Nick H.

Strategic Analyst
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Nick H.
United Kingdom

My employment

Strategic Analyst
Teach First
United Kingdom

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

How I found out about the job

Teach First Website

My career history

I graduated in 2007 and did a six month internship at the polling and research firm ComRes before going travelling. I then did a one year MSc in public policy at UCL, and then took a graduate role as a Management Consultant at PWC. I worked there for nearly 4 years before moving to Teach First to work as a researcher and adviser.

Courses taken since graduation

MSc in Public Policy at UCL

My advice to students considering work

Get involved in as many extra curricular activities you can without jeopardising your degree. Nearly every employer will move on from your academic qualifications quite quickly and will want to see if you will fit in with their team and can take responsibility, it is much easier to demonstrate these if you've had to manage a society budget or led a sports team. Also take advantage of the opportunities provided to develop IT and other useful skills, it's really not that much effort and this will be very important in job interviews.

My advice about working in my industry

Come and get work experience over the summer. It shows drive and and you will pick up so many useful tips and insight into what employers in the whole sector are looking for.

What I do

Most of my role is developing the evidence base to support strategic decision-making in Teach First. I support my Director on a range of projects looking at, for example: the changing landscape for initial teacher training; the key drivers of lower attainment for young people from disadvantaged areas and how these can be addressed; and the role of Teach First in school improvement. I also support in managing externally commissioned research on the impact of Teach First’s strategic initiatives.

Skills I use and how I developed them

The subject and level of my degree were a crucial "passport" to my career. A good degree from York is well thought of but only really gave me a foot in the door. From there it was all about the softer inter-personal and communication skills that are not technically part of your degree but that University gives you an amazing opportunity to develop.

Degree skills:
The best skill I got from History was the ability to understand the wider context when approaching research and understand what might really be influencing what people are saying and doing. History also gives you the skills to think critically about problems, to frame an issue and then how to research and explain how the links between various factors combine to cause certain events.

Extracurricular skills:
The communication, negotiating and leadership skills developed through getting involved in JCRC, AU and sports club committees have been important. These are not formal skills you pick up from your degree but are the skills employers are looking for.

What I like most

The whole organisation has a fantastic culture to work in and is refreshingly motivated by a real drive to do the right thing.

What I like least

I really don't have much to say here - I love working here, the culture is great and I like to know I'm helping work towards something I really believe in.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Nick’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Nick a message to find out more about their career journey.

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