Parkin came through the Blues ranks alongside John Terry.
And the experience of watching and learning from the likes of Terry, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola helped make him the player he is today.
Parkin revealed a big influence on his career was former Blues youth coach Jim Duffy.
The 29-year-old told the Scottish Sun: "Jim was at Chelsea in my second year as an apprentice.
"He was a big influence and pushed me - and probably pushed people at Chelsea - to get me on a professional contract. Jim was a positive influence and liked me as a player. I always got on well with him.
"He was a hard task master, one typical of the 90s I suppose. I don't know what it's like nowadays, but you would get told to do all the jobs back then. You would look after the first-team players, speak when you were spoken to and so on.
"But Jim had a good sense of humour as well. I'm sure he's pleased to see me come up the road to Scotland. I maybe never graced the Chelsea first team but I can't buy the education I got, the contacts, the good habits and other bits and pieces.
"Even watching the first-team players on the other pitch was an amazing experience. Being around that from a young age at 12 or 13 - I used to go to Stamford Bridge and watch games, be a ballboy and so on - was brilliant.
"But if I had gone to a club like Swindon or Millwall at 16 I'd probably have played 200 games by my 20th birthday.
"But I don't have any regrets about it because I wouldn't have had that valuable experience I gained at Chelsea."