Perseverance Pays Off for Julie

Perseverance Pays Off for Julie

When Julie Mackenzie started looking for a summer placement for her degree course, she had no idea that it would take more than 2 months and over 200 phone calls. And, just as she was starting to look for a different approach, she was given the break she was looking for by IT Company, Intellicore. It was her 203rd call that finally paid off. She phoned Intellicore and spoke to one of its Directors, Des Neill, who asked her to send in her CV. She was then invited for an interview with Des and fellow Director, Barry Booth. A couple of hours after the interview, she got a call to say she had her placement.

Now, the third year student of Robert Gordon University (RGU), is half way through her summer placement and loving every minute of it. She is pleased her perseverance paid off and is keen to tell her story to encourage others ‘not to give up'.

She said: “It took me two months of phoning more than 200 companies until I even got an interview. It's been really hard work, but I think if you are determined and strive for what you want, you will get there. There are always hurdles to jump over in life, but if you have a clear goal and do everything you can to reach it, you will reap the rewards.”

As well as doing a full time degree course in ‘Computing for Internet & Multimedia', Julie is a single parent of Matthew (14) and Scott (8). Julie, who is 35 and lives in Westhill, initially started out as a hairdresser, which she did for 10 years. After having her family she worked in a supermarket for 5 years and as a dinner lady for a further 5 years.

It was only after her father bought her a computer 3 years ago, that she developed a love for IT and decided to pursue a career in it. She started by doing an HNC at Aberdeen College, which led to an HND, which she completed before registering for the degree course that she's doing now.

She comments: “It was a big decision to give up a full time job to become a student and although my parents had their doubts, they could see that it was something I really wanted to do. They have supported me all the way and helped me out by looking after my boys from time to time. Matthew and Scott have also been great and supportive. They seem to understand that it will help us all in the long run, but we have all had to make sacrifices and I am eternally grateful to my parents and children for their on-going support. Now that I have been given a taste of the ‘real world', I know for sure that I have done the right thing and there's no going back.”

Since starting her placement, which runs until September this year, Julie has been working mainly on data input and website development for Intellicore. She has enjoyed relating her classroom studies to real life examples and her boss, Barry Booth, is delighted with her progress. He comments: “From the outset, it was clear that Julie had ‘drive'. I was overwhelmed at the lengths she went to, to find a placement. Her determination shone through and this is something that really stood out for me. As an employee, she is keen to learn and receptive to advice; she's doing just great and fits in well as part of the team. At the moment she is doing website development work, but we hope to introduce her to CRM (Customer Relationship Management) development, which is an area we specialise in. This will be a great opportunity for her to learn more about integrating IT for business growth, which I think she'll be interested in.”

Looking forward, Julie hopes to continue her relationship with Intellicore through her final year at RGU. She hopes the experience she is gaining in her summer placement will help her find a full-time job in IT when she graduates next year. She also hopes to share her experience with others and to encourage other single mums to set goals and ‘never give up'.

For more information on Intellicore visit or telephone +44 (0) 1224 213335