Shortly after starting with Historic Scotland in Edinburgh, Scott began studying part-time for an MSc in Carbon and Energy Management. He graduated with Distinction in 2014.
Can you tell us about where you work and describe your role?
Historic Scotland is a government agency tasked with the safeguarding and promotion of Scotland's built heritage. As Carbon Manager, my primary role is to monitor and report on the organisation's carbon footprint and ensure compliance with any statutory requirements. I have also been involved in a number of other projects relating to sustainable procurement and construction.
Why did you choose Heriot-Watt and the programme that you studied?
Heriot-Watt is a leading Scottish university and one of only a handful offering a carbon related course. They also offered the best range of study options, allowing me to choose the most appropriate based on my personal circumstances and learning style.
What was your experience of doing a degree at Heriot-Watt University?
Hard work, but highly rewarding! I studied part-time on day release from a full-time job, so my time on campus was limited and precious. My lecturers were fantastic and their teaching was first class. Working with students from a range of backgrounds and nationalities, and a field trip to Germany offered a truly international perspective. We also had a number of guest lecturers from industry, giving their first-hand experience and providing great networking opportunities.
How has your degree helped you in your profession?
When I joined Historic Scotland, carbon management was very new territory. My chosen degree accelerated my knowledge and understanding of the sector and I have been able to apply much of my learning directly to my role. This in turn has given me confidence needed to effectively drive the sustainability agenda within my organisation.
Do you have any advice for students interested in working in your field?
Use the resources available to you, whether that be regular catch-ups with your tutor or advice from the careers service. Take advantage of the university's links to industry; make sure to attend the organised field trips, use networking events to make new connections, speak to guest lecturers and ask them questions about their experiences. Job markets can be very competitive so look out for any practical opportunities that will give you the edge (e.g. internships). Finally, when it comes to your dissertation, find a topic that genuinely interests you – that should make the experience a bit less stressful!
My chosen degree accelerated my knowledge and understanding of the sector and I have been able to apply much of my learning directly to my role. This in turn has given me confidence needed to effectively drive the sustainability agenda within my organisation.