A Kintore man has taken a long road to academic success following his graduation from the North East Scotland College (NESCol) with an HND in Mechanical Engineering.
Robbie Lawrence (31) graduated at the North East Scotland College (NESCol) Aberdeen Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, (October 28).
His long route to graduation has taken in a diagnosis of severe dyslexia, several jobs in various industries, a year on the other side of the world, and a life changing decision to apply to college aged 27.
And despite all of Robbie’s life experience, he says that it was the decision to return to education that has “opened up the world” to him.
“College helped me to no end,” he said. “It helped me develop massively not only in my skills and knowledge, but in confidence. I was used to working by myself before coming to NESCol, but it really has opened up the world to me.”
Robbie attended Kintore Primary School until he was seven, when he was diagnosed with severe dyslexia and transferred to a specialist unit in Market Place Primary School, Inverurie. He completed his education at Rannoch School in Perthshire before progressing to college at Clinterty, where he studied an NC in Service Engineering.
After working several other jobs, Robbie gained employment as a baggage handler at Aberdeen Airport. This gave him a taste for travel and soon he was living in New Zealand.
“I finally realised that if I wanted to progress to the next level I would need some further qualifications, so three years ago – aged 27 – I went up to the College and spoke at length with an advisor, then returned home with an application form for an NC in Mechanical Engineering. It was never going to be easy. I was a mature student with severe dyslexia, no income and a mortgage to pay. However, I persevered. I struggled with the report writing and drove my mother round the bend with my continual requests to proof read my work, but over the last three years I feel I have achieved so much academically, and my self confidence and belief in myself have grown.”
Robbie is now attending Robert Gordon University, working towards a degree qualification in mechanical engineering.
“I will always struggle with spelling and grammar, but I now realize that this does not need to hold me back,” he said.