Accepting a new job offer, studying for a university degree while working, and welcoming your first-born child into the world are amongst some of life’s biggest challenges, but for Callum Duguid, account lead at EnerMech, he has juggled all three simultaneously and successfully.
An enthusiastic self-starter, Callum has been with the business since 2013. In 2018, following a promotion from being an offshore electrician to a contract support engineer onshore, he jumped at the chance to be one EnerMech’s first employees to join its Graduate Apprentice programme, facilitated by Robert Gordon’s University (RGU). Callum has since achieved and graduated with first-class honours in BA Business Management at a ceremony held at the P&J Live venue in Aberdeen.
In March this year, whilst in the midst his final Capstone thesis project, he arguably took on his most important role when he became a father for the first time. He said: “Balancing family life as a new dad to Harris with the ongoing responsibilities of work and studying, has by far been the greatest and most exciting challenge and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m incredibly proud of my achievements and my family’s. My partner Rachael has been the most incredible tower of strength. Taking on the bulk of night feeds and nappy changes has ensured I could get my rest and have the energy for my studies, which we saw as a very worthwhile investment in our future together. I’ve also had fantastic support from my EnerMech colleagues and can’t thank them enough for their endless encouragement throughout the entire process.”
Having held a passion for more technical subjects during school, Callum started his career as a Modern Apprentice for the NHS, before joining EnerMech. “When I left school, I had no real idea of what I wanted to do. Although I had always intended to pursue higher education at some point, I wanted to wait until I had found a profession where I could see myself for the long term that offered strong opportunities for career progression and job satisfaction.”
The Graduate Apprentice programme ticked all those boxes for Callum. “It takes a blended approach to education, incorporating practical, on-the-job work, and academic learning to provide graduates with a deeper understanding of their role and the industry. It was eye-opening to witness how the theoretical components of my course fitted into the work I was doing at EnerMech. It was also reassuring as it cemented my previous experience with the theory behind it. I appreciate now that I would not have gained as much from higher education if I had entered it straight out of school because I didn’t have the maturity and confidence to ask the sometimes-difficult questions. Having real-life experience makes linking the theory to practice much easier.
“The course has provided me with endless opportunities to develop myself and increase my status with my superiors, particularly through my Capstone project. I investigated how EnerMech could enhance alignment across its project management practices. I presented my findings to the leadership team and I’m proud to say that they have made a difference and added a great amount of value to the team.”
Carrying the baton for EnerMech’s next generation of Graduate Apprentices, Callum has also taken on a mentorship role, supporting a new student who began the same four-year course as him this September.
“As one of the first to graduate from this RGU scheme, it is important to me that I stay involved. I want to be sure that whoever goes on to complete the course gains the most out of the experience like I did. Being a mentor for Chris is my way of making sure this happens.
“I would absolutely recommend a Graduate Apprenticeship to others. It’s one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life and one that will stretch you to meet your personal and professional development goals.”
With his degree firmly under his belt, Callum has plans to take back some time for himself. “I’m not one to sit still and I certainly see another challenge in my future, perhaps even another degree. But for the moment, I just want to enjoy spending any spare time with my family and fitting in the odd football match and round of golf.”