Andrea overcame covid restrictions to secure masters

A Masters degree in Advanced Chemical Engineering is challenging enough, but the necessary restrictions put in place to mitigate against the global pandemic only made things harder for Andrea Richmond.

The 24-year-old from Invergordon, Ross-shire, completed her degree despite the lockdown preventing her from gaining access to specialist ocomputer software on campus. 

A previous graduate of the University, Andrea returned to progress her desire to work in process design. 

“I enjoyed all aspects of University life during my BEng and MSc degrees. I made friends with international students and collaborated on projects which at times were very challenging due to language and custom barriers, however, the end results were always successful.  

“The pandemic preventing me from getting access to the Uni computers and specialist computer programmes when I was completing my thesis was the biggest challenge unfortunately. However, my continued hard work and adaptability has enabled me to graduate. 

Andrea admits that the job market is challenging as a result of the pandemic but has decided to throw herself into study to ensure she is well qualified when a degree of normality returns. 

“2020 has been an unprecedented year. You sometimes wonder if all the years of studying is worth it but I am presently enhancing my employability skills for a future when covid does not impact on all aspects of the job market.” 

Andrea, a keen saxophonist, artist and photographer, is now undertaking an MSc in Decommissioning at the University as she seeks to achieve her long-term goal of securing a career as a process engineer in the energy sector working in oil and gas or renewables.