Catriona Stevenson - GA BA (Hons) Business Management

Catriona Stevenson
A mother of two from Westhill has graduated with a first-class degree - despite the revelation of being diagnosed with both dyslexia and dysgraphia, something she describes as a “lightbulb moment”.

Catriona Stevenson was 38 years old when she went to university for the first time and enrolled in a Graduate Apprenticeship in Business Management at RGU.

“I had never been to university before, mainly as I didn’t think it was for me. However, when looking at potential courses to pursue with a colleague, we came across the Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) scheme and it sounded more like my way of learning.

“Taking part in the GA meant that I worked full-time and had a full-time degree running alongside it, with mainly online learning and module visits to campus. It suited my style of learning while allowing me to carry on working since we have a young family to support.

“There was a good mix of theory and practical work-based learning. The fact that lectures are recorded, allowing me to playback and pause, was very helpful plus allowed me to fit study in and around family life.”

What made Catriona’s success all the more remarkable was a diagnosis well over 20-years since progressing through school at Westhill Academy.

“In the first few weeks at RGU I was referred to the inclusion centre for dyslexia testing and was found to have dyslexia and dysgraphia. This had never been picked up in school but was like a lightbulb moment for me and my learning.

“I left school thinking I was stupid having been told by my English teacher when I asked to be tested: ‘don’t be silly you’re just stupid’. That stuck with me until I was tested and understood how the dyslexia affects how I learn. I think having achieved straight A’s for the last three years shows that with the right support a student can achieve anything. The support offered by the University was fundamental to that.”

Following a hugely successful experience at RGU’s Aberdeen Business School, Catriona is now looking ahead to what’s to come having already secured a new job thanks to her accomplishments.

“It has opened a whole new world for me. The stand out moment for me was my first A towards the end of first year followed by a Head of School award the following year.

“My career has predominately been based around sales, something that I have been keen to move away from, however most jobs required a degree which had always put me off applying.

“I have now been lucky enough though to secure a new role with OEUK, moving away from a sales role and into product management as SEQual Manager.

“I am proud of what I have achieved and keen to support and champion others with dyslexia with the right support and tools you can achieve anything.”

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