Student Success Story - Alan Martin

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

We spoke to Alan Martin about his journey with UWS from student to staff member. See what he had to say below.

When I started my academic journey with the University of the West of Scotland little did, I know that just a few years later I would be joining the ranks of the teaching staff. My initial motivations for getting my BA (Hons) Business were really quite simple to begin with; I was a crossroads in my work life, both my children were studying at University and I didn’t feel I wanted to be the least qualified member of my family, perhaps studying could be the answer to both of these predicaments!

I contacted Peter McGuire, who was programme leader for BA Business at the time, and was advised to apply. I was subsequently offered a place on the course at the Dumfries Campus; “Wow I’m in, now what am I going to do?” I thought.

My first two years of study were amazing fun, great friends made and some amazing lecturers as well; David Moyes, Melissa Gunn, Joan Scott, Alan Murray, Silvio Hoffman all made subjects interesting, even Economics! I was really impressed by the way they all engaged the students and had my first thoughts of “wow, could I do that?”.

Years three and four were spent on the Ayr Campus, what a change, a shiny new building and, yet again, lecturers who engaged and breathed life into the course. Eileen Conlan, Robert Crammond, Ana-Paula Fonseca, Richard Jeffreys, Lixin Wang, Nondas Pitticas and Alan Murray (again) to name but a few. At the end of my undergraduate degree I finished with a First Class Honour degree and was the winner of the Court Medal for Business.

I had almost decided not to pursue education or teaching at all and get back into business, however Brexit changed all that. I decided to take some time to allow the effects of Brexit to take their course, but what would I do in the meantime?

This is when I decided to do my postgraduate MSc in International Marketing Management, this time on Paisley campus.

During semesters one and two I was again impressed by the lecturing team; Theo Tzanidis, Valerie Will, Emma Reid and Omar Hraib and this re-awoke my interest in pursuing an alternative career in education.

I had a chance encounter with Alan Murray who asked me how I was doing (as always), he also asked if I’d thought about doing some Associate Lecturing, which I had but thought I wasn’t qualified enough to be, however, my industry knowledge, combined with academic performance to date, enabled me to apply for an Associate Lecturing position. I was genuinely excited at the prospect of having the opportunity to try to develop the skills and emulate some of my teaching heroes as mentioned above.

I didn’t have to wait too long before I was asked to cover some classes in our Dumfries campus, back to where I’d started, it somehow felt very appropriate!

Later in the semester I did some evening classes in Paisley as well. I’m now in my second semester of teaching, this time at the Lanarkshire campus, and I have to say I love it. What made it all worthwhile was to receive the news that I had been nominated for the “lecturer of the year” BIG award by my students, I was both humbled and very grateful!

With any luck I will continue to both learn and develop at the University of the West of Scotland and be an active part of the Associate Lecturing team.

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