Last week I blogged about the upcoming Retail Careers Event – Beyond the Shop Floor, in October, and mentioned one of our recent PPLS grads, Nic, would be coming along to talk about his role as a research analyst with Dunnhumby.
Putting my networking skills to good use, I got Nic’s contact details from my colleague and made contact. The upshot is the interview below, giving an outline of what Nic does, how he put his stats skills, and his extra-curricular activities, to good use, and how he landed back in Edinburgh.
Read on to find out more, and if this whets your appetite, come along and talk to him in person at our Retail Careers Event in October.
My degree and year of graduation: Psychology MA, 2010
My current job
I currently work for Dunnhumby, the world’s leading customer science company. I work as an Insight Analyst for Tesco Bank. I have access to the shopping behaviour of 15m customers via the Tesco Clubcard scheme, and my role is to use this data to advise on Tesco Bank’s customer strategy.
My career history
I accepted a place on the Dunnhumby Graduate scheme in March of my final year, then started in September after graduation in the Tesco Commercial team, running analysis on Fresh Food customers down in London. I moved back up to Edinburgh to work on the Tesco Bank engagement 2 years ago.
How I’ve used the skills and knowledge developed during my degree in my career.
The statistics side of Psychology really helped, understanding how to get answers from numbers to prove that customers had changed their behaviour.
Experience which helped me get where I am now
◾I’d worked during the summer break from university. It was a bar job, but I worked my way up to a supervisor level for summer of my second year, so I was able to show drive and leadership qualities.
◾I also ran an intra-mural football team while I was at university, sorting out sponsorship and kits from a local pub.
◾I’d also done some fund-raising activity, including cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
Demonstrating passion for things outside of a work/study environment is important, as employers want to hire graduates with personality as well as professional ability.
How I decided on my career area
I knew I wanted to apply what I had learned on my degree in a commercial, rather than academic environment. I attended a few careers fairs, but they seemed to be established graduate schemes, and weren’t quite what I was looking for. I researched online and found Dunnhumby by googling for companies in the area I wanted to (“customer behaviour research company”).
Advice for students wanting to get into this area of work
Customer analysis is for people from all walks of life. Someone in my intake had studied Archaeology at uni! The only requirement I’d say is knowing basic stats and being confident with numbers, so take as many of the stats modules as you can.
Advice for students making career decisions today
Whatever you do, make sure it is something you are actually interested in, don’t just concentrate on the salary!