Electronic & Electrical Engineering alumnus, Gordon Patrick, shares what he has been up to since graduating in 1995.
What brought you to Edinburgh Napier?
I joined the B.Eng (Hons) Electronic & Electrical Engineering undergraduate program in 1991 as a part-time student. That was 30 years ago!
I was working as a design engineer in the Radar Systems Labs at GEC Ferranti at the time. GEC Ferranti was a massive employer in the Edinburgh area back then. I was based at the Crewe Toll location and I believe there still is a company, Leonardo, developing radar technology there to this day. I had become aware of the B.Eng (Hons) program at Edinburgh Napier that year and decided to advocate strongly for my GEC employers to participate and support. There was a strong pool of HNC/HND qualified engineers in the company at the time and this program offered a great opportunity for myself and many of my colleagues to balance our early career development with a strong aspiration to get “degree-qualified”. Glad to say we shouted loudly enough and received fantastic management support. This helped fund my peer group and subsequent GEC engineers through this and other Edinburgh Napier courses.
Tell us about your career journey from your first graduate job to where you are now?
After graduating in 1995, I decided to make a major course correction in terms of career. I wanted to stay in the technology industry. This ‘internet’ idea sounded like it had legs. My B.Eng (Hons) was a key prerequisite in helping me secure a business development role with Arrow Electronics UK. That move became the fundamental catalyst for subsequent career moves to other large worldwide companies including Siemens AG, Infineon AG and Micron Technology Inc.
Over the intervening years, I have worked in business development, corporate sales, marketing, consultancy and portfolio management. My career has let me travel extensively and provided me the opportunity to live and work in several countries including Germany and America. In fact, I am now based permanently in the US working as a senior director focused on product management with Micron in the semiconductor space. My Edinburgh Napier experience was critical in helping me get to where I wanted to go.
If you were to give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Don’t waste time – It’s tough to imagine in some ways but 30 years goes by in a flash.
What advice would you give to someone looking for their first graduate opportunity?
Play the longer game. It is not always A to B. I took a cut in base pay after I graduated from Edinburgh Napier but I knew it was the right door to go through (for me). Think of the return on investment (where do you want to get to?).
What's your biggest achievement away from work?
Easy. My wife and I now have two sons who have grown into fantastic young adults. We showed them a bit of the world as they were growing up. I think it helped.