Sophie graduated from Swansea University in 2022 having completed a degree in Economics. It was during her studies that she became particularly interested in statistics, machine learning and digital economics.
After hearing about the Fast Track Data and AI Graduate Programme she decided to apply.
“The opportunity to enter an industry which I had already been aiming for and gaining a relevant qualification in Data/AI sounded like an incredible opportunity and really made this programme stand out to me.
A major appeal was that I could continue education without having to put my career on pause. I never ruled out returning to education after I finished my undergrad but had expected to take a few years to start my career then return to education later. This Programme offered the option to do both simultaneously.” She said.
When the UK went into lockdown, Sophie began exploring the world of data. She started learning to code in her spare time and took on multiple projects to expand her knowledge.
“I continued to self-learn various coding languages for the rest of the time I was at University, and where possible I specifically chose modules such as digital economics that gave me exposure to data, analytics and more coding languages.
I started seriously thinking about a career in data when looking for graduate schemes. I knew I’d enjoyed the data projects I’d done independently and enjoyed modules with a focus on analytics and data, therefore it made sense to start looking at data-based roles.
I was lucky enough to hit the jackpot with this programme!” She told us.
Since joining the Programme Sophie has been working with Acquis Insurance as a Business Intelligence Analyst.
“I have spent the past few months working on projects largely focused on automation and am looking to incorporate machine learning in the near future. I’ve worked with massive datasets and produced work that’s had real-life value to Acquis with potential to also bring value to external clients.
Acquis has been a brilliant place to work so far. As a company it has a very community based culture, in my short time with them there’s been multiple charity/volunteering days for people to participate in.
The people are very supportive too, whenever I have a question or need help it is very easy to find someone who will take the time to help.” Sophie said.
Balancing the task of working full-time alongside studying is one of the more challenging aspects of the Programme.
Sophie told us: “I worked part time throughout university, so I have a bit of experience balancing multiple commitments however this has been more intense. It can feel quite full-on to finish a workday to then go home to coursework or study but once routine has been established it becomes more manageable.
Despite this I’ve still found time for sports and socialising, and having a supportive manager at work definitely helps when we have upcoming coursework deadlines.”
For anyone considering applying for the Programme in future Sophie’s advice would be:
“Go for it! The programme caters to everyone regardless of past experiences and backgrounds. The bootcamp phase at the start brings everyone to a similar coding ability so it really is designed to help everyone succeed.”
Thanks to Sophie for sharing her experience and keep up the hard work!