Meet Our Team | Hugh Cruickshank

By Protolan

Meet the Team | Hugh Cruickshank

Continuing our quest to showcase our team, let’s introduce you to Hugh Cruickshank.

After completing Product Design Engineering at Strathclyde University Hugh joined the MDS Graduate Scheme. Joining Protolan for a 6-month placement as a Project Manager, we are proud to announce Hugh is now a full-time member of our team.

Here is his journey so far…


My Protolan Journey So Far…

It was only very recently that my desire to become a Project Manager fully crystalised in my mind.  My working life thus far has been a broad experience, rather than a specialised one. It has taken a working placement with Protolan to help me truly find a vocation.

Upon graduating from university, I worked in the charity sector before my passion for fresh produce led me to apply to Management Development Services (MDS). The scheme places graduates in diverse roles in the food and drink industry across two years. My placements have taken me from fields, to factories, to boardrooms, and eventually to Protolan.

The title of Project Manager exuded the most allure out of all my MDS placements. For me, the role is synonymous with responsibility and diversity. I was enthused at the prospect of unique day-to-day schedules and fluctuating environments.

On the surface, the breadth of knowledge and skills required to be a Project Manager seemed to suit someone with a wide range of experiences to call on. My initial excitement was tempered by the reality of my inexperience in what is a technical and demanding job. A fact that was underlined upon my first day of work. I soon found that flexibility is only one aspect of this role.

What struck me most about Protolan was its dedication to people. The organisation has innate empathy extended to clients, suppliers, contractors, and, most importantly, to its own staff. The commitment to support and collaboration can be seen in the flat organisational structure and the robust personal training framework, but it is the attitude of the team that make these systems work.

My experience at Protolan has been of an almost utopian workforce who are eager to lend their knowledge and time to help regardless of any personal benefit. In previous organisations, I have occasionally found red tape or rivalry, at Protolan this is replaced with a strong feeling of cooperation.

The openness and generosity of my colleagues has been critical in my ongoing quest for knowledge and proficiency in my role. I am becoming more confident in my work but given the intimidating obstacle of requisite learning, I could easily still be struggling. The support I have received from Protolan has revealed to me who they are as a group; I have been considered as a person rather than as the output of my work.

The complications of working from home have added to the challenge of integrating into a new team. The attitude of my colleagues has helped to minimise the impact of this barrier as well. My development on-the-job has allowed me to contribute to areas as diverse as new product development, manufacturing layout optimisation, and machinery specification design.

In this current climate, I have been fortunate enough that my placement at Protolan has been extended into a full-time role. My experience so far has been one of collaboration and respect. Compassion is important to me, and I believe I have found that manifested here at Protolan. I am looking forward to contributing to that environment and reciprocating the support I have received.