13 June 2019
Nicki was thrilled and honoured to be the keynote speaker at Perth College UHI Prizegiving last week, and has been talking about the outstanding student achievement ever since!
An impressive 90+ students were recognised and celebrated in honour of their exceptional success in further education at the wonderful Prizegiving Ceremony which was attended by prizewinners, guests and employers.
Perth College UHI Principal, Margaret Cook hit the nail on the head when she said: "Our Prizegiving Ceremony celebrates the achievements of our outstanding students and rewards them for their commitment in their chosen programme of study. We have learned many fascinating stories of our student’s journeys and all of our prizewinners here today deserve to be commended for their hard work.
“Our students have been supported by their families, friends and by the staff of the college who have encouraged them to achieve to their highest level. Many have also been supported by employers and sponsors and our thanks go to everyone who has provided this level of support. I wish our prize winner’s congratulations and all the very best for the future.”
Nicki, who owns The Red String Agency as well as ths very online mag, Small City, Big Personality, graduated from Perth College in 1998 with an HND in Communication. She recalled her own graduation ceremony in the City Hall and had some inspiring advice around 'being yourself' (she practiced on us!) for the students. Here's a small extract from her speech >>>
"I cast my mind back 20 years trying to unearth that little pearl of wisdom that I could now pass along to you. But here’s the thing, it was 1998. Nine years before the i-phone had been launched, 5 years before Facebook was on the go, Rachel and Ross were still on a break and Lewis Capaldi was only 3 years old – I bet some of you weren’t even born. It was different time.
"I was trying to get into PR, and the whole corporate world still had a bit of an eighties hangover. It was all “Go Big or Go Home”. Pinstripe suits and leather briefcases and nokia 5110s. And the advice was Fake It Until You Make it.
"Fake It Until You Make It….
"I gotta tell you – I LOVED that advice. I thought it was the best damn advice I’d ever had and back then it fitted me so well. I was 26 years old and I’d taken a slightly more colourful path to graduation! I had started a degree when I was 20 but came back with a baby instead – so by the time I was picking up my HND in comms from Perth College, Cain was 5 and about to start school, I was neck deep in student loans and renting a flat without a carpet in the hall.
"I felt so far removed from the glam world of PR – or so I thought – that I’d have been as well applying for an astronaut's job. So when I heard I could just Fake It, it was music to my ears! My get out of jail free card.
"I then spent my first few years convincing myself I should be someone else – that I should fake it. Turns out it was terrible, terrible advice.
"And so I'd say this: NEVER fake it! You’ve already made it. You’re here, you’ve arrived. This is your life right now and you need to go out there and be your own brilliant, bright, flawed and excellent self.
"And when you start to doubt that – which you will - remember that’s okay. In fact its great. You should question yourself, you should check in with how you’re really feeling about a job or an opportunity or a boyfriend. This is how we all start out – questioning ourselves and finding what it is that makes us who we are.
"All you have to do is be honest with yourself when you answer those questions. And if you need help, find someone who might know and ask them – us oldies love that! Be keen, be curious, be fearless. Because you deserve to enjoy your life – to be the most brilliant version of you. A wasted potential is a terrible thing. Know yourself and what you have to offer the world and then get out there and let us have it – both barrels.
"I think now, more than ever, we’re all a bit done with faking it. There’s now 100 different filters on your phone photos, fake news is everywhere and we have thousands of virtual friends that we’ve never met. Man… it is beginning to get dull! And really quite exhausting.
"What the world needs most is genuine, authentic and real. If you want to stand out – or if you want to smile reassuringly from a corner – then you need to start with being true to who you are. You need to like yourself and then you need to roll that person out for every damn occasion. Be weird, be maverick, be shy, quietly smile.
"Whoever it is that makes you, you, believe me when I say that that’s what the world needs right now. Any second rate, pseudo version conjured into a cheap suit is never, ever going to be as good."
Here are the winners!
Perth College UHI Apprentice of the Year
Louise Fenwick, Perth College UHI Apprentice of the Year Award 2019 - Joint winner; Serena Franchini, Perth College UHI Apprentice of the Year Award 2019 - Joint winner.
Complete list of the 2019 Prizegiving winners follows:
Social and Vocational Studies
Andrew Urgais, Leadership Skills Award; Callum McIntyre, The Proctor Group Award for Employability; Ricki Barker, Personal Achievement Award; Jamie Hogg, Eileen Robinson Cup for Personal Endeavour; Amy Ferguson, Communication Cup; Josh MacPherson, The Mark Taylor Shield for Independence; Melissa Wilkie, Janet Martin Award for Supporting People; Lewis Smith, Student Support Award.
Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing and Wellbeing
Hope Fraser-Shaw, Copperfields Work Based Student of the Year; Lee-Anne Fraser, NQ Gateway to Hairdressing Student of the Year Award; Michelle Christie, SVQ Hairdressing Level 2 Student of the Year Award; Jacqueline Harley, SVQ Hairdressing Level 3 Student of the Year Award; Cassie Robertson, The Matrix Award for Most Enterprising Student NQ Gateway to Hairdressing; Alastair Scott, The Matrix Award for Most Enterprising Student SVQ Level 2 Hairdressing; Leeann Mitchell, The Matrix Award for Most Enterprising Student SVQ Level 3 Hairdressing; Jules Fairweather, Ellisons Student of the Year Award for Endeavour; Lexy Ballantyne, The Alexander Rose Bowl for NC Beauty Care; Renata Slaby, NC Wellness Therapies Student of the Year.
Early Education and Childcare
Samantha Dunbar, The Childcare Award for NQ in Playwork and Development; Danielle Craigmile, The Margaret Napier Award for NC Early Education and Childcare Group A; Naomi Greer, The Margaret Napier Award for NC Early Education and Childcare Group B.
Health and Social Care
Katy Paterson, The Guildry Incorporation of Perth Award for NQ Care Level 5; Ewa Lewandowska, The Guildry Incorporation of Perth Award for NC Care Level 6; Fiona Sloan, SVQ Student of the Year for Health and Social Care; Jemma Sinclair, The June Lawrie Memorial Bowl for NQ Access to Nursing and Midwifery.
Humanities and Social Sciences
Jasmine Gussmann, The Sár Chothrom Award for Highers for HE.
New Opportunities and the Learning Zone
Lizzie Donaldson, Community Learning Award; Lauren Moyes, Cathy Hamilton Memorial Cup for Endeavour; Lewis Sinclair, Personal Achievement Award; Chelsea Brown, Personal Development Award; Lisa Melloy, Adult Learners Personal Achievement Award; Boguslawa Marzeta, Community and Citizenship Award.
Sarah Laidlaw, Core Skills Award for Outstanding Attendance, Performance and Industry for Higher English; Tunde Jeles, Core Skills Communication Award for Outstanding Attitude, Attendance and Performance; David Caldow, Back to College Core Skills Award for Attendance and Commitment.
Business, Accounting and Computing
Shaun Davidson, NQ Computing Technologies Cup for Academic Excellence; Sheryl Soutter, Grace Moseley Memorial Trophy for Endeavour for NQ Computing Technologies; Hannah Inglis, NC Administration Cup for Academic Excellence Group A; Lucy Moyes, NC Administration Cup for Academic Excellence Group B; Eilidh Campbell, NQ Business and IT Cup for Academic Excellence; Nicole Wallace, NC Accounting Cup for Academic Excellence.
Hospitality and Tourism
Niall Whitley, Sodexo Internship Award; Louise Norrie, The Ian Ironside Memorial Quaich for Gleneagles Patisserie Course; Hanan Alksour, The Michael Robinson Memorial Trophy for Endeavour; Emma Jones, SVQ Lets Get Into Hospitality Award; Pierluigi Recanati, VisitScotland Award for Aspiring Young Chef of the Year; Heather Paul, The Tom Kitchin Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Culinary Excellence.
Sport and Fitness
Paula Adam, Sport and Fitness Shield for Academic Excellence; Kieran Cruden, Sport and Fitness Personal Development and Achievement Award
Saul Ovenstone, Core Skills Information Technology Award for Outstanding Attitude, Attendance and Performance.
June Harris, NC Art and Design Prize for Excellence; Lynda Robertson, NC Art and Design Prize for Personal Endeavour.
Music and Music Business
Scott Findlay, NC Music Prize for Excellence; Toyah Swan, NC Music Prize for Personal Endeavour.
Audio Engineering and Theatre Arts
Janusz Raczynski, NC Sound Engineering Prize for Excellence; John Hooper, NC Sound Engineering Prize for Personal Endeavour.
Jordan Robertson, W T Boyd Cup for Best Motor Vehicle Craft Apprentice; Helen McKinnon, Training Services Trophy - Motor Vehicle Apprentice of the Year; Scott McClenaghan, Scottish Motor Trade Association Cup; Alexander Lyon, The Donald Green Trophy - Best Overall Full Time Body Competences Student; Jonathan Farquhar, Automotive Engineering Prize for Academic Distinction; Graham Kenny, The Sandy King Quaich for Application and Achievement in the Motor Trade; Myles Moir, Perth College UHI Best Vehicle Body Repair Apprentice; Antanas Mikalajunas, Perth College Award for Special Endeavour - Motor Vehicle Engineering; Lee Gunn, Moray Firth Training Group (Inverness) Endeavour Award; Connor MacLeod, Perth College Shield for Excellence in Vehicle Accident Repair; Danny Moore, Duncan McLean Quaich for Exceptional Performance in Vehicle Refinishing.
Mechanical and Electrical Systems
Ryan Cruden, The Allan Well’s Trophy for Excellence in Engineering Studies; Robin Patrick, Shield for Academic Achievement in Engineering; Ruairidh Sutherland, John Napier Award for Academic Achievement in Engineering; Filip Wolfram, Colin Graham Memorial Award for Electrical Installation – 1st Stage; Drew John Temperley, Colin Graham Memorial Award for Electrical Installation – 2nd Stage.
Bradley Nicoll, The WS Woodmachinery Carpentry and Joinery Best Apprentice Prize; Alexander Dow, Scottish Building Federation – Best Craft Apprentice; Ruairidh Kay, Perth Branch (UCATT) Cup for Special Competence in Practical Craft Skills; Gregor Knight, The Morrison Construction Shield – NPA Multi-Skills Prize for Best Student; Finlay Wallace, NPA Construction Prize for Best Student; Ryan McLeish, Perth and District Master Plumbers’ Association Award – Best First Year Apprentice; Liam Hennessy, Perth and District Master Plumbers’ Association Award – Best Second Year Apprentice; Kieren Collie, Perth and District Master Plumbers’ Association Award – Best Third Year Apprentice; Kyle McGeoghie, Monument Tools Award – Prize for Overall Continued Excellence Years One, Two and Three; Liam Hennessy, SNIPEF Education and Training Trust Apprentice Shield; Kieran Bruce, The James Petterson Memorial Award; Hamish Grieve, Hadden Group Award for Best Built Environment Student.
Neil Williams, The Peter Milne Nurseries Prize for Best Horticulture Student; Taylor Robertson, Glaxo Wellcome Prize for Best Access to Science Student; Daniel Du Pon, The Shell UK Forfar Prize for Science Highers.
Stefania Tarus, Numeracy Award for Exemplary Attitude to Work.
Murray Lole, Perth College UHI School-College Partnership Award for Academic Excellence; Andrew Corrigall, Perth College UHI School-College Partnership Award for Endeavour; Mia Fawsitt, Best Year 1 Foundation Apprentice; Ciaran Knight, Best Year 2 Foundation Apprentice.
Shaun Gray, National Training Programmes Modern Apprenticeship sponsored by NTP; Shaun Davidson, WEEE Award for Excellence sponsored by CCL (North) Ltd.