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What is your background?

I’m 24 and I’m from Taynuilt, just outside of Oban on the West coast. I currently work as a Development Officer with Fèisean nan Gàidheal in Inverness.

What did you learn during your placement?

My placement and ongoing employment with Fèisean nan Gàidheal has taught me a tremendous amount in, what has been, a fairly short span of time. One of the main events that we help to run are called fèisean. A fèis (singular) is Gaelic for “festival”. These fèis events give young people from ages 8-18 the opportunity to come and try traditional instruments/activities with tuition provided by well-renowned traditional musicians. As there are 47 of these fèisean throughout the country, (14 of which I personally assist) time management is extremely important. My role at Fèisean nan Gàidheal requires that I work closely with fèis committees and has helped to develop my interpersonal skills. All staff at Fèisean nan Gàidheal are fluent in Gaelic and we operate in an entirely Gaelic environment. As a learner of Gaelic, this has been of huge benefit to me as it has helped to further my grasp of the language.

What was your biggest achievement during your placement?

The Summer months at Fèisean nan Gàidheal are particularly busy, as a lot of our events take place during the school holidays. A huge amount of work goes into organising these events and when I get to attend them, I’m able to see all of the various committees’ hard work culminate in a fantastic week of traditional music, Gaelic and culture. You will see a child arrive at a 5-day event unable to play a single note on an instrument and by the end of the week, they can play a whole tune. It’s quite incredible and very rewarding to see.

How has your placement helped you transition from education into a working environment?

I feel my ScotGrad placement was the perfect scheme to ease my transition from education to a working environment, as a huge support network was always readily available. Communication with ScotGrad was always great and there was always somebody on hand willing to help. My placement gave me the opportunity to gain essential work experience for my CV – and 9 months after my ScotGrad contract ended, I am delighted to still be working at Fèisean nan Gàidheal. I have now progressed to the role of Development Officer, which although at times is challenging, is very rewarding. My year’s placement as Graduate Marketing and Publicity Officer provided me with the knowledge and preparation needed to effectively transition to this new role and for that, I am very grateful.

How will the contacts you have made during your placement help you in the future?

During my first few weeks at Fèisean nan Gàidheal, the amount of new contacts I established was vast. Nearly 21 months after I started at the organisation, the contacts I have made are numerous and undoubtedly ones which I will encounter time and time again, should I decide to continue to work with Gaelic organisations.

Start your ScotGrad journey by applying here.