MSP for Argyll & Bute

MSP for Argyll & Bute

From Aberdeen to MSP for Argyll & Bute - Jenni Minto MSPJenni Minto MSP

MA Accountancy, 1989
From Aberdeen to MSP for Argyll & Bute

Your Time at Aberdeen

Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
I visited the University during my sixth year at school and it was the campus at which I felt most at home. I was brought up in St Andrews and Aberdeen was far enough away but also had good transport links to Fife. I also supported the football team!

Why did you choose your particular course?
Growing up in the 1980s when unemployment figures were increasing I wanted to study a subject which had a clear path to a choice of different jobs. I enjoyed maths at school but also the practical side of working with people. My parents were both accountants and I had opportunities to help them in the preparation of accounts. It seemed the obvious choice.

What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
I enjoyed the independence of being at university - being able to make my own choices and making new friends from across Scotland and further afield. I have a memory of walking down a crowded Union Street on a Thursday evening wearing my father's pyjamas for a charity event!

If talking to a group of prospective students, what advice would you give them to help them make the most of their time at the University of Aberdeen?
Make sure you strike the right balance between studying and living.

Your Time After Aberdeen

What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Trainee Chartered Accountant at KPMG.

What did your first role involve?
Auditing a variety of companies in the Aberdeen area. Studying towards my CA qualification which I achieved in 1992.

What is your current job title?
Member of the Scottish Parliament.

What is your current role?
Representing the people of Argyll & Bute in the Scottish Parliament.

Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
I qualified as a CA in 1992, but it wasn't what I wanted to do. I left and went to work in my father's firm for 4 months while I looked for other work. I joined BBC Scotland as a trainer for a new costing and budgeting system that was being introduced on a six month contract, but worked there for 18 years. I supported programme makers in their costing, budgeting and planning of programmes as an Assistant Business Manager, Business Manager, Production Executive and then Business Executive. I worked for the Gaelic, Childrens, Radio Scotland and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. I thoroughly enjoyed it - I was combining my understanding of numbers and working with people.

Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
Getting my degree in accountancy was the first step on my path to becoming a Chartered Accountant. This then opened doors as I moved along my career. But also, and in some respects more importantly, being away from home at University gave me the opportunity to shape my personality and live more independently.

One Top Tip

Take time to get to know yourself.