the creative industries. It was a great opportunity for our pupils to ask questions and learn all about life in the performing industry. Katy shared her stories of touring the UK, setting up her own theatre company and working on the Netflix hit, 'Stranger Things' interactive experience.”
Alan Duncan, Class of ‘88, was our second speaker of the series who joined us virtually from his home office in Windsor. Alan is currently a Distinguished Vice President in Research and Advisory at Gartner.
Taking the students on a journey of his time at university and subsequent career path, he described realising towards the end of his Engineering degree that it wasn’t the career path for him but that he wanted to develop his skills in software development. The problem solving and teamwork skills Alan learned from his education at Robert Gordon’s College and university were transferable to his choice in pursuing software development.
Describing how he began his career path in a graduate programme and the roles he pursued after this, Alan reflected to the S6 students that he tried to take every opportunity that came his way, always making time for his favourite hobbies. He shared: “It is so important to have time for yourself away from work, with the added benefit that your hobbies can more often than not give you immeasurable skills in your day job, particularly confidence.”
Commenting on his experience as a speaker for the S6 lecture series, Alan said: “I think it’s hugely worthwhile that the College is innovating by inviting external speakers to share their real-world experiences with the students – especially in a slightly less formal environment, rather than making it too stuffy and worthy! Hopefully, this offers some guidance and inspiration that perhaps they would not be exposed to through more traditional approaches.”
Before the October break, we were thrilled to welcome Evie Rae, Class of ‘11, to the College to speak to our S6 pupils about her career in renewable energy law.
Evie, In House Legal Counsel at BayWa r.e in the UK, captivated pupils whilst recounting her time at RGC and subsequent journey through university, and the early stages of her career in law. Evie discussed the importance of internships and work experience alongside studying, particularly during the holidays, as it not only gives you invaluable experience but also provides an insight into the type of career path that appeals to you.
Highlighting the importance of prioritising passions alongside career aspirations, Evie spoke of her love of the outdoors, sport and her drive to protect our environment. Evie’s love for the environment began in Geography class, where her teacher at the time predicted she would end up in a Geography related career. Interest in Geography continued throughout her time at university and beyond to her career where she gravitated towards the renewable team and built her portfolio of experience in the renewable energy sector. Despite her career success, Evie shared with pupils: “I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and that it’s okay to feel this way.” Her advice was to “learn about new roles and opportunities all the time, building your portfolio as you go and all your experiences. This could lead to a job that you didn’t know even existed.”
Talking about her experience being an S6 Lecture Series speaker, Evie said: “The Gordonian alumni network is a valuable source of information into a wide range of career pathways, for current pupils and all alumni alike. I am continually interested to hear about the range of career experiences of fellow former pupils and I hope the S6 pupils gained an insight into my experience of renewable energy law.”
We look forward to welcoming:
Chris Bain, Class of ‘91, Founder & CEO at Player One Consulting
Adam Castle, Class of ‘13, Director of Success Management, WCP Brands
Vicki Greig, Class of ‘04, NHS Consultant in Oral Surgery
Ruaridh Jackson, Class of ‘06, Former Scotland Rugby player, Private Client Manager at The Glenturret
Jamie Aarons, Holds the record for a self-propelled continuous round of climbing all 282 Munros
Sam Hepburn, Class of ‘03, Cartoonist