Undergraduate Placement – Research Analyst 

Studying Mathematics can often be highly theory based and sometimes lacking real life context, so when searching for a university placement, I was looking for a role that used the skills I had gained throughout my education within an interesting context. Although I had little knowledge of air traffic control, it sounded like a unique place to work and fit what I was looking for perfectly.

The whole application process was relatively straightforward – I took the time to research the company in depth, used this knowledge to help write my cover letter and submitted my application. The assessment centre was the first I had ever been to, so I was extremely nervous but everyone there made you feel welcome and relaxed.

My placement is based in the Information, Analytics and Insight department which is a large team who analyse data and use this information to influence decisions and projects around the business. My current work involves working on projects that improve safety performance – and my first few months have been amazing!

Since starting I have had been given some incredible opportunities, such as a trip to Heathrow control tower, and have met some great people in my department and around the business. I can’t believe how quickly the past few months have flown by – it makes me really excited about what is still to come!

There’s also loads of opportunities to get involved in less formal projects here, for example one of the best things for me has been joining the comms team in our department. It has meant that I have met a wide range of people as I help to organise our monthly meetings and plan some fun socials for my team.

For me, I feel the scheme puts everything in to perspective – having spent the majority of my life in education, it has sometimes been difficult to see the long-term picture and the goal I am trying to achieve. Being on placement has given me a taste of what the future holds, which in turn has given me a powerful incentive to go back to University and work even harder in my final year.

If anyone out there is thinking of applying for the schemes this year my biggest piece of advice would be to do your homework! Having a good understanding of the company gives you an advantage when it comes to answering interview questions at the assessment centre. Practice interview questions with a friend beforehand and think about what you might be asked. Lastly, believe in yourself – you’ve got this!

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