Inverness graduate swaps midges for social work

Caryn Stubbs, RGU graduate

An Inverness student has just celebrated completing her degree after deciding to swap studying trees for supporting vulnerable families.

Caryn Stubbs, 25, had a sudden realisation, whilst being “eaten alive by midges”, that she should switch from environmental science to Social Work and she is “very, very proud” she has now graduated with a degree in Social Work from Robert Gordon University.

Miss Stubbs, who is originally from the Highland capital, decided it was never too late to change career, and explained: “I realised that I would much prefer working with people, over being bitten by midges while scanning trees.

“So, even though I was set to continue as an environmental scientist, I made the switch over to social work.

“I had attended an open day at RGU and learned about the great job prospects and placement opportunities the university offered, which sealed the deal for me.”

Throughout her degree, Miss Stubbs undertook placements supporting adults with disabilities in an assisted living facility, working with the Citizens Advice Bureau in Inverness and as part of the Fraserburgh Children and Families social work team.

These placements were designed to give her practical professional experience to complement her class-based work and help prepare for life as a qualified social worker.

Miss Stubbs added: “The experience I gained on my placements was invaluable and I am thankful to all of my colleagues and the volunteers who helped enhance my training, made me feel welcome and put up with my million and one questions.

“A real highlight during my time with the Citizens Advice Bureau was being able to work in a prison and support those going back into the community. The volunteers were able to have a laugh and taught me the importance of enjoying your work and the experiences that can come your way.”

Now she has completed her degree, she has started a career as a qualified Children and Families social worker in Fraserburgh, picking up where her student placement ended.

That’s a far cry from her original plans to study flora and fauna, but she is looking forward to supporting the families of the north east and is thankful for her time in higher education.