Karen Jewell - MSc Data Science

Karen Jewell
Karen Jewell was so happy with her undergraduate experience at RGU that she returned to university to pursue a master’s degree in data science.

Karen (29) already lived and worked in Aberdeen, so RGU was a natural choice, “When I looked at the module descriptors for the courses across a few universities, I was happy with the mix of technical theory and practical applications the MSc in Data Science was designed to deliver. I felt the content was relevant to what I wanted to achieve – not too theoretic nor specialised).”

Karen had been working for nine years in business analytical roles in the oil and gas industry before coming to university. As her role started to get more technical, she wanted to pursue a course that would support her growth. “I did not want to get passed over for not having a technical background. I quite liked that my course felt like a broad-brush introduction to lots of different concepts in Data Science and wasn’t too in-depth in any area. Although my degree is complete, I’ve still got so much more to learn about the field and the course has given me a great leg to stand on.”

Karen appreciates the support she received during the pandemic from her School, “The School of Computing handled the transition from campus to online learning very well. I was genuinely impressed with how seamless that was, which was a great benefit to me as a student seeing how we were only three weeks to the end of the term and upcoming assessments. I didn’t feel hindered by that transition at all.”

Despite the mostly positive experience, Karen’s time hasn’t been without challenges, “I think having been a student in the pandemic was a very lonely experience. Student work is very independent unless you have a group project for a module (which I was lucky to have). My weekly group project calls were quite often the highlight of my week for the last few weeks of term two in lockdown.”

Overall, Karen is very happy she returned to RGU for a second time, “I have made some close friends and truly gained all the best possible outcomes. Meeting the data community in the form of my coursemates, academic staff and even ex-students from the same course has been one of the biggest advantages to my career. There is a definite sense of community as both staff and students repeatedly represent RGU in external events. And I have no doubt these are relationships I will maintain for many more years to come. Investing my time in my education has been worthwhile.”

So what’s next for Karen? “I have started a new job as a Data Scientist at Effini, a data science consultancy based in Edinburgh. I’m absolutely loving the job and am moving to Edinburgh next week right after graduation!”

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