Mellanie Robson, MSc Agricultural Professional Practice
Mellanie Robson, MSc Agricultural Professional Practice (Pass) – Aberdeen via distance learning
Mellanie returned to study at SRUC nearly 30 years after completing an HND Agriculture at the Aberdeen campus. She is now working for SRUC as a part-time instructor.
“It had been a very long time since I had studied and I can remember feeling very overwhelmed and unsure if I would manage to complete the course. The programme leader, year tutor and module leaders on my APP course were very understanding, encouraging and so helpful, it gave me the confidence to carry on.”
When Mellanie Robson was looking to return to study, she decided to apply to Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) where she had completed an HND Agriculture nearly 30 years previously.
Following her studies, the 48-year-old, from Huntly, Aberdeenshire, had worked on a mixed arable and livestock
farm before taking a job with the crop trials team in the agronomy research department at SRUC.
“I had a break from work to have my daughter Samantha in 2007 and spent the next few years doing part-time jobs and running our small upland farm with my husband,” she said.
“When my daughter had grown up a bit, I thought the time was right to look for the next career opportunity and I applied for the MSc Agricultural Professional Practice.
“I chose SRUC, because I enjoyed being a student there when I left school, the staff were so helpful, and it was just a great feeling to go back to my local college.
“I thought the APP course would help bring me up to date with what was current in agricultural affairs and help build my confidence.
“It covered everything I would need to apply for another career in agriculture and help me gain the knowledge required to improve our small farming business.”
At the start of the course, which she studied over three years via distance learning, Mellanie found herself wondering what she had let herself in for.
“It had been a very long time since I had studied and I can remember feeling very overwhelmed and unsure if I would manage to complete the course,” she said. “The programme leader, year tutor and module leaders on my APP course were very understanding, encouraging and so helpful, it gave me the confidence to carry on.
“After receiving my results for the first modules, my confidence slowly grew and I was able to use the knowledge gained from some of the modules to manage my time more efficiently to allow me to fit in all the other demands I have.”
In her first year, Mellanie was offered a part-time instructor’s position at SRUC – which she will continue after graduation while waiting for a full-time post to come up.
“This has been a fantastic experience which I have loved. Working with the students has given me a huge confidence boost and has been very rewarding. To end my year on a high, I won the student vote for the staff member of the year on the Aberdeen campus, which was very humbling and so unexpected. I was delighted.”