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The student becomes the master: local electrician graduates to become lecturer


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Ex-electrician Ian Thomson, who first attended Northern Regional College in 1994, returned to the College to complete a Foundation Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and recently graduated with a distinction grade. Ian, who worked as an electrician for 20 years before becoming an Electrotechnical Trainer Assessor, decided to enhance his skillset and knowledge by undertaking the Foundation Degree at the College.

“I spent a number of years in my assessor role at a training organisation. I found I really enjoyed spending time with the apprentices and watching them develop. Sharing and imparting knowledge of what I have learned over several years is very rewarding,” Ian explained.

Following this, he was offered a position as a trainer within the College:

“I jumped at the chance to work at the College. On securing this role, a decided to undertake the Foundation Degree as part of my continual professional development.”

Despite juggling his studies alongside work and family life, Ian achieved top marks.

“Completing the Foundation Degree was certainly challenging. There are a number of components including classes and assignments which alongside my work and family life meant I was extremely busy. However, the support given by the lecturing team in the engineering department was excellent and provided a great source of help throughout the qualification,” he said.

Ian added: “Looking back, it has been so worthwhile.”

Upon the completion of his foundation degree, Ian secured a full-time lecturing post in the College’s electrical installation department where it all began some 26 years ago.

“Walking in as a lecturer as meeting some of the staff that had previously taught me was a surreal feeling. I am extremely proud of the effort I put in to get to this point and I am really looking forward to my future career as a lecturer.”

In addition to in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Northern Regional college offers Foundation Degrees in Construction Engineering Construction Engineering with Surveying, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Applied and Medical Science, Sports Science, Coaching and Fitness, Health and Social Care, Early Childhood Studies, Computing and Integrative Counselling.