Case study

KTP associate data scientist — Aedan Beatty

Aedan studied for a degree in Mathematics at Queen's University Belfast before completing a Masters in Data Analytics. Find out more about his KTP associate role at CARD Group

How did you get your job?

I had an initial phone interview with the company CEO, an academic advisor, and a representative from KTP at Queen's University. I gave a short presentation and was then invited to an in-person interview. The process was very well organised, and I started a week after getting the job.

Why did a KTP appeal to you?

I was interested in getting a job with some ties to academia. Having a lecturer/researcher from Queen's as an advisor for the project also played a major role in my decision.

I had a friend who was doing a KTP project and she suggested looking for open KTP positions. I then saw an open position at CARD Group for a KTP associate focusing on applying data science and statistics within market research and was drawn to the challenge.

What's a typical day like?

My KTP project is a two-year, long-term project and so it is constantly changing. At the moment I am working on writing an academic paper with the hope of getting it published in a journal. The aim of the paper is to introduce a new metric for quantifying brand engagement and so my days are currently divided between the development of our new metric, researching current alternatives, and writing the paper.

What were your first few weeks on the KTP like?

They were spent understanding how CARD Group works, as well as learning the required background statistical knowledge. I met the team at CARD Group and I also got to know my academic advisor.

What are the benefits of a KTP?

A KTP allows you to work in a company with the support of academics. The aim is to introduce new practices into a company, as well as develop your personal learning.

What are the challenges?

The biggest challenge I have faced is organising and running my own project. As a KTP associate, I am responsible for pushing the project forward and setting targets and deadlines. This KTP has accelerated my personal development in this area. I have established project and time management skills that work well for me.

In what way is your degree relevant to your job?

My MSc in Data Analytics gave me a foundation in the coding language R, as well as Python. My BSc in Mathematics gave me the statistical background I needed. Both are useful for different aspects of the job.

What sort of training and development have you received while on the KTP?

All KTP associates are given access to a training and development budget, which is a sizeable pot of money set aside for your own technical, as well as personal development. I have used it to attend a number of courses and conferences, which I would not have been able to attend otherwise.

There are also two training weeks facilitated by KTP where you can meet other associates from across the UK and develop management skills aimed to help associates progress in their careers.

Describe your KTP experience in five words…

Challenging, rewarding, innovative, career-building and fun.

What advice would you give to others considering a KTP?

The KTP programme is a great scheme aimed at encouraging innovation within local businesses. It's rare to find a job where you are in control of a long-term project gaining advice from both industry experts and academics. It is not an opportunity that you will get elsewhere and I would highly recommend it.

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