Today, August 8th, is exam results day in Scotland and all over the country students will be getting their results. Some students will be disappointed in their results and might be worried about the next steps they should take – so with that in mind SwarmOnline is supporting DYW Glasgows #NoWrongPath campaign where we aim to show young people there is a variety of ways to get a job; there is #NoWrongPath.
As an SME, SwarmOnline thrives on it’s talented, high performing team. We owe our success to the hard work our team puts in and while some of us have gone the traditional route, straight from school to university to working at Swarm, many of us have had an alternative path.
Name: Paul Theurer
Role: Graduate Programme Lead
I left school at 17 with no Highers and just a handful of Standard Grades to my name. After working for a few months over the summer I decided to go to college and get the qualifications I needed to get into tech support. Once I had a few Highers under my belt, I decided to apply for the HNC Computing course at what is now Edinburgh College. After a year and some hard work, I was applying to university and a couple of years later I applied for an internship at SwarmOnline where I now work as a developer and line manager looking after our junior team at Swarm. There is definitely more than one path to your goal – stick at it and don’t give up.
Name: Robert Doherty
Role: Operations Manager
I left school at 15 with very few qualifications and started my first job as an apprentice Plant Mechanic, almost 30 years to the day (17th August 1987!). I was always a very practical person and this path sat very well at this point. After finishing my apprenticeship, I continued in the construction industry for another few years moving from contract to contract (there was a spell as a milkman and delivery drive in between those contracts); then a spell with a plant hire company saw me move from Mechanic to Hire Desk Controller to Salesman in about 2 years.
I went back ‘on the tools’ in the defence industry after a chat with a friend, where I moved from Technician to Engineer (through gaining some qualifications at College in computing) with further training in Project Management, Risk Analysis became a Project Operations Engineer / Manager then settled into Business Analysis for a global defence contractor embedded within their IT and Development teams after gaining a MBA from an undergraduate position through a four year fast track programme with my employer, and after a total of 16 years in the defence sector, decided to move into Banking (!). Contracted to NS&I, helped to lead and shape the Business Analysis teams and processes, working on various bids and programme work. Then a conversation with a friend saw me leave the banking sector for Operations Management of a Scottish based Mobile & Web App consultancy SwarmOnline, where I have been for 10 months. Having a variety of experience across multiple sectors in various roles up and down organisations along with a late spell in academia obtaining qualifications has definitely helped me become a more rounded individual and the one learning I can offer is that if you don’t like the view you’re looking at, then change it, because there’s always a new corner to look around.
Name: Steve Cooke
Role: Senior Developer
I left school at 17 (before taking the higher exams) with 8 O-Grades to pursue a career in music. I studied a HNC/HND course in popular music and spent 10 years working as a professional musician, working in a partnership in a small recording studio as a music programmer and producer without reliable income. At the age of 30 after becoming a father I took a full time job as an office administrator in a market research company. After a few years of working hard and realising the job would take me nowhere, I started to teach myself web design, and gained VBA programming skills at my work. After a number of years of self learning in the evenings, I shifted to part time hours at my office job and started working as a self employed web developer and SEO analyst whilst building up a number of small clients and experience. After some years I finally took the plunge and accepted a role in a financial services company as a software developer, on the strength of my experience and portfolio of past work and clients. And finally moved to Swarm because I felt I missed the creativity and challenge of working on new projects with up to date technology. I was able to train myself and gain the experience necessary to work in highly technical role with virtually no qualifications, through persistence and willingness to learn new skills. Qualifications can help for sure, but strength of character and determination to succeed will take you much much further.
We hope that from just a snippet of the team at Swarm you can see there is #NoWrongPath. From all of us, regardless of your results, we wish the best of luck with your future endeavours and we hope to see you at a career fair one day!