Celebrating Pathways into Data!

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Earlier this year and for the second year running, MBN Academy were nominated for a Data IQ award. This year, MBN were delighted to announce that our work on The Data Lab’s MSc. Placement Programme led to us being shortlisted for the Best Development Programme – amongst 9 other prestigious organisations.

Over the last 8 months, Rob and I have been focused on training MSc Data students in Employability skills, whilst also working with a large variety of organisations in Scotland to generate industrial placement opportunities. These created projects will ultimately help these students with their move into employment in the Data space. This year, we reached a new milestone – placing 100 students in industrial placements, bringing our running total to over 220 students benefiting from this programme over the last 3 years.

Last Wednesday 10th July, Rob and I flew down to London to attend the awards which were held in the incredible Victoria and Albert Museum. We were greeted with a champagne reception, an opera singer and a very warm welcome from a number of individuals with whom we’ve collaborated and worked over the last few years – the atmosphere was absolutely fantastic!

The Award ceremony itself was held in the Raphael Gallery, where over 400 professionals gathered together, all hoping to be recognised for their contributions to Data in the UK. It was a wonderful experience, everyone congregated underneath some of the most important surviving examples of renaissance art in the word.

Nominated alongside us were NatWest, Channel 4, Barclays and Business Data Partners, amongst others. All these organisations run equally exceptional development programmes, so we knew that it would not be an easy competition! In the end, Royal Mail Group Technology won the award for Best Development Programme and were very deserving! To be listed along with such world-leading and innovative organisations was an honour in itself.

Reflecting on The MSc Data Lab Placement Programme, I think it is a truly unbelievable what we have been able to achieve. We have created pathways for students looking to take the first step in their journey to become data scientists in Scotland. We are equipping them with the skills, the knowledge and the confidence to start their career in the best possible way either with their Placement Host Company or with another organisation.

For Host Companies, this Programme allows them to get immediate return on investment. These students are highly sought after and skilled, often difficult to recruit. However, if you are able to support them during their studies, you will have a huge advantage over other organisations. Often, these organisations can use this Programme as a pathway to experiment with new and emerging technologies before committing to expensive projects.

MBN have been privileged to run the Data Lab MSc Placement Programme for the last 3 years as an arm of our Academy brand. We have collaborated with some of the most distinguished organisations in data and worked with superstar students to create remarkable projects – bolstering Scotland’s reputation as a Centre of Excellence for Data. It’s been quite a journey – and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for the Academy!


Written by Bethany Rodgers-Rintoul.