A Silicon Valley tech wizard has returned to his north-east roots in a bid to inspire schoolchildren.
Gregor Dodson, a music product manager, grew up in Elgin and now lives in the US and works for YouTube, helping pop stars promote their music videos.
The 42-year-old returned to his hometown and spoke to S6 pupils about career options at his former secondary school, Elgin Academy.
It was Gregor’s first visit to the academy’s new campus and he hailed the school’s high standards.
“The quality of education I received here was excellent – in particular the maths and science teachers, who were phenomenal,” said Gregor, who lives in California with his wife and two daughters.
He added: “Three of my classmates have all ended up working Silicon Valley – we see each other now and again.
“It wasn’t just about the teaching though, there was a great school community.”
As a child, Gregor also studied at West End Primary and he has fond memories of DJing at school discos – inspiring his career path.
Gregor said: “When a careers counsellor asked me what I wanted to do, I said music and technology, but I wasn’t sure what that would actually look like as a job.
“In my third year at university I took part in an exchange programme and went to Northern California.
“It was my first time in USA and, when I finished uni, two things were clear – I wanted to move there, and do something in the music industry.”
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He told pupils it was important to have a vision and a passion for something.
“What you need to convey is you’re willing to do the work and work hard, and what you’re passionate about – and tell the employers that,” said Gregor.
Elgin Academy head teacher David Barnett said: “I’m delighted Gregor has been able to share his experience with pupils and show any career path is not clear cut.
“Creative industries is a sector set to grow exponentially, so I’m sure Gregor has inspired more than a few of our pupils to pursue a career in this industry.”