Charlotte McLean (45), who is originally from Cardiff, lost her job during the oil crash and found herself commuting to Edinburgh for a role which lasted over three years.
She then made the choice to go back to university to give her the opportunity to enhance her skills with a view to gaining a role in the city she and her family had settled in.
“I had been looking for jobs here, but had no oil and gas experience and wasn't getting anywhere,” she said. “I decided something needed to change to enable me to work where I live and where my children are settled, so I went back to university.
“I had been very technical at the start of my career but latterly found myself being moved more towards project management. The chance to get back to technical work by doing a technical masters was a huge draw.”
Charlotte benefited from a scholarship from the Data Lab, which paid for her tuition fees and gave her additional support and opportunities during her time at RGU.
“The absolute highlight was being involved in the Data Lab programme with the university. I had initially presumed it was just funding, however they provided a whole support network for students, which included talent days, talks and chances to network with other students and prospective employers.
“Many of the lecturers also do work with the Data Lab and so we have seen how a lot of their research is being used in industry, bringing a lot of the things we've studied to life.”
After graduating with her Master’s Degree, Charlotte was able to reflect on her time at RGU and the decision to head back into full-time education.
“My degree has given me a whole new set of skills and enhanced the ones I currently had that were a little rusty. I gained a huge amount of knowledge in the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
“The course was very intense and there was a lot to learn and understand and I had to remember how to study and sit exams. The experience and resulting qualification has allowed me to change my career trajectory. My current role is directly attributable to the degree and I wouldn't have secured that had I not completed the course. All the hard work paid off as I was awarded a Master’s with Distinction.”
Charlotte graduated with her Master’s Degree at the RGU ceremony at the Music Hall, on Wednesday, December 11.