Derek Ramsay tell us why he studied a PEO in Engineering Operations

March 11, 2022 -

As part of our John Mather Trust Awards coverage, we're speaking to some of this year's recipients to find out what they're up to now, and how they enjoyed their time at Ayrshire College.

The John Mather Trust rewards our graduates who have: learned a trade and gone into employment, an apprenticeship or set up their own business within the past year. Those fortunate enough to be eligible for a John Mather award received a set of tools of the trade to help them in their careers.

The newest member of our marketing team, Claire Todd caught up with Derek Ramsay about his time studying at Ayrshire College. Read on to find out more.


What course did you study and why did you choose it?

I studied Performing Engineering Operations at Ayrshire College in Kilwinning. I chose this course because I wanted to challenge myself in something new and interesting and I found that in this course.

Was the course what you expected?

The course was very interesting and no it was more challenging than I expected but fun at the same time. I was a lot older than most of my peers and hadn't had the education that they had but I still challenged myself. I felt I struggled a bit at first, but it came to me.

What does a typical day on the course involve?

A typical day on the course depended on what was on the curriculum, some of it was online and some of it was at another location in Irvine. We had been given various assessments and modules, for instance wiring up lighting on a board following electrical or mechanical engineering drawings.

What did you love about your course?

I loved the course because it was mostly hands on and I like learning from different drawings and learning new things from the information given. It brought my confidence out more as being the oldest in the class I did feel a bit awkward as my other classmates were a lot more educated than me.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting this course?

My advice to anyone wanting to take this course is - go for it. It was a challenge learning new things and to challenge myself, it’s a very interesting and educational course.

What is your role and what company do you now work for?

My role is currently an Operation Technician at a pharmaceutical company called Merck, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world based in Irvine in Ayrshire. We make powder and liquid media for customers all over the world for cell culture.

Why did you choose this career and is the reality of the role what you expected?

I chose this career path because I wanted to make a difference to myself and my family as I felt I needed a new path in life.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

My typical day involves going in on a morning and taking over from the previous shift. I can either be media bag setting up in either tanks or drums or totes or I can be in the cleanroom aseptic filling media into bottles in a sterile environment.

What do you love about your job? 

I love my job because I'm helping produce media in an environment that is sterile for cell culture and making a difference in the community.

How did your college course help you prepare for this role?

My college course helped me prepare for the role by learning different skills like interview techniques and building my confidence. I received more education skills which helped me shine though at the interview and now work for this fantastic company.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting this career?

I'd say to anyone wanting to start this course to go for it if you like a challenge and a new path in any type of Engineering. This course will start your intense fun and challenging career path, it's a definite yes from me.

What is next for you?

I stated earlier that I'm currently an Operations Technician at Merck. I recently applied for an Apprentice Engineer program they have here, and I was successful so next for me is on June 1st I start my new position. I am also going back to college to finish my studies. Once I am fully qualified, I will be going into a shift Engineering team, working on shifts. So, I'm happy where I have ended up and it's all thanks to Ayrshire College and the great support of the staff and lecturers.


View the Performing Engineering Operations course here:

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