Samuel Mahoney graduate profile

Current employer: Covance

Current job title: SAS Programmer II

Current location: Leeds 

"Studying at the University of Plymouth is an enriching experience. Gain all the knowledge you can as the lecturers have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can help you in your career."

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies. 

I undertook an MSc in Statistics at Leeds University where I was offered a full-time fee scholarship. Here I built on the statistical interests I gained at Plymouth and graduated with a distinction. I received a job offer from Covance in Leeds to start on completion of my MSc. This job role allows me to transfer the programming skills I developed at the University to produce various types of tables, listings and figures involving clinical trial data. In my free time, I have been expanding on ideas covered in my master’s dissertation by working towards publishing an article for a statistical paper investigating links between food consumption and obesity in infants.

Has your career path changed since graduation? 

Like most 22-year-olds I had little idea which statistical career path to embark on whilst studying. My immediate thought was always to continue learning about statistics after being fascinated by its applications during my time at Plymouth, which left me wanting more. It wasn’t until I was on my MSc course that I considered a specific career choice. I quickly found that having a mathematics and statistics degree from the University of Plymouth opens up fantastic opportunities.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career? 

Having come from a strong university I was approached very quickly regarding PhD opportunities at Leeds. It was a difficult choice deciding whether to continue learning about statistical applications or move into full-time employment where I could see first-hand how statistical ideas are applied.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career? 

Working within a close team on big deadlines, establishing camaraderie, gaining satisfaction from completing tasks on time and receiving positive feedback as well as areas in which to improve from seniors and clients is a great challenge and constant thrill. Working life doesn’t have to be all about deadlines though; I have helped establish a football team within the office.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could? 

Although I had a fantastic year studying in Leeds, I wouldn’t have hesitated to stay at the University of Plymouth for my MSc, however, this was not possible. The course and staff provided me with everything I wanted from my degree and I wouldn’t have thought twice about staying for another year.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work? 

Working for a large national and international pharmaceutical company is a very rewarding and engaging area to work in. Every day throws up new challenges. The skills you learn from a mathematics and statistics degree give you a real head start in this field. 

How did studying at Plymouth help you? 

I often tell people I owe the University of Plymouth everything for getting me where I am today. Not just because of what I achieved academically but because of the transferable life skills developed in parallel. Whilst attending interviews you have a great conversation starter by being able to talk about the University of Plymouth, the city and the surrounding area.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth? 

I often spent my free periods in the mathematics common room, sharing mathematical and statistical ideas with course mates was an enjoyable experience. I was part of the society football team and frequently socialising with people who shared the same academic interests was amazing.

Do you stay in touch with other University of Plymouth alumni or lecturers?

I keep in regular contact with friends and lecturers from my time in Plymouth. The lecturers are always pleased to hear from graduates and find out what we are up to.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with the University of Plymouth, and why?

I am frequently asked about the University of Plymouth and I only have positive comments when responding. The support network and open door policy the lecturers have is invaluable. The course is totally engaging from day one and the broad syllabus means you can tailor the course to meet your own interests. I am so pleased I chose to study at Plymouth. Outside the course there are fantastic opportunities on offer, I was involved with the Student Led Volunteer Department and the mathematics society football team which provided opportunities to relax away from the course and have a great deal of fun.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students? 

The years you spend studying at the University of Plymouth will allow you to create fond memories that you will continue to look back on for years after graduation. Studying at the University of Plymouth is an enriching experience. Gain all the knowledge you can as the lecturers have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can help you in your career.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying statistics please visit our BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Statistics course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Science and Engineering are currently doing, please visit the computing and mathematical sciences interest area.

Students and tutor studying mathematical model on computer screen