Alumni Insight – Working in the human side of technology

Like tech? Like people? Great introduction to life in user research

The Careers Service Blog

We’re delighted to share a #TechTuesday guest blog post from University of Edinburgh, Business and Law alumnus, Nicola Hancock. Nicola is a User Researcher within the User Centred Design team, Digital Transformation Division of the Scottish Government… read on for a great insight into the interesting role of User Researcher.

nicola h pic 1 While interviewing some people in their home, after an hour our session was ‘rudely’ interrupted by these two demanding attention.

I have been working in my current role for about 7 months and I’m really enjoying it. However, I wasn’t aware of a User Researcher role, when I left university and it took me a few years after graduating to find out this type of job existed.

I started out working in marketing and social media for a digital magazine, did some web-related work for a digital agency and moved on to office management at Nile, a service design consultancy…

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Work experiences stories

Two contrasting examples of work experience to share:

Lewis Lappin, a 4th year MPhys (Computational) student is working at GMV as a Robotics Systems Engineer, a placement he got from applying via the UK Space Agency’s SPiN internship programme

Phoebe O’Carroll-Moran is a 2nd year Mathematical Physics student. This summer she is using & developing her research skills within the Careers Service on two internal pieces of research:

  1. researching all the sectors that make up the Edinburgh City Deal and its data-driven innovation focus
  2. researching sport and physical activity opportunities in a collaboration with the link careers consultant for Moray House (& its sports and exercise degree programmes)

Rockets in Scotland

This was a great student-led event with opportunities for students and graduates. One of the UoE student hosts was Lewis Lappin who has just started an internship through the SPiN placements scheme. He is working this summer as a robotic systems engineer with GMV.

The Careers Service Blog

Alison Parkinson, Employer Engagement Adviser, and Susan Bird, Careers Consultant, share some useful insights from the recent National Student Space Conference.

The conference was organised by UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS), the UK’s national student space society and was hosted by the Physics and Astronomy society at the University of Edinburgh. The two-day conference brought together students, employers and speakers from a range of space-related fields.

UKSEDS Group 2019 National Student Space Conference: attendees, exhibitors, staff and some of the speakers. Image credit: UKSEDS

The UK Space sector

  • The UK space industry is seeing very ambitious growth. There are currently 130 organisations (companies, research organisations) in the UK space sector. This is an increase of 27% in the last two years and amounts to 9% of all UK employers.
  • The industry is essentially split into two segments: upstream and downstream. Upstream focuses on sending objects into…

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