Careers Week 2024

National Careers Week takes place from 4th – 9th March 2024, created to celebrate careers and provide guidance and resources to help support young people at an important stage in their academic career.

Staff members from The Archie Foundation have shared their path to how they got to where they are right now, hoping to show awareness and excitement about future pathways for young people.

So we caught up with 3 Archie staff members to talk more about their careers and their journey to where they are now. Paula Cormack – Chief Executive Officer of The Archie Foundation, Innes Murray – Head of Trusts and Foundations, and Cassie McGunnigle – Fundraising Manager, discussed different careers, career advice and what’s the best thing about working in the charity sector!


The journey after school!

Cassie studied at college and university, earning her degree in Events Management! “They were an incredibly enjoyable experience, even though it was just events management, there was a very practical element to the course. It had marketing, communications, consumer behaviour – I really enjoyed every bit of it!”

Paula went to university and studied German and Hispanic studies as part of her undergrad degree, and then completed a post-graduate degree in European Marketing and Languages – which is a bit different from her job at Archie!

Innes, however, didn’t go to college or university, but went straight into the world work! Innes left school at the age of 16 and continued his work experience role. He then entered the world of retail. “It was supposed to be a really short stint until I found something on the design side, which I was really keen on at school.”

“From there I decided I wanted to have a go at something different!” After thinking he would just be in the role for a short while, he stayed for 10 years where he then entered the ambulance service for 2 years. Then, Innes felt like he wanted another career change – he joined Aberdeen Journals working throughout various departments for an incredible 27 years! This job then led him to The Archie Foundation.


There is no right or wrong path with further education or careers! Let’s see what they got up to after university.

Cassie graduated from university during the pandemic, so with job opportunities limited, she ended up working in a care home as an activities and events coordinator. “I was really happy with that, as I was still able to utilise all my skills from college and university and delivered a whole lot of fun for 103 residents to have during the pandemic when their family and friends couldn’t come in to see them”. After this, Cassie joined the charity, Dates-n-Mates, as the community engagement and events coordinator. “This was another thoroughly enjoyable experience within my career, and after that, I started working at The Archie Foundation and I have been here for about 2 and a half years!”

Paula’s path to Chief Executive of Archie has been varied, she started off thinking she wanted to be a teacher! “I realised that wasn’t quite right for me, so after my undergraduate – I still didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do – so I did my post-grad in European Marketing and Languages, which allowed me to be a student for a little bit longer!”

“I then had a eureka moment in the middle of a lecture one day, after hearing what a brand manager does – I thought, that’s what I want to do! So, then I went into marketing, and I was 20 years in Food & Drink.” Paula then decided she wanted to move into something in the charity sector, where she could feel she was making a difference in the community she lives and works in.


Advice is sometimes hard to take on board, but we asked Cassie, Paula, and Innes what bit of advice they would give their younger selves, and what they would say to someone who is leaving school to take their first step into their career.

Cassie thinks there is a misconception about practically focussed degrees, like events management. “I think so many of us, as young people, are forced to fit into this one box. There are so many jobs out there for people with different abilities. I would probably tell myself to stick at that, as it is a worthwhile degree, with a worthwhile career ahead of you!” Cassie also says that you should never lose sight of who you are, and what makes you, you – which we think is a great piece of advice!

If Paula could talk to her younger self, she would say to take all the opportunities, and to never be afraid to ask for help! “My advice to younger people would be similar, just grab every opportunity that comes your way, and it will all fall into place!”

Innes wouldn’t change anything and has no regrets! But he did have some advice for young people who are leaving school. “Whatever you choose, choose something you enjoy doing!”


Working within the charity sector is very special, we interact and meet amazing people every day.

Paula mentioned her favourite thing about working in the charity sector is knowing she is helping to make a difference and meeting some incredible people along the way.

Cassie also agrees that one of her favourite things about working within this sector is the people she encounters day to day – whether that is staff, fundraisers, donors, or patients! “Everyone who works here cares and wants to make a difference.” When discussing Archie’s supporters, Cassie said “From the first sentence they say to us, we become a small part of their story. It’s an immense privilege to even be a tiny part of someone’s story!”

Innes says “I think the third sector is so nice to be working in, it’s that feel-good factor. The fact that you are helping and giving back, giving to the people who need it the most. It’s nice at 5 pm when you can say you’ve had a good day today, and that I’ve helped lots of people!”


We can all take different paths within our careers to get to where we want to be, don’t be afraid to take opportunities that are presented to you – you never know where it might lead you!

For more info on Careers Week, please visit:

If you are a student, check out National Careers Week one stop shop to careers resources: