Gary counted on lecturer support to gain HND

Gary Tait

Gary counted on lecturer support to gain HND

Business lecturers you can count on helped Gary Tait complete his qualification, leading to a newly created post at his work.

Gary (25) from Camelon, was struggling to complete his HND Accounting at Forth Valley College around the start of the first pandemic lockdown in March 2020. At the same time he was also trying to juggle his studies with full-time work and helping to raise his 18 month old daughter Alaina, with then partner Ella Boyd, and was ready to quit the course.

But FVC Business Department lecturer Carol Venesky and Curriculum Manager Jennifer Hogarth recognised the issues and swung into action to encourage and support Gary to keep on going. With their help he successfully completed his HND and was rewarded at his place of work – Mathieson’s Bakery in Larbert – where they have promoted him from a Team Leader on the back shift, to a new post of Cost Analyst.

Gary, who started studying at FVC on a NQ Business and Administration, before working his way up to the HND Accounting, said: “Back at the start of the first lockdown, I e-mailed Carol I did not think I could complete the course, with everything that was going on – working full-time, having a young baby and dealing with the lockdown.

“My partner Ella – who was also on the same course – had always been encouraging me to keep going, but I think I needed some official support in my mind as well.

“Carol my lecturer, told me that I had come so far that it would be the wrong decision to quit and she and Jennifer Hogarth gave me the encouraging nudge and supportive push to show me that it would be worth it to keep going, and it was so worth it in the end.

“I am so grateful to them all and it is a big weight off my shoulders to complete the HND. With their help I made the best decision in my educational journey and it has paid off by my employer Mathiesons Bakery creating a new post of Cost Analyst for me. This came about when I mentioned to the managing director that I had just completed my HND and he was delighted and passed the information on to the finance department who took me on in an initial probationary capacity. But it has worked out well and I am absolutely loving it and can’t thank the firm enough.

“When I look back I realise school wasn’t for me, but I loved my time at college and flourished academically there. I honestly do not have a bad word to say about any of the lecturers I had, they were all great and the support I received when I was in need, was excellent.

“I would definitely recommend Forth Valley College to anyone and my advice to potential new students looking to apply, would be to go for it 100%. I’m just a regular guy, but college gives you the chance to shine.”

Jennifer Hogarth, Curriculum Manager in FVC’s Department of Business, said: “Gary had contacted us to say he was struggling and was going to pull out of the course, but between Carol and, I we both got in touch with him to ask him to re-consider.  We understood his predicament, he had so much on his plate, that giving up college seemed like the only solution. 

“The pandemic has affected us all, on so many levels and in so many ways, and we could literally see students questioning everything! So it was just a case of helping Gary to step back and think about all the hard work, time and effort he had invested into his studies over the last few years. 

“He was weeks away from completing his HND qualification and we didn’t want to see him give up when he was within touching distance of achieving. The lecturing team helped him to plan out the last few assignments and navigate through the final weeks of his course.  We were all delighted that he stuck it out – he just needed the reassurance and support to give him the last burst of energy and confidence he needed. 

“We were all delighted when he achieved his HND Accountancy, and to then later hear that he gained a promotion at work as a result of his qualification was just the icing on the cake!  We are sure that his career will continue to flourish and we wish him every success in the future.”   

FVC Lecturer Carol Venesky, said: “Gary’s success is well-deserved, his recent promotion is an acknowledgement of his hard work and perseverance. It’s very satisfying to hear that Forth Valley College had such a positive influence on Gary and I would like to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his success with us.

“I am sure students reading this will be inspired by Gary’s achievements and encouraged to know that |College staff are always there to support them on their learning journey.”



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