University of Stirling BSc Hons Software Engineering graduate Donald Robertson is celebrating an honours degree; a new job; new home and a marriage made in Stirling.
Donald, 26, collects his scroll today at the final summer Graduation ceremony where he will be cheered on by his wife Susie.
'She was already at Stirling and was a member of the Computer Club', explains Donald. 'I met her at the fresher’s fayre where she was in charge of the club stall. I decided to go along to the club and it just went from there'.
On top of finding the woman of his dreams, Donald immersed himself in the club’s activities, holding the roles as Treasurer and President.
He added: 'We would work on different projects like a prototype mapping system for the University buildings to show the quickest routes from one place to another. There were also hackathons where you would meet up with other Computing students from across Scotland. It was a great opportunity to network and meet other people, including potential employers'.
One such employer is Renfrewshire-based software engineering company Kana, where Donald has just started in a graduate position.
'Due to the skilled nature of the job, I would not have got past the initial application stage without having my degree on my CV', said Donald, who relocated to Paisley from Perth days after his final exams.
'Kana has strong links with the University Computer Science department and several Stirling graduates have gone on to work there in the past because of the programming languages they use. I always wanted to stay in Scotland and was happy to move to start my new role'.
Born in Cheltenham, Donald grew up in Leicester before moving to Scotland and has always been a fan of computers.
He said: 'There has been a computer in my house for as long as I can remember. My dad had a PC as he was self-employed and I used to play games on it. I hadn’t done any serious programming since school, but I was used to looking after computers and laptops at home'.
'Nowadays you would struggle to find any area without computers. The course gave me a good level of exposure to Java programming. You also get to learn other programming languages. It’s like learning multiple languages; the more you know, the more roles you can do and you can draw similarities between the different languages'.
'Some of the lecturers at Stirling were fantastic and took time to get to know you and help you with any questions. Graduation is more for my family than for me; along with Susie my mum and dad are coming up from Norwich and my sister from Weymouth. There’s a reception for all the Computing Science graduates afterwards to say bye to everyone which I’m looking forward to'.
Donald’s ceremony recognises graduates from the Schools of Natural Sciences, Applied Social Science and Health Sciences.
In the final of three summer ceremonies on campus, honorary doctorates are bestowed on former University Secretary Kevin Clarke and BBC presenter Sally Magnusson.