MA Combined Arts, 1994
From Aberdeen to Sustainable Living
Your Time at Aberdeen
Why did you choose to study at Aberdeen?
Because I liked the idea of spending time in Scotland since my family are all from there, even though I grew up in the South East of England. Aberdeen University also has a good reputation.
Why did you choose your particular course?
I chose to study psychology and sociology because I am interested in the mind and in human beings!
What did you most enjoy about your time at Aberdeen? Did you have any particularly memorable student experiences?
I enjoyed practicing aikido with the Aberdeen Aikikai run by Sandy Gilewski. And I enjoyed the architectural beauty of many of the buildings in Aberdeen.
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?
Don't get too hung up on University as the be all end all. Your likes/dislikes will change as you grow, so just run with what floats your boat at the moment!
Your Time After Aberdeen
What was the title of your first job after graduating from Aberdeen?
Steward for Eurostar.
What did your first role involve?
Working on the trains running from London Waterloo to Paris and Brussels.
What is your current job title?
Co-owner of Reclaim Design.
What is your current location?
Cape Town, South Africa.
Please briefly describe the journey from your first job after graduating to where you are now.
That is an impossibility. There have been so many twists and turns. What I can say with the benefit of hindsight, is that every single one of those twists and turns was necessary for my evolution. Currently I am working with my partner Nikki in Cape Town, South Africa making eco-friendly home decor and furniture from locally sourced reclaimed wood and other recycled materials.
Was your degree at Aberdeen essential for getting to where you are now? If so, in what way?
As I mentioned in the previous question, everything up to this point has led up to me being who I am and where I am, so in that way it was essential. However, a degree has not been essential in terms of my work. What has been essential is a willingness to learn and teach myself new skills. Perhaps studying at Aberdeen helped hone this.
One Top Tip
Stay open to everything that comes your way.
You can find out more about Michael's journey on the website of his company, Reclaim Design.