Ali A.

Consulting Analyst
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Ali A.
Law
Law LLB
Undergraduate
Halifax
2019

My employment

Consulting Analyst
The Information Lab / Data School
United Kingdom
Digital and IT services
Medium-size business (50-249 employees)
2021

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A day in the life of a Consulting Analyst in the United Kingdom

The analytical skills I learned as a law student has served me incredibly well in a field that seems completely unrelated.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

"Helping people make sense of data"

The Information Lab helps commercial clients make sense of their data primarily using Tableau, Alteryx and SQL.

The Data School, a part of the Information Lab, is where joiners like myself train for 4 months (paid) to prepare for 6-month placements with various clients.

What do you do?

I'm currently on a 5-month placement at IAG Cargo. I'm creating dashboards so staff can understand their data and improving the quality of their data so they can rely on it.

We're making parcels deliver more efficiently, whether it's medicine or rhinos. (overlooking Heathrow's runway doesn't hurt either)

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I've always liked problem-solving and variety. Consulting was a better fit for me to do it for a living so I joined an aviation consultancy in 2019.

While there, I realised the power of data. It's great having strong arguments but a well-put-together dashboard goes a lot further sometimes. Therefore, I self-taught data analysis then joined the Data School to take my skills to the next level and solve problems for a living.

The analytical skills I learned as a law student has served me incredibly well in a field that seems completely unrelated.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes.

I was always open to not becoming a lawyer but I never expected to qualify for working in data. Turns out you don't need a maths background to get into this highly sought industry - a can-do attitude and passion for learning goes a long way.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Delivering a dozen dashboards to help an NHS provider better understand the maternity journey of their patients.

It was amazing to impress their experienced data team and receive heart-felt thanks. Especially considering they hoped to use our dashboards to save lives!

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

Data is rarely ready to be worked with. I've often picked up projects that I thought would take days and spent weeks just preparing the data. Luckily this is well understood amongst those who work with data which eases the pressure a little bit.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I have the pleasure of being exposed to two cultures at one time: The Information Lab and my client. The latter can vary depending on the client.

The Information Lab has the most unique culture I've seen. Everyone is incredibly open, supportive and transparent. We don't use emails and are encouraged to continuously ask questions on company-wide forums so everyone learns together. It's a safe learning environment.

We regularly socialise, whether organised or ad-hoc, but there's no pressure to do it. Although it's hard to turn down a Christmas party in Spain (in October)!!

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

York Community Consulting was the most impactful extracurricular activity I did. I highly recommend anyone to do at least one project there because you'll experience a lot of real-life skills and meet many impressive people.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Learn the things that interest you!

I spent a lot of energy keeping up with the news and reading business articles so I could bring them up in interviews. I didn't like it and doubt I would have liked the jobs that asked for them. Data was interesting to me, I taught it to myself, it landed me an amazing job that I enjoy.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Anything and everything!

Next steps...

If you like the look of Ali’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Ali a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Ali to be your mentor.

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