Craig McKenzie

"...Not only do you gain a qualification at the end of your course, you gain an understanding of what it takes to achieve your goals."

Craig was lucky enough to secure a Traineeship with Aker Solutions after he left school, and so his Degree Link experience was undertaken through part-time study at NESCol and RGU — giving him the opportunity to work and learn at the same time. Now, Craig is involved in the decommissioning of offshore installations — something quite new which will have a considerable impact on the industry moving forward. Craig said: "Due to the type of work I'm currently involved in, and how I see the industry developing in the future, I am considering going back into further education to complete a newly collaborated course specifically in decommissioning."

Age: 26
Secondary school: Fraserburgh Academy
NESCol course: HND Mechanical Engineering
RGU course: BENg Mechanical Engineering (with an additional module completed at RGU in 2015–16 to upgrade his degree)
Current role: Piping Engineer, Aker Solutions

Why did you choose the Degree Link route?

Whilst completing my HND in Mechanical Engineering, an RGU representative visited the College and provided information regarding the Degree Link route. I had always intended on continuing my studies to a degree level and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to allow me to do that.

What's been the best thing about the experience?

The sense of achievement I had at the end. Although I enjoyed the course at times I did find it rather tough going. Thankfully I was determined enough to complete the course successfully and hopefully it will be beneficial for my future career.

What was the best thing about studying at NESCol?

I spent six years doing day release at NESCol in order to achieve a HND. Over those six years I met so many great people that I can still call friends today. Having friendly, helpful individuals as your classmates makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

What's the best thing about studying at RGU?

The content of the course was much more relevant to what I was doing at work. This allowed me to relate my studying to what I was doing at work every day. I feel this has been and will continue to be highly beneficial for me during my career.

Would you recommend Degree Link to other students? Why?

Of course, I would recommend to anyone currently studying in NESCol that if they are interested in continuing their studies this is the best way to go. Degree Link is a great progression route, not only do you gain a qualification at the end of your course, you gain an understanding of what it takes to achieve your goals.