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Armed Forces Day 2017

To celebrate Reserves Day and Armed Forces Day, we caught up with QA's Russell McKay, who served in the military for 25 years, to learn more about a typical day for him as an Information Security & IT Tutor and Assessor #SaluteOurForces


Russell McKay | 21 June 2017

My alarm goes off…

…at 6:30am. I sometimes do some sit-ups and press-ups, and then I’ll have a shower, get dressed and have some breakfast - where I’ll check my emails or brush over the days’ delivery.

I’m normally at the office for around 8 - 8:30am.

My typical day…

…will normally involve travelling to client site, meeting with an employer and then conducting a review with an Apprentice.

This could be assessment of the work they’ve completed, asking how they’re getting on in the workplace, to covering the next steps in their programme so that they understand what they have to do next.

If I am teaching, I will deliver the courseware and conduct assessments or monitor the Apprentices working on various Labs.

I got the job…

…after I left the military after 25 years, of which 16 years was working with telecommunication and IT systems where I mentored and taught young soldiers on telecommunications systems.

I was part of the CTP (Career Transition Partnership) website which advertised for lots of jobs, and I saw an advert for a role in the north of Scotland teaching bespoke IT and Networking courses. At this point I was living in Berlin and looking to move back to Scotland.

I decided to apply two weeks before Christmas in 2014, and within 20 minutes of the application being sent I received a call from the recruitment team, and within 40 minutes of leaving the interview I received a call offering me the job. I had two weeks to decide whether or not to pack up my life in Germany and move to Scotland!

I believe being part of the Communications Information Systems (CIS) in the military played a huge part in securing my role here at QA, as well as the discipline, commitment and strong team ethos that the military gives you. I had experience of teaching in the military; passing my own skills on to young soldiers in the telecommunications field, and I strongly believe that skills taught in the military are not being as widely recognised or valued as they should by employers, but I believe QA saw this in me.

My most memorable moment…

…is the achievement of getting my first job after military life. The army is institutionalised and have certain ways of dealing and doing things. QA saw something in me, and understood how the years I spent in the military meant something, and gave me the opportunity to further develop my career within in IT and Information Security. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing I am part of something that bonds the younger generation for their future.

The best part of my job…

…is meeting new people, constantly learning about how different areas of not only how QA works but how other businesses work and operate; to see the different cogs in different areas of business that makes life work. The opportunities I get and that Apprentices are getting and knowing that I am part of something that is giving young people the skills to succeed for the future is something special. The best part is that it can be challenging but very rewarding.

After work…

…I enjoy being with my family, DIY, gardening, the odd piece of running (when I get time) and learning.


More information

QA pledges to support employment of Armed Forces Community

QA supports AWS re:Start to boost Cloud computing training, skills and employment

 

Russell McKay

Russell McKay

Information Security & IT Tutor and Assessor

Russell is an Information Security and IT Tutor and Assessor and has recently qualified as an Internal quality Assurer. His role is varied; from teaching bespoke Information security and IT courses to Apprentices, ensuring assessment procedures are followed, to conducting visits to our IT and Cyber security Apprentices onsite around Scotland. Russell served in the Military for 25 years, before joining QA in 2015.
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