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Case Study

Gavin Ames

Gavin began studying at the University of Sunderland in 1991, and now at 50-years-old is using the skills he learned as an Executive Vice President of a business in Saudi Arabia. Looking back, he remembers his time at the University and explains why studying in Sunderland has helped shape his career.

"To be honest, I chose to study at the University of Sunderland due to me messing up my A-Levels. That said, it turned out to be a great decision, I enjoyed my course and my three years at Sunderland were the best of my life. 

"I enjoyed studying BSc (Hons) Environmental Technology, it had a good mixture of subjects, all valuable. In the early ‘90’s the Environment was a growing subject and the range of modules gave me an excellent grounding. 

"I joined Veolia straight from university as a graduate trainee, and ended up working there for nine years rising to Regional Manager. I was then headhunted to take a senior role as General Manager for a business in Saudi Arabia, where I stayed for 10 years.  

"I’ve now been here for close to 20 years in total and I'm currently Executive Vice President for a sizeable services company offering a wide range of industrial and commercial services. We employ over 2,000 people and have based throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

"When people ask me about my time at the University, I always tell them of the fun I had, the friends I made and the fact that the majority of my friends and peers have gone on to have successful careers. 

"I also spent three years playing for the University rugby team and have so many great memories of games and social nights. I’ve carried on playing rugby and only hung up my boots in May this year after winning the Over 45’s Competition at the Phuket International 10’s in Thailand. 

"I absolutely believe that higher education has something to offer, from both an educational, a personal and emotional development perspective."