From education to employment

‘Life after rugby’ for Russell through the Borders College Business Development Unit

A Melrose Rugby Club Hooker has ensured his career after rugby will be secured after spending the last two years studying management qualifications through the Borders College Business Development Unit (BDU) and undertaking a management role with Charlesfield Farms.

Russell Anderson, who is 25 and from Langholm, realised that life after rugby could be limited and that having some workplace experience and qualifications would help secure his future employment.

He commenced his studies with the BDU on the SVQ in Management at SCQF level 7 course (roughly equivalent to an HNC) back in 2017, undertaking units in leadership, performance management and health and safety.

With this successfully under his belt, Russell moved on to the Management Award at SCQF level 9 (Degree level), building on his knowledge and experience and undertaking a more proactive role within the business, becoming Operations Manager in 2018.

His continued hard work led him to complete the level 9 award and he is now studying the SVQ Management at SCQF level 11 award (Masters level), looking at continuous improvement, innovation, developing strategic business plans, and the culture and values of the organisation – all of which dovetail nicely with his role on the pitch, leading his team and upholding the values of teamwork, respect, discipline, enjoyment and sportsmanship.

This all started for Russell after a chat with David Peace (Borders College Board of Management) and Trevor Jackson (Charlesfield Farms), both associated with Melrose Rugby Club and members of the Rugby Business Network, which runs ‘Life After Rugby’ – a free programme designed to help professional and ex-professional players to transition into business via work placements, jobs and start-ups.

David arranged a Modern Apprenticeship via the Business Development Unit at Borders College, while Trevor agreed to offer Russell a job at Charlesfield Farms, a small estate in the Borders with a biogas plant, meeting the needs of the central Scottish Borders. Russell was employed to manage delivery of feedstock to the plant.

Russell commented:

“These qualifications have changed my life, as I started off as a labourer on the farm and then become operations coordinator. This allowed me to put my learning into action, as I could manage employees and contractors around the farm. The feedback I have received has been nothing but high praise about the way I have conducted myself and managed team members and contractors, and this is all thanks to the education I have gained from my time with the BDU.

“My plan in the future is to continue my studies and become a real asset to Charlesfield Farms. I have started this by attending workshops, including the Business Gateway Booking and Finance courses and the Scottish Enterprise Workplace Innovation – People-Centred Change workshop.

“I have a real hunger and drive to develop myself so I can work hard and better my organisation. I have also been looking to develop my skills in project management. I have had a lot of experience with the current role at Charlesfield Farms and it could be a good course to achieve to gain further knowledge and understanding. My long-term goal is to have enough knowledge and experience to become a partner at Charlesfield Farms and I believe if I continue my studies I will be in a good position to do so.”

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