Katrina Paton

Graduated from Moray College UHI in 2011 with a BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies

 

My past and my present

Before I graduated, I ran for President, then Vice President in the UHI Students Association election. I was elected as the Vice President in the by-election and have been in role since 1st July 2011. This job is extremely varied and I feel like I can really make a difference. It has given me the opportunity to give something back because without UHI, I would still be getting paid the minimum wage and have no prospect of anything better.

Before I got my job I was looking for a graduate placement so I could take a year out from studying. I am hoping to do an MSc next, but I needed a break from studying and to earn some money.    My student advisor knew this and when the election opened, she suggested that I should run in the election. After some thought, I decided, why not, I’ve got nothing to lose. However, once I start anything, I have a tendency to throw myself in and do my very best. Despite losing the first round to the current president, I was not fazed and tried again for the Vice President.

Studying with UHI has allowed me to grow as a person - doing a degree changes you, but for the better. The sky’s the limit and studying at UHI has opened up a whole new world of knowledge and skills to me that I never knew were out there. In particular, my degree helped me to develop my communication skills to such an extent, that using IT is like second nature now and I think this is really important as the world of work, especially in the Highlands, is very dependent on IT skills.

My future

I imagine that in 10 years’ time, I will have a PhD and would like to be working in either a research field relating to youth offending or within the Children’s Hearing System or perhaps as a UHI lecturer.

My advice

Take every opportunity possible - I didn’t get a full time job before I even graduated, by burying my head in the books and ignoring everything else that UHI has to offer. Volunteer for things - most things don’t take up much time but they can lead to bigger and better things. And above all, pay attention to what’s in your GroupWise inbox!