Celebrating Burns Night

Today, 25th January, marks Burns Night and people throughout Scotland and all over the world will be celebrating the life and career of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet.

I have fond memories of being at primary school and learning Burns’ poems to recite at the annual Burns day poetry competition. The achievement of a merit certificate for my recital of ‘To a mouse’ springs to mind! This trip down memory lane has inspired me to put together this acrostic poem which highlights the career lessons learned from Robert Burns.

Be social!

Burns didn’t have the luxury of different social media platforms to promote or publish his work like we do today! Social media is an excellent place to showcase your skills and experience to prospective employers. LinkedIn is an extremely useful platform to develop your career. However, just as your skills and personal development need nurturing, your LinkedIn profile should be kept active to aid long-term career success.

Undertake your research.

Burns was aware of the importance of understanding his audience. He set off on various tours of Scotland to become knowledgeable of its traditions. Whether you’re working on a CV or a job application, preparation is key! Our resources are there to help YOU!

Resist the temptation to press the snooze button on these cold mornings!

You are not alone! Burns wrote:

“Up in the morning’s no for me,

   Up in the morning early;

When a’ the hills are cover’d wi’ snaw,

   I’m sure its winter fairly.”**

 So, get the alarm clock set and make the most of your time at university!


Are you aware Robert Burns was a great networker? He contacted acquaintances and friends in his bid to secure a job as an exciseman (tax collector). So, make the most out of your contacts gained through work experience, part time jobs and extra-curricular activities. Everyone you meet could be a useful resource at some stage in your career. Check out our top tips on networking.

Start planning!

As Burns said, “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, Gang aft agley”.*** Although he wasn’t successful as a farmer, Burns’ back up plan of publishing his book of poems certainly worked and the rest is history! Don’t be disheartened if you don’t land your dream job straight away. Consider a backup plan and explore your options.

Name that Burns!

Are you heading out to a Burns Supper tonight? Spare a few minutes to brush up on your knowledge of Burn’s work with this fun quiz.


More than two centuries after his death, Burns’ timeless words still act as a source of inspiration to generations of people. Known as Scotland’s National Bard, he is considered to be probably the greatest poet to have lived and worked in Scotland. The appeal of Scotland continues to offer so much to graduates with 48%* of 2014/15 University of Edinburgh graduates working in Scotland.

Go forward in 2017.

Traditionally, Burns Night closes with a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”. You may recall belting out’ “Auld Lang Syne” at Hogmanay. This lilting song is derived from one of Burns’ most famous works whereby we promise “to tak a cup o’ kindness” with friends and look to the future year with a sense of hope. 2017 is off to a great start with the graduate job market looking optimistic.

Hard work pays off!

Throughout his life, Burns was a hard worker. He had various occupations; farmer, exciseman and poet. He also found the time to write around 400 songs. So, remember your efforts at university will eventually pay off. There is a job out there for YOU… you just need to find it. A good place to start your job search is MyCareerHub.

Time for the Burns Supper.

Dig out your tartan, tuck into some haggis, recite some poetry and raise a wee dram of whisky in honour of the life and works of Robert Burns.

Enjoy your night, for Burns will be with us “Till a’ the seas gang dry”.****


*Taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey for 2014/15 University of Edinburgh graduates.



**         When all the hills are covered with snow, winter has arrived.

***        Often go wrong

****      An infinite length of time



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *