Darren Smith - BEng (Hons) Mechanical and Offshore Engineering

Darren Smith at P&J Live
A young engineer who wanted to continue his education is graduating with distinction having studied part-time at RGU which allowed him to balance his BEng (Hons) Mechanical and Offshore Engineering course with work commitments.

Darren Smith had already completed his apprenticeship as an engineer but was keen to progress his career so decided to enter higher education after finishing college.

The 28-year-old from Inverurie also won the Belmar Engineering Prize which is Awarded to the best part-time, evening class student for RGU’s Mechanical Engineering Programmes.

Darren said: “I decided to go to university after starting my apprenticeship at 19. I was made aware of the opportunities available that would allow me to progress through from NC level through to degree level. I watched others within my company progress through this route and this gave me motivation to apply for university. I was also aware of the doors it would help to open after completing my NC level at college. This opportunity has allowed me to shape my future career path towards a different role that meets my interest.

“Having a completed my mechanical apprenticeship I then had the drive to continue my learning and the passion to seek out opportunities to enter the world of Mechanical Engineering. The flexibility of being able to achieve this while continuing with my working career was also very appealing to me as it suited my current stage of life.”

When Darren started at RGU he was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia and sought out support from The Inclusion Centre. He has also spoken of feeling a great sense of achievement having completed his studies.

He is now looking forward to the future and wants to build on his academic success by using the skills and knowledge he is learned during his time at RGU.

Darren said: “Following a thorough assessment, I was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia. I was then provided with IT equipment and access to services to help support me during my time at RGU, this allowed me to complete assignments and exams in a way that suited my own learning needs. The team were always very helpful and supportive. I am grateful for the guidance they provided during my degree.

“Going forward I will continue to develop in my existing engineering role within my company. The degree will allow me to progress from being an Associate Engineer to beginning my role as a qualified engineer, I can put into practice the knowledge and skill set I have gained from my time at university. I am also looking to begin my journey to become a charted engineer, which is my next career goal.”

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