Phil Riddle

Trinity Hall, 1970 – 73

Phil Riddle OBE, PhD

I was in my fifth year at Dunfermline High School in 1968 when a College Fellow from Cambridge happened to visit the headmaster and suggest he encourage some pupils to try for the University. Out of the blue, I found myself applying and spending three glorious years there, studying history, playing rugby and learning to drink English beer.

Thinking back, the things that make Cambridge special are the collegiate system – I have felt a part of my college family to this day – and the one-to-one tuition from world class experts. I didn’t know anyone at Cambridge; I didn’t now anyone who had been to Cambridge, but I never felt unwelcome or out of my depth in this environment.

After Cambridge I indulged my passion for travel, primarily through working for Shell International Petroleum in the Far East, Africa, South America and Europe. I returned to Scotland latterly and was the Chief Executive of the national tourism organisation for several years. I feel privileged to have had a fulfilling career, always doing interesting, rewarding and challenging work which was nicely split between seeing the world and working for my homeland.

A Cambridge education doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success in whatever you want to do but it certainly gave me more confidence and wider horizons than I think I would have had from staying in Scotland. If you are lucky enough to have the ability and the ambition then give it a try; it will change your life.