Kirsten McNaughton

About me

I am going into my 4th year at Heriot Watt University studying MA International Business Management.

Left school

June 2020

Senior Phase

In S4 I achieved N5 (SCQF level 5) in Art & Design, Biology, Business Management, Chemistry, English, Maths and Physics.

In S6 I achieved Higher (SCQF level 6) in Biology, Business Management, Chemistry, English and Maths.

In S6 I achieved Advanced Higher (SCQF level 7) in Business Management and Chemistry and SCQF Level 6: Young Enterprise.

For my S6 wider achievement I opted for Young Enterprise, Community Cafe, Chemistry Teaching Assistant,

Choosing my Destination

I knew university was the next step for me. When it came to deciding a career path, I was stuck between Business and Chemistry - two very different routes! I attended a range of university open days for both subjects and found these to be the most helpful in making my decision. Hearing from current staff about why and why not to take these courses was very insightful as they helped me to understand my motivations and consider different factors I had not previously thought of. Listening and speaking to university staff prompted me to think about what I would regret not doing which helped in my final decision of pursuing business.

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

Alongside my studies, I was a prefect, values leader, yearbook editor, barista in the community cafe, teaching assistant, and competed in Young Enterprise. All of these roles helped build my confidence with speaking to different groups of people. This was essential in my preparation for university where I would face a completely new environment with new people. Young Enterprise particularly helped me to develop transferable skills, such as organisation, presentation, and teamwork, which I use and continue to build upon at university. Running a business as part of Young Enterprise is directly relevant to my course and I have been able to draw upon this hands on experience during my further study. 

Skills I've developed

Many of my university courses have involved group projects and essays. These have allowed me to develop my collaboration skills. Teamwork and effective collaboration are vital in every aspect of life through and so my skills will continue to benefit me, especially in working with others in my future career. My communication skills, both verbal and non verbal, have also greatly improved since starting my part time retail job. I have found that people are comfortable approaching me and I am more confident approaching others as a result.

My Advice

I remember being encouraged to take subjects which would give me the best outcome in my first few years at high school. However, I would say not to focus on the most successful or well paying career but rather focus on what you like and you can make a career out of it. You don't need to know what job you want to be in for the rest of your life, I still don't know, but if you have a next step then you will get there eventually.