Aaron Hughes - BSc (Hons) Business Information Management Systems

Year of graduation: 2012
Employer: Babcock Canada
Job title: Business Intelligence and Reporting Specialist
Location: Canada

Tell us about your career path since graduation.
I worked in administration for a year or so, and then I applied for a graduate scheme in Devonport Dockyard with Babcock International Group; was successful in securing a position and started the graduate program which lasted for two years. I completed this program and took a job in the Information Management Team based in Devonport. After around a year and a half as a BI Developer at Devonport, the opportunity arose to develop my skills further, take on more responsibility and move countries. I applied and was successful in securing a role in Babcock Canada as a Business Intelligence and Reporting Specialist. Work consisted of BI Report building (Crystal Reports, Qlikview and SSRS), SQL Server DBA, SQL Scripting for Dimension/Fact tables using the Kimball Methodology, CDC, SSIS, SSAS, Crystal Reports, Qlikview and SSRS Administration, along with a host of other activities.

Has your career path changed since graduation?
I don’t know about changed but when I left university I needed to work and therefore continued to work in administration; whilst attempting to gain employment in the IT industry / Database specialist area. Within this industry; I am now more interested and involved with Data Warehouse and BI reporting area, however recently I have started to progress back toward improving my DBA (database administrator) skills.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?
For me I think that getting the courage up to apply and obtain a graduate job was probably the most difficult thing, closely followed by moving to a foreign country. Because of my learning difficulties I have always had problems with change and adjusting to new environments and people.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?
Whilst working at Devonport I was able to work with another team member to prepare and install a Data Warehouse into the Canadian office; and through this opportunity I was able to visit Canada for the first time and display my skills. This trip later gave me the courage to take a chance on moving to Canada when a great job opportunity came up at the site.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?
I think I would try and believe in myself more, and possibly spend more of the time I spent at University doing research and developing even more depth of knowledge in my subject.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
Work hard and put all the effort you can into becoming knowledgeable about the area; also completing placements as part of your degree plan to get the relevant business experience is extremely important.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Studying at Plymouth gave me the base knowledge to develop upon in the working world; and the course I undertook had the experience aspect built into it with a 3rd year placement.

How did we support you in your studies?
In my first year I came in for a proper learning difficulties assessment and was assigned someone to help; we meet once a month, I was helped to apply to get software that would assist dragon/claroread, a dicta phone etc which where all massive helps in studying. In my previous schooling I was deemed to have too high grades to be put into an assessment so it was awesome after years of struggling to actually get the support I needed.

I went into the careers office for various CV / interview help. I was quite lucky I got a lot of assistance from my sister Nina Hughes who used to work in there.

How did your placement impact on your short and long term career plans?
The placement I undertook was a mix of office / finance / IT / admin, it reaffirmed that I wanted to work in that area and it actually gave me a lot of great experience with business and people that I would later need whilst talking to users of our systems etc.
In the short term the placement opened a few opportunities for work straight after uni and throughout the final year, I was offered a couple of extensions to the placement so I accepted, and eventually it ran into a part time data analyst role for the facilities manager at the time.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?
Starting to kindle my knowledge and interest in Databases and how information is handled and flows through a business.

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?
Yes there are several alumni and lecturers that I am still in contact with.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?
For the course that I took Plymouth was a good choice because of reputation of the University and the specific nature of the course combining with the ability of doing a placement year.