Gillian Clater

About me

I am currently working as a Graduate Researcher in the Assets and Investments team within the Places for People group. In this position I conduct research into areas such as sustainability, damp and mould, and climate concerns in order to provide information that feeds into company strategy and policy. I graduated with a Master of Research with Merit from the University of Glasgow in November 2021 and a 1st Class Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Abertay in June 2020.

Left school

June 2016

Senior Phase

In S4 I achieved National 5s (SCQF level 5) in French, Spanish, Art, Modern Studies, History, Biology, Maths and English. 

In S5 I achieved Highers (SCQF level 6) in French, Art & Design, Modern Studies, English and Geography.

In S6 I achieved Advanced Highers (SCQF level 7) in Modern Studies and French.

Choosing my Destination

I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I finished school other than go to university. I had an incredible Modern Studies teacher called Mr Littlejohn who allowed me to express my interest in politics in society through debates and other mediums. Due to his encouragement, I decided to follow this path into university and studied Sociology. Having his support really helped me choose a path I'm proud of and happy in.

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

I did a lot of artistic extra-curricular activities including painting, songwriting, and performing. These didn't lead me into a path, however they helped me figure out what I enjoy and like to do in my spare time, which is just as important. A good work-life balance is essential.

Skills I've developed

I've found public speaking and interpersonal communication to be of extreme importance. Knowing how to seem confident and collected makes it seem like you know what you're doing. It is still not my strongest skill and I'm still developing, and that's okay. Critical thinking and knowing how to view everything from a different angle has also been essential. I would also advise to always stay curious and ask questions- it's the best way to learn more and develop yourself.

My Advice

It doesn't matter where you start. I thought my life was over as I didn't get all As at higher and couldn't get into any 'top' universities. My time at Abertay was fantastic, despite people laughing at me for going to a 'rubbish' university because it's not a Russell Group institution. Any institution you go to is as valid as the next. It doesn't matter where your degree comes from.

Most importantly, I'd tell younger Gill to ignore everyone who is trying to put you off following a social science/humanities path. Degrees in these areas open up so many doors for you and broaden your mind. 'Mickey Mouse Degrees' do not exist and you do not need to know what your future career will be at 16 to get a job in the future. Don't let people put you down because you don't want to go into STEM. 

Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do. Follow a path that makes you happy and the rest will fall into place.