From Police Officer, to PA, to Data Scientist

 

Changing Paths

If someone had told me a couple of years ago that in 2020/21 I’d be an apprentice data scientist doing a BSc and working at the same time then I would have probably raised my eyebrows and not believed them. I knew very roughly what data analytics involved through working with Bays Consulting before I became an employee. I had no idea that I’d become an employee one day. For most of my 20s I was a police officer, and had already been to university a couple of times. When I left that career I started my own business, which I ran for nearly 4 years. In that time, I had children and moved to a new house.

I’d had an interest in coding for a while, but I also knew that I did not want to be a software developer. After that, my thoughts were not complete. I enjoy gathering evidence, finding things out and solving problems. I’m not a particular fan of repetition, and I like to keep learning. I researched a bit (I LOVE researching, I think that’s the police officer part of me) and taught myself Python using an online course. Eventually, that led me to the path of data science and I was all geared up to apply to study it part-time at university so that I could change career in a few years time. Beyond that, I had a flexible plan.

Joining the Bays Consulting Team

In October 2020, I was chatting to Dr Sophie Carr, founder of Bays Consulting. She knew my plan and offered me a job as an apprentice. There was a bit of dancing in the kitchen, thinking about it for a few hours and asking myself philosophical questions, that type of thing. I accepted, and about a week later I enrolled on a BSc Apprenticeship course at Ada College. I was also a paid employee of Bays Consulting! Since then, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. It’s only been a few weeks, but so far I’ve completed a sixth of my degree, studied for half an A Level in statistics and I’m working on a great project at work. Every day I am learning a lot and when I feel like I’m being slow to pick things up I just need to think back a few weeks to remember how much I’ve learnt.

Bays Consulting is flexible, friendly and a really great company to work for with lots of opportunities available. With lockdown 3 upon us, my commute to work is about 10 paces but I still have a spring in my step every morning knowing that I’m going to do something that I really enjoy!

By Hannah Johnstone