Vikki Richardson from Tullibody, mother of four young boys, is one of over 700 new graduates capped by the Chancellor of the University of Stirling, Dr James Naughtie, at graduation ceremonies today.
Ms Richardson graduated with first class honours in software engineering. Having entered her degree course at the age of 30 as a lone parent with four young children, she has now graduated BSc 1st class and has already secured a job as a software engineer in Glasgow.
“I was working full time before I had the kids,” she says. “After they were born I gave up working but needed something to do, so I did Open University modules when they were babies. Then I applied to go into second year at Stirling in 2008 as the Open University modules qualified me for entry at that level."
After three years of hard work, juggling full time study, child care and dissertation, Ms Richardson was determined to attend her graduation, even though she has already started a full time job.
“I attended graduation with my Mum and Gran and then my sister brought in the kids so that we could all be photographed while I’m wearing my gown.”
As for starting a new job so soon after finishing her studies, Ms Richardson says: “It’s been frantic. I had it in my mind that I would have the summer to find work but the company wanted me to start right away. However, I’m glad I’ve found a job in a new company which will take me places.”