University of St Andrews (UK) Duncan celebrates finding the right path to academic success at St Andrews

A former Harris Academy pupil who took an alternative path to academic success after realising going straight from school was not for him has this week celebrated being awarded not one but two degrees from the University of St Andrews.

Brought up just off Dundee’s Kinghorne Road, Duncan Mitchell embarked on an undergraduate degree in Classical History and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh after finishing high school.

However, he quickly realised he wasn’t ready for “the rigours of Higher Education” and returned to Dundee where he worked in a variety of hospitality jobs while considering his next steps.

In 2016 he decided to return to education and enrolled in an NQ engineering course at Dundee College. He said that while he enjoyed the challenges the course offered he also realised he was now ready to return to Higher Education.

Duncan, now 30, explained: “Whilst at college, my girlfriend Rebecca, who had been studying Scottish Highers at college, was accepted to the University of St Andrews through the Further Education Pathway. This inspired me to apply via the same route and I was offered a place at St Andrews to study Modern History in 2017 and, after four fantastic years, I graduated with honours.

“Towards the end of my undergraduate degree, I became interested in entering a career within marketing and after researching Masters courses at the University, I discovered that the MLitt Management course in the School of Management would be the ideal course for me to undertake in order to gain the relevant theory and practical skills and knowledge to aid me in my aspirations for a career within the marketing industry.”

He went on to explain that throughout the course he was introduced to a variety of different modules, including Strategic Management, Human Resource Management, and Finance and Accounting.

Duncan said: “Most valuable to me, however, was the opportunity to study marketing-specific modules, including Marketing Practice and Principles, International Marketing, and Marketing and Society. As a result of my Masters studies, I have had the opportunity to further develop my academic skills whilst also gaining a host of professional capacities that will ensure that I can confidently enter the next step of my career.

“Despite coming to the University through a different pathway to many of my peers, I have nonetheless felt supported throughout my entire time here. As a result of this, I have enjoyed a fulfilling and highly rewarding student experience and am proud to call myself an alumnus of the University of St Andrews.

“One of the most memorable moments of my Masters course was during my Marketing Practice and Principles module when we were given a guest lecture from a marketer. The opportunity to hear from someone who has decades of experience within the industry, who shared their personal experiences from having worked in several companies across Europe, provided me with unparalleled insight into the day-to-day responsibilities and duties of a marketing executive.

“At the same time, this experience reassured me that my MLitt Management degree at the University of St Andrews has prepared me for a future career in the marketing industry.”