Iain Goes Back To University

Careers advice

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited back my old university in St Andrews. The Schools of English and Film Studies there planned to hold a panel discussion on careers in the creative industries, to help their students looking forward to graduation. On the hunt for alumni, my name came up.

I never normally need much of an excuse to head over the Tay Bridge, so the opportunity to do so while flying the “Friend” flag was too good to miss!

The Event

It was a strange feeling to sit up on the stage and look out at a sea of students eager to hear what I had to say. I’m bad enough at expressing myself in our Facebook Live videos . . .

Thankfully the organisers were on the ball, so I felt at ease almost immediately. Plus, I’d worked with another of the panel members in a previous life — a familiar face always helps in unfamiliar situations.

The event was a great opportunity for me to give a little guidance to young people heading into the world of work. But mostly it was a great opportunity to tell them all about the “Friend”!

In fact, as I answered their questions about career pathways, job applications, internships and my “career in the media”, I found that I was often thinking about how we do things here in the office, and in our magazine.

The Advice

The important advice I continued to fall back on was simple:

Work hard, and try not to worry too much.

Be friendly. Be nice. Be warm. It’s amazing how far you’ll get in life by being a good team player.

Take the rough with the smooth, and try to learn from both.

Always keep your eyes open for new opportunities, and new experiences.

Above all, make sure to enjoy yourself.

This may not have been the nuts-and-bolts advice the students were hoping for. Though they did receive plenty of that sort of stuff.

But if just one of them felt a little reassured by my words, perhaps I did something worthwhile.

And who knows, maybe I got a few extra readers, too!

For more from “The People’s Friend” team, visit our blog pages.



Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.