"Expand your skillset as much as possible through extracurricular projects."
Obafemi Olofin, BSc Psychology graduate, now a Healthcare Analyst at Telstra Health.
I was the typical BSc Psychology student at Essex, primarily interested in clinical and forensic psychology. Despite being most attracted to research after graduation, I ended up going straight into frontline mental health to get the base level of experience needed to become an assistant psychologist. Having done this for a few years I felt exhausted and ready to move on, which led me to my current role working for a healthcare tech and analytics consultancy.
I am currently a healthcare data analyst, which blends my experience in frontline care with my love of research and statistics. It’s a varied role but most of the time I’m carrying out data analysis, programming, data visualisation and dashboarding to help NHS trusts understand and manage healthcare issues such as mortality benchmarking, bed occupancy, clinical coding and cancer waiting times.
The statistics and research methods modules I studied at Essex have proven invaluable for me due to their relevance in my current role. Modules that gave me some presentation experience also proved highly useful, especially for passing graduate job interviews!
My plans are to stay in healthcare analytics for the foreseeable future but there are analytics openings across tech, finance, retail and beyond. My priority in the near future is to improve my skills in statistical modelling, as this is especially interesting to me.
Advice I would give anyone considering a similar path would be to expand your skillset as much as possible through extracurricular projects. Learn the mathematics behind the stats and learn to use a tool for manipulating and visualising data, such as Python, R, SQL, Tableau or Power BI. This will give you a head start with a lot of companies.