Aaron Hughes – BSc (Hons) Business Information Management Systems

Year of graduation: 2012
Employer: Flybe
Job title: Business Intelligence Developer and Data Integrator
Location: UK

Choosing Plymouth

Plymouth was a good choice because of the reputation of the University and the specific nature of the course combined with the ability of doing a placement year. My favourite memory of studying at Plymouth is how it started to kindle my knowledge and interest in databases and how information is handled and flows through a business.”

Life after 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. I was successful in securing a position and started the graduate programme which lasted for two years. I completed this programme 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.

After two years working in Canada I made the decision to return to the UK. Since my return I have been working as a Business Intelligence Developer and Data Integrator for Flybe. This role has expanded upon my skills with the addition of using Talend, Azure and Power BI.

In addition, the business has two distinctive sources of data that I deal with; maintenance activities and transactional activities. This has been increasingly interesting due to the expanse of transactional activities.

The support I needed

Studying at Plymouth gave me the base knowledge to develop upon in the working world – the course I undertook had the experience aspect built into it with a third year placement.

In my first year I came in for a proper learning difficulties assessment and was assigned someone to help. We met once a month and I was helped to apply to get software that would assist me such as Dragon/ClaroRead, a dictaphone etc. which was a massive help 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.”

Challenges along the way

For me I think 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.

Taking a chance

Whilst working at Devonport I was able to work with another team member to prepare and install a data warehouse into the Canadian office. 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.

My advice – complete a placement

Work hard and put all the effort you can into becoming knowledgeable about the area – it is really important to complete a placement as part of your degree plan to get the relevant business experience.

The placement I undertook was a mix of office, finance, IT and admin ... it reaffirmed that I wanted to work in that area.

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 university and throughout the final year. I was offered a couple of extensions to the placement, which I accepted, and eventually it ran into a part time data analyst role for the facilities manager at the time.