Name: Olivia Robson
Years attended DCHS: I attended DCHS from 2009-2013
“don’t be afraid to fail a few times figuring [it] out“
Where am I now? I am living in Helsinki, Finland, as a Production Optimisation Consultant for a Danish Dairy Co-operative called Arla Foods. I spend most of my days on the shop floor of food production factories where my job involves; changing the organisational structure by improving training and mapping the future workforce, improving sustainability by finding new ways to utilise or reduce food waste and reduce energy consumption, implementing new technologies and helping create business strategies. The best part is the free ice-cream & cheese though.
What previous occupations have I had? During university I worked in marketing & public relations for an events company and a hospitality group. I also did an internship with the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre for Scotland, working on project management, helping with their skills programme to get more people to study or work in biotechnology and furthering Scotland’s international links for growing the biotechnology sector. I have worked in my current company for just over 2 years based in the UK and Finland, where I completed a graduate scheme working in Quality, Environment and H&S as well as Production Technology Development and Operations Management.
What were your favourite subjects and memories? Science in general I always loved. I took Biology, Chemistry & English Literature at A-level so I would say these were my favourite subjects. I also very much enjoyed Art at GCSE, lessons with Mr Hay were always fun. Mr Aston’s Biology lessons were always great, I especially remember getting him a blow up cane for his retirement. There were loads of good things outside of the classroom to be involved with; working on costumes with Ms Kidd in year 11, then to do the photography for the school plays was a great experience. As was going to Stratford to watch Julius Caesar and Richard III in year 12. Also the opportunities to go abroad, doing french exchange in year 9 and going to China in year 13 were both amazing experiences.
What did you do after leaving DCHS? I went to Heriot-Watt University to study Biological Sciences, where I graduated with a 2:1.
What careers advice would you give a current student of DCHS now? Do what you love but don’t be afraid to fail a few times figuring out exactly what that is and once you do know, don’t give up. Everybody is on a different path and it takes time to work out what’s best for you, it also doesn’t mean that that decision is set in stone for the rest of your life. You also have a LOT more time to make that decision than you think you do.