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What’s your background?

I was born and bred in Rhode Island (USA), and have lived in Scotland on-and-off since 2008.  I studied an MA (Hons) Celtic and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, and laterally an MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling.


Why did you apply for a ScotGrad Placement?

It was the job.  Working as a Gaelic Development Officer with Ceòlas Uibhist – the well-known Gaelic arts and heritage organisation, in South Uist, which is the strongest Gaelic-speaking community in the world!


What is your placement and what have you enjoyed the most?

There is a significant demand in Uist for Gaelic language learning at a range of experience and skill levels.  It is well recognised that this demand stems from people with a diverse range of interests and backgrounds.  As a Gaelic Development Officer I identify, assess and evaluate these complex requirements and use this information to help develop Gaelic language learning activities,  from community education and classes, immersion courses, heritage programmes to Gaelic Policy and field-recordings.

The best thing? Well, Ceòlas Uibhist run a fantastic music and dance summer school, annually, which sees students from all over the world interested in Gaelic language, music and culture descend on the small island of South Uist. It’s a week-long cèilidh where you learn about the island’s unique and precious Gaelic inheritance from those who know best; the community and world-class tutors.


What new skills/knowledge have you developed during your placement?

I have learnt a lot of practical things including project management, development planning and policy creation.


What was the biggest benefit of attending the ScotGrad residential training? 

In addition to networking with our fellow ScotGrad graduates, the courses in business and project management were useful.


Any advice for other graduates?

Network!   Networking is very easy today, and can be as simple as liking and sharing a company’s tweets.  So do try to network and get your name out there.


What are your plans for after your placement?

My placement is due to finish soon but I am delighted that I will have the opportunity to continue in the field of Gaelic Development with Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  I will start my new role with them as a Gaelic Plans Officer, in March 2016.