Alumni Stories: Meet one of our Social Statistics graduates
Yuchi Chen, IT Analyst. Graduated from our MSc Social Research Methods and Statistics programme 2019 & BSc Management (accounting and finance) programme 2018.
Yuchi works alongside the product owner of a data-related PaaS (product as a service) product, focusing on improving functionality and user experience. Yuchi’s responsibilities include creating high fidelity prototypes, transition flow diagrams, keeping product request documentation and docking external requests. On a daily basis, Yuchi assists with project management and production supervision, working closely with developers and UI designers.
Why did you originally choose to study your course at Manchester?
“The University of Manchester was one of the universities affiliated with NCUK program which my Chinese universities delivered, and among which, it is the most well-known and recognised in academic quality, especially in the business and social statistics sectors. I was also very impressed with the student employability and diversity.”
Did you always know you wanted to do the career you’re in? Did your course or time at the University help influence this?
“I did not know what I wanted to do back when I had just entered university. During my undergrad studies, I developed a strong interest in applied statistics, which I pursued for my master’s and was introduced to programming for data analysis. From that point, I started to become interested in overall coding and IT products, which became my profession later on.”
How did your course set you up for your career path?
“Working in FinTech product management requires a good overall understanding of business needs and relevant technology. Employers seek candidates who come from a technical background but have commercial sight. I believe having an interdisciplinary background in finance and data helped me stand out as a candidate. ”
What was the most surprising takeaway from your course that’s helped you later in life?
“I never thought I had talent or potential to learn coding, and it took me by surprise that I ended up enjoying it throughout my postgraduate studies. During my undergraduate studies, I came across an extenuating circumstance which affected my grades, but the then programme director (Dr. Elaine Clarke) was extremely supportive, her kind words and gesture helped me through a difficult time.”
What advice would you give to a student looking to start your course and/or join the University?
“I strongly recommend looking through modules and project information provided by the university website, if possible, communicating with admissions will be preferable. It is important to understand what you will learn from the course, what potential skills can be obtained throughout assessments, and most importantly what career options are there to explore.
However do not stress if you don’t know what you want to do as a career, sometimes it takes time and experience to truly know it. I recommend researching different jobs and attending insight days or internships from organisations to get to know different roles.”