A 16-year-old aspiring Google employee is working hard to beat age and gender stereotypes.
Rachel McPheat, a former pupil of St Margaret’s High in Airdrie, is currently the youngest in her class at New College Lanarkshire’s Cumbernauld Campus studying HNC Computing.
Having left school in fourth year, Rachel knew that she wanted to pursue a career in computing – but found that school just wasn’t the right avenue for her to reach her goal.
“My two favourite hobbies are computing and singing! But school just wasn’t the right environment to pursue either of these in the way that I wanted. I wanted more freedom to do what I wanted to study, and concentrate on that.”
Rachel started out at New College Lanarkshire doing the NQ in Computing, and quickly realised that this was the place she could turn her hobby into something more!
“I love being at college – the space, the freedom, calling lecturers by their names, and being able to learn about something that I am interested in. I even love doing extra work at home.
When I first started, it was really nerve-racking as not only was I the youngest in the class but I was also the only female. However, this just made me more determined to succeed – girl power! And it hasn’t been hard to get good results when I am enjoying the course so much. Since starting college I’ve even been able to build my own computer.
I want to keep challenging myself and exploring computing as a subject so hope to continue studying until I’ve achieved my HND then progress on to university.
My dream is to one day work for a big company like Google – and I’ll keep working hard until I get there!”
“I want to keep challenging myself and exploring computing as a subject so hope to continue studying until I’ve achieved my HND then progress on to university."