A caring social worker celebrated completing her degree at Robert Gordon University after deciding to swap studying trees for supporting families.
Caryn Stubbs (25) graduated with a BA (Hons) Social Work at a ceremony at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre on Thursday 13 July.
Caryn, who is originally from Inverness, decided it was never too late to change career, after originally studying Environmental Science at Inverness College UHI and securing a degree place.
She said: “I realised that I would much prefer working with people, over being bitten by midges while scanning trees, so even though I was set to continue as an environmental scientist, I made the switch over to Social Work.
“I had attended an open day at RGU and learned about the great job prospects and placement opportunities that the university offered, which sealed the deal for me.”
Throughout her degree, Caryn would go on to undertake placements supporting adults with disabilities in an assisted living facility, working with the Citizens Advice Bureau in Inverness and as part of the Fraserburgh Children and Families social work team.
These placements were designed to give her practical professional experience to compliment her class-based work and help prepare for life as a qualified social worker.
Caryn said: “The experience I gained on my placements was invaluable and I am thankful to all of my colleagues and the volunteers who helped enhance my training, made me feel welcome and put up with my million and one questions.
“A real highlight during my time with the Citizens Advice Bureau was being able to work in a prison and support those going back into the community. The volunteers were able to have a laugh and taught me the importance of enjoying your work and the experiences that can come your way.”
Now that she has completed her degree, Caryn has started her full-time career as a qualified Children and Families social worker in Fraserburgh, picking up where her student placement left off.
A far cry from her original plans to study flora and fauna, she is looking forward to supporting the families of the North East and is thankful for her time in higher education.
Caryn said: “I have managed to achieve so much over the past few years, meeting great friends for life and making memories that will stick with me for a long time to come.
“I was able to walk straight into a job after handing in my dissertation and I absolutely have RGU to thank for that. Everything I took from my lecturers – through their own experiences, their jokes and the roleplay – it gave me real professional confidence to see things through and achieve my first class degree.”