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COVID-19: Advice for Staff, Students and Community

Cameron Ritchie - BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering

Cameron Ritchie
Cameron Ritchie (21) from Stonehaven had an interest in engineering from a young age. It was studying at RGU that offered him the opportunity to explore this interest and refine his options.

Cameron came to RGU after completing his secondary education at Mackie Academy. “I come from a family with a fairly do-it-yourself attitude - if something is broken then you just have to fix it. So, I’ve always been surrounded by machines both working and in pieces and therefore to study Mechanical Engineering was just a progression from my upbringing. I was attracted specifically to RGU due to their industry connections, good reputation and the attractive campus.”

Like all students in his cohort, the last 18 months has been a drastically different learning experience for Cameron and it has had a profound impact on his mental health. He was able to access the University’s Silvercloud programme which offers secure, immediate access to online mental health support, tailored to the user’s specific needs.

“Silvercloud offers some really good tools to help you to understand and improve on your mental health which I think is very important during these times. It helped me understand signs of poor mental health and recognise them before they set in, which I believe just aren’t well enough understood or acknowledged. The programmes also enabled me to strike a better work-life balance which is something I had struggled with in my first, second and third years. I don’t think I would have managed to achieve the grades and achieve what I have in the last year without such services.”

Despite the challenges of online studying and its impact on his wellbeing, Cameron is over the moon about his achievements and being awarded “Best Stage 4 student”. He is grateful for the support of his lecturing staff and the opportunity to collaborate with his course mates. “Throughout my time at RGU I have experienced a variety different teaching methods and styles. I loved Dr Gary Brindley’s relaxed teaching style which really made learning far easier. But that is only one person from a whole team with many different techniques and styles, all of which keep you interested. No two lecture styles are the same. Some of the best times at RGU has been with group work deadlines looming and having to pull a late lab session with your course mates to try and meet the deadline. Having to help one another just gives you that support and flexibility to really push yourself as well as making it far more enjoyable.”

After graduating with BSc (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, Cameron is taking a gap year to develop his final year project further which involves developing a prototype for a new device to move ISO shipping containers. However, he is confident that his time at RGU has given him the skills he needs to succeed in the workplace, “RGU has helped create a solid foundation upon which you can build a variety of careers. My learning at RGU has not been just about course content but also discovering how you learn well and how you can get the best out of yourself and I think that is the real take-away - those key skills to learn about yourself. I will miss my time at RGU - I have made some lifelong friends, learnt a lot about myself and developed skills which will stand me in good stead for whatever the future holds.”

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