Laura McCusker
Marketing Manager

What was your dream career when you were younger?

I dreamed of becoming a chef as I loved cooking for my family. I grew up reading cookery books and re-creating recipes. Cake decorating became a keen interest as I could mix my passion for baking along with my creative flare.


What subjects did you study at school?

Highers: English, Mathematics, Biology, History of Art, Art and Design, Business Administration, History, Modern Studies.

Crashed Highers: Geography, PE, Religion Education.


Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?

My dad. He was my hero. He showed me what it was like to be hardworking, dedicated, disciplined yet courageous. He was full of optimism and fun - the glass was always half full. He instilled sense of curiosity in his kids and ultimately showed us how to be brave in the face of adversity.


How have the subjects you studied at school helped you in your career?

I was a student who undertook a lot of different subjects in school. I enjoyed academic classes yet there wasn’t one subject that stood out for me. I remember feeling slightly lost as I didn’t have a defined ‘plan’ or career path after leaving school. Looking back, I’m glad I was able to achieve such a wide variety of different subjects, as I believe it stands you in good stead for the future. For those who are unsure on their long term career path, this can be a positive step to broaden your professional aspirations.


Please briefly describe your STEM journey since leaving school.

Since leaving school, I qualified with a degree in Business Law and Marketing from Strathclyde University. During my summers, I secured an Amercian internship with Rolls-Royce through the Saltire Foundation. This was my first experience working in the aviation and manufacturing industry, where I worked closely with the engineers and service centre teams. After working there full time, I moved to Aberdeen to work in the Oil and Gas industry. Since then, I have worked in the nuclear sector across the UK and Europe, as well as thermal power and renewables. Currently, I am Marketing Manager for Howden who manufactures and supplies a range of compressor products used for a variety of demanding process gas and refrigeration duties, as well as power generation and waste water treatment. I have enjoyed my varied experience throughout many different industries within the energy and aviation sectors.


What skills do you utilise most in your career? 

Active listening – You always have something to learn from your peers

Communication skills – I believe this advances the more your self-confidence grows

Being able to prioritise and time management skills are key

Having the ability to problem solve and being able to ‘stand back’ and take a holistic view of your wok – we often labour too much on the finer, smaller details which can mean we lose focus on longer term goals. Having the ability to take a logical and analytical approach to problem solving shows that you can explore many different angles/options


What advice would you give to any young people considering a STEM career? 

Positivity is the secret principle to success! With every negative, there will be a positive. Be strong, you never know who you are inspiring. Take risks and don’t be afraid to challenge the norm. STEM careers are limitless and can lead down exciting new paths, full of interest and continuous learning!