UHI Inverness graduate wins best human resources student prize

A GRADUATE of UHI Inverness who felt ‘bereft’ when her course finished had every reason to celebrate recently when she received a Student of the Year prize from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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Vicky Kirkland received her award from Deirdre Strachan, the Student Engagement Lead for CIPD North of Scotland and Island Branch.

Vicky Kirkland graduated with a CIPD-accredited MSc Human Resource Management with Distinction from UHI Inverness in 2023. She was nominated by her lecturer David Jack for the prize and was presented with the award from CIPD North-East and Islands Branch at its annual general meeting.

The prizes are awarded to students who have shown professionalism throughout their studies and high levels of engagement whilst studying a professional HR qualification.

Vicky said: “I was absolutely delighted to win the UHI CIPD MSc Student Prize 2024. I wasn’t aware there was a prize until I received the confirmation email, so I was both shocked and chuffed in equal measure. My first experience of UHI Inverness was in 2015 when I embarked on my first MSc in Leadership and Management. I had a tremendous time learning from some very inspirational tutors, including David. When I decided I wanted to study again and looked at providers of the MSc HRM I had no hesitation in reaching out to UHI Inverness to see if it would be possible to study through them once more.”

Vicky studied the MSc HRM online from her home in Aberfeldy, Perthshire while working as a director of her own company, KBM Resourcing Ltd. Vicky said that from the very first module of the MSc she knew she was going to be challenged, but she was excited about the content.

“Every tutor committed themselves to their students and made the modules both accessible and interesting, with lots of opportunities to share experiences and a few laughs, which is a great recipe for success,” said Vicky.“I actually felt quite bereft when the course was finished, and I had handed in my dissertation. No more online classes chatting to everyone or deadlines to panic over! I would thoroughly recommend UHI Inverness to anyone considering studying in the future. I was a mature student but always was made to feel my presence and participation was valued.”

Vicky started her career in recruitment in London in the 1980s and her core interests have always leaned towards working with and developing people and teams. She joined the CIPD as a student member in 2022 and has recently been awarded Chartered Member status.

As well as running her own business, Vicky volunteers to support micro and small businesses. Her next goal is to become a registered Scottish mediator to help small businesses avoid costly litigation.

Her lecturer David, who nominated Vicky for the award, said: “This prize is in recognition of Vicky’s academic achievement but also the engagement and richness she brought to every class.”

Deirdre Strachan, the Student Engagement Lead for CIPD North of Scotland and Island Branch, said: “The prize winners are a true representation of everything that we stand for at the CIPD. We wish our student winners all the best for the future in their HR careers.”