Microsoft chief checks in at Bishopbriggs Academy

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A VICE president of one of the world’s biggest IT companies jetted into Bishopbriggs Academy to inspire the next generation of go-getters.

Bob McDowell, of Microsoft, gave a rousing talk to more than 100 pupils at the school.

The masterclass was aimed at inspiring enterprise and innovation among third, fourth, fifth and sixth-year pupils studying computing, enterprise and business studies.

And judging by the rapturous reception, Mr McDowell – who was happy to temporarily swap Seattle for Scotland – succeeded. He told the Herald: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The school has a lot to be proud of and hopefully the talk and time I gave was a positive experience for the kids. It certainly was an enjoyable one for me.

“It’s a privilege at this stage in my life to reach out to young people and say here’s this great opportunity you’ve got. I love it. Scotland is a special place for me.”

Mr McDowell, who has worked for Microsoft for over 20 years, said he had been looking forward to the visit after being told – unsolicited – how good Bishopbriggs Academy was.

He praised the school – including the “innovative leader” and passionate staff – and told them: “You should feel very proud of the reputation you’ve got.”

He spoke to pupils about the company’s beginnings, innovations on the way and the success of products such as the Kinect for the Xbox 360 – the fastest-selling consumer electronics product in history. The visit was set up by business education teacher Pauline Mannas with the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust. Bishopbriggs Academy head teacher Gordon Moulsdale said it was a “tremendous source of inspiration”.

Mr McDowell is pictured with boys’ vice-captain Calum Prenty, girls’ captain Heather Kindness.