Katie MacDonald

Katie MacDonald is a Business Graduate at Babcock International Group.

BA (Hons) Business Management, 2018

What does your current role involve?

As a Business Graduate at Babcock International Group, my first two years are spent doing placements across different areas of the business. Currently, I am working in a central Project Management and Controls team where I provide support to various engineering projects. I've been involved in developing Project Management Plans for international maritime and naval contracts, identifying and analysing project risks and learning about how multi-million pound contracts are monitored and controlled. Every day presents a new challenge and so far I love it.

Since leaving Abertay, describe your journey to your current job? What was it like to travel the world?

In my third year, I secured an internship through the Saltire Foundation with an American electronics manufacturer, Jabil. This was my first exposure to Project Management within an engineering company and I was absolutely fascinated by the work they did. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to do a bit of travelling, so I worked in Abertay’s Marketing team, managing my own project, whilst saving up.

It was when I attended the naming ceremony of the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier that I developed an interest in the naval engineering industry and discovered Babcock’s Graduate Scheme. I was sold by the immense scale of the projects that they undertake and how they are managed and controlled. I applied before setting off on my travels and then got the news that I had been invited to an assessment centre. I flew back and, thankfully, it was worth it as I was offered the job. I continued my travels across South East Asia knowing I had a job to come home to, which was an amazing feeling. I was very lucky, but I also worked very hard to get myself into that position.  


As a small university, Abertay is able to provide students with a personal experience.
Katie MacDonald | Babcock International Group | Business Graduate

 How did your Abertay degree help you to get where you are?

Often, I'd wonder if I was ever going to see the practical side of what I was learning about in lectures in the real working world. But I can safely say that in the short time I've been at Babcock, there has been a host of things that I can look back at. Myers-Briggs’ MBTI personal development tool, Mendelow's matrix for stakeholder analysis and, particularly, the project management modules have been crucial to my role within the Project Management Office.

My degree encompassed the theoretical and practical elements of how businesses are managed. It allowed plentiful opportunities to apply learning to real problems with real companies. By the end of my degree, I had worked with companies such as BT, Scottish Rugby and RBS to find innovative solutions to problems that they were facing. 

Who/what had the most impact on your Abertay experience?

As a small university, Abertay is able to provide students with a personal experience. I was able to get to know my lecturers well, which made it easier to raise and discuss any questions or concerns about tasks. The programme has some great members of staff, who fill the programme with opportunities and industry links.

I was able to graduate from Abertay with many companies on my CV, none of whom I was actually employed by, and this was thanks to the staff on the programme.

The University also has an excellent Careers Service, which had a huge impact on my career.

 What advice would you give to current students?

  1. Use the Careers Service. It has so many useful resources and advice for securing work experience and internships; I only wish I had reached out sooner. 

  2. Soak up every opportunity – there are plenty of opportunities to work with companies, other universities and to go abroad. These are important experiences to practice what you have learned and enhance your CV.


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