Cambridge University to a School Canteen…a journey in Data Science

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A recent blog by Robin Huggins, Head of Business Development at MBN Solutions.

I’ve just had what could be best described as “an interesting and diverse” week and a half. I’ve logged up some serious Air Miles, met some fascinating folks and finished the time period off in a school hall full of excited and curious kids!

February started at break-neck pace with a long-awaited joint presentation to Cambridge University’s Judge Business School.

After my presentation to Oxford University’s Said Business School’s MBA program back in July of 2014, I was approached by Conrad Chua, Head of Admissions at Cambridge University Judge Business School to ask if I would be interested in delivering on similar topics to his students. I was honoured to be joined on the day by a long-standing client contact, Sanjeevan Bala of Channel 4 Television, and together we spent a couple of hours presenting on the journey Channel 4 have gone on with regards to their Insight and Analytics function, Sanjeevan’s career in Data Science to date, my thoughts and observations on the market today and how students can maximise their potential for employability through some pragmatic hints and tips that I’ve gleaned over 15 years of consulting in this space. It was my first visit to Cambridge and I found it as I expected to – a beautiful and fascinating place – and the students with whom I engaged filled me full of optimism and enthusiasm over the talent hopefully entering into the Analytics and Data Science sectors over the next year or so.

Next up, back in Scotland, was a meeting with a huge Financial Services organisation with my colleague, Russell Dalgleish. After discussing the challenge this client is facing around Data Science, we began to “flesh out” a proposal for a multi-channelled Candidate Attraction Campaign. This campaign will touch on almost all of the MBN Solutions’ portfolio of candidate attraction methods including Event Hosting, Thought Leadership, University outreach presentations and client showcasing within our various self-generated and affiliated media channels. Watch this space for developments in this exciting and unique piece of work – where we display our ability to disrupt and go beyond the standard contingency-based recruitment service model.

A coffee, a quick snooze and a lot of help from Hannah in our Marketing team (legend!) and I was on the road again – this time heading to present to TRC Media in Glasgow on the subject of Opportunities, Implications and Predictions within Big Data. TRC’s audience included many of the leading lights from the creative, digital and technology sectors in Scotland and my presentation was focussed on the three areas (People, Technology and Governance) that I believe will be crucially important to Scottish organisations if they wish to take advantage of the opportunities that Big Data will present to them over the next few years. A flow of questions from an informed and engaged audience helped to keep me on my toes with debate raging around many of the areas I touched upon in my presentation – the issues around Data Management and Governance proving particularly hot topics!

Finally, on Friday 13th of all days, I came to the end of this little “journey” with two presentations to the children of Saint Helen’s Primary School in Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. I’d been invited by one of their Principal Teachers to deliver a presentation as part of the school’s “Employment Week” alongside a host of professionals from a variety of sectors. The overall theme of the week was to raise awareness of the variety of great jobs there will be out there for kids as they complete their school and university studies. I presented to both the junior (ages 5 – 8) and senior (ages 9 – 12) children and my topic was “Future Technology Jobs”. Both audiences seemed to enjoy the presentation – with the younger cohort proving particularly boisterous!!! The highlight for me was, at the point near the end of my presentation where I invited questions from the children on the areas I’d covered (Development, Big Data, Internet of Things, Science & Technology), the first hand shot up in the air with the accompanying question – “Rob, will we have hover-boards in the future?”
With a smile and a wink I gave the only response possible, “I’m sure we’ll have them sooner than you think…”

So, from Cambridge University to a School Canteen….a journey in Data Science with MBN Solutions is an interesting journey to travel on!!!!

If you are a University or a University student thinking a presentation to your faculty may be of benefit to you and your peers, or simply want to know more about MBN and the Academy, please get in touch here.