A Brechin family had two reasons to celebrate when a mother and son both graduated from Robert Gordon University’s Aberdeen Business School on Thursday, July 14 at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen.
Liz Smith (50) graduated with a BA in Management Studies in the morning ceremony at 10.30 am, followed by her son Glenn (22) who was presented with his BA (Hons) in Media Studies at 2.30 pm.
Liz, who attained her first degree in librarianship from the institution in 1982, then known as Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology, has achieved her degree via part-time online study and workshops at Angus College.
The busy mother-of-three found juggling her family commitments with her studies, as well as her job as School Librarian at Montrose Academy, a challenge at times.
She comments: “Trying to find the time to study alongside working in the library and looking after my family was often hard.
“The fact that the university offered the course via Angus College meant it was easier for me to attend classes and meet with other students.
“I also had the opportunity to use university facilities including the library and virtual campus, which was a great help.”
Liz found support in her son, who was facing the same issues whilst undertaking his degree.
She continues: “Working towards my degree alongside my son was a brilliant experience.
“It meant that I was not only able to support him as a mother, but as a fellow student, as I could understand the pressure he felt from looming deadlines. As a mature student, it really helped me having a young person to bounce ideas off and provide feedback, who also understood the hard-work involved.”
Similarly, Glenn, who previously studied for a HND in Creative Industries at Aberdeen College and lived at home throughout his studies, found a source of encouragement in his mum.
He says: “Mum was constantly pushing me to work to the best of my abilities.
“In the run up to exams and during difficult coursework, we supported each other by discussing our ideas and exchanging study tips.”
Glenn, who has had a lifelong interest in creating movies and television shows, is now set to undertake a PhD at Aberdeen Business School, and dreams of becoming a screen-writer in the future.
Liz concludes: “I’m extremely proud of Glenn and of myself for achieving our degrees and the opportunity to enjoy both our graduation celebrations on the same day is a truly unique experience.
“I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learned to my career and of course in supporting Glenn in his future ambitions.”