Sam Foley

Sam Foley

Name, new job title and schools you are going to be covering:

Sam Foley, Employer School Coordinator, covering Peterhead Academy, Ellon Academy and Anna Ritchie School.

As a young person, what was your aspirations growing up?

Marine biologist – but I’m not too keen on the cold North Sea wind so that was quickly ruled out!

What pathway did you follow when you left school?

I stayed on at school until 6th year but spent my summer holidays working in the seafood industry which helped give me a bit of financial footing for further education where I studied a bachelor’s degree in drama at Northumbria University in Newcastle. Leaving home at 17 to go to university was a huge step but my experience working in local factories gave me the confidence I needed to step out of my comfort zone. When I graduated I was employed by Aberdeenshire Council in Economic Development as the Aberdeen City and Shire Film Officer. After seven years I longed for my home town of Peterhead and found a career back in the local seafood industry in New Product Development at Youngs Seafoods.

What are you most excited about getting stuck into in your new role?

Providing insight and links into the world of work for young people in the North-east – helping young people find their own sense of confidence in their chosen professional pathway.

How crucial do you think the link is between schools and employers?

The link between schools and employers is absolutely vital to ensure we are enabling young people with the appropriate skills and background knowledge to help them make the best career decisions possible – and also allowing employers to mould an instream of talent into their businesses.

What do you think is the greatest benefit to employers that are involved with DYW?

Young people can bring a new way of thinking, a fresh pair of eyes and a diverse range of skills to an organisation. Working with young people whether it be a small presentation to a more substantial project can be refreshing and create a sense of achievement with current employees who can have an opportunity to share skills and knowledge. Young people can be a tough demographic to try and reach – businesses have the potential to gain some real market insight into a traditionally hard to reach demographic.

Do you have a motto or personal mantra that you live by?

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it”, Maya Angelou.

What would be your one piece of advice to 12-year old you?

Stop doubting yourself – you are going to make mistakes, but the truth is, you can be anything you want if you want it enough!