A former Moray high school pupil, who is now a high-ranking official at one of the world’s most prestigious companies, has returned to his roots to give a talk to pupils.
Gregor Dobson used to attend Elgin Academy and now works as YouTube’s global music product manager and he visited his alma mater last week to speak to S6 students.
The 42-year-old lives in California with his wife and two daughters, but grew up in Elgin where he was educated at West End Primary and then Elgin Academy.
Mr Dobson was motivated to return to the region and discuss potential career options with senior pupils after praising the teaching he received at the school.
He said: “The quality of education I received here was excellent – in particular the maths and science teachers, who were phenomenal. Three of my classmates have all ended up working in Silicon Valley –we see each other now and again.”
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Mr Dobson used to DJ at school discos before attending Edinburgh University to study electrical engineering.
After graduating and taking banking jobs all over the world, he decided that was not the career path he wanted.
Mr Dobson said: “I took a calculated risk, left my well-paid job and started working for a start-up business and that was how I broke into the music industry.
“The ‘pathways’ approach used in Moray really resonates with me. When I first started out, Google didn’t exist, YouTube didn’t exist and I certainly didn’t know the job I am in now existed.
“I took a meandering path and have ended up in a completely different career to the one I was in when I left university, so I want to let the pupils know that it’s okay to take the long way round.”
Elgin Academy headteacher David Barnett thanked Mr Dobson for inspiring the pupils.
He said: “It’s so important to hear from those employed in various sectors to allow pupils to gain an insight into what career options may lay ahead.
“It doesn’t get more current than Gregor’s jobs for Google and YouTube, so I’m delighted that he’s able to share his experience with pupils and show any career path is not ‘clear cut’.”