Updated: Apr 22
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I completed a drawing in my sketchbook every day for the first 50 days of lockdown.
Tell us about your career journey so far
My first professional job after leaving school was creating 3D models working with a product inventor while also delivering architectural design services. I have since worked in a number of roles delivering engineering drawings and graphics before moving to a role that looks at how you manage and analyse them.
My current role involves several aspects: the first is to provide solutions to customers on how to manage and interpret their drawings, documents and data as an Information Management Consultant; and the second is to lead a team that creates and updates engineering drawings and graphics for use offshore and onshore
What was your favourite subject in school and why?
Art & Design. I particularly enjoyed the challenge of receiving a brief or design problem, and having to use my creativity firstly to solve the problem, and secondly to communicate the solution visually, whether it be a new product or a painting.
What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?
I should think that subjects such as Computing Science, Business Management and Administration and IT would all be very useful and relevant to my job role… however, I didn’t take any of them at school.
The majority of my relevant education came through studying Architecture at university where I picked up a broad spectrum of transferable skills. I would recommend looking at a balance of subjects which include some technical skills, but also creativity, problem solving and communication skills.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Working with a diverse group of people – lots of different skills, from lots of different backgrounds and collaborating towards solving problems using new technology and ideas.
What is a normal day in your role like?
My typical day is often spent working at my computer, leading problem-solving workshops with my team and drawing all over the whiteboards, or meeting with customers to report on project progress.
I can use a variety of software in a day such as:
AutoCAD to create or update engineering drawings (e.g. structural plans, mechanical arrangements, process diagrams, electrical schematics);
Power BI or Excel to analyse data, review millions of files to generate reports and recommendations on how to surface the useful files, and identify any that are duplicates or those which should be removed;
Adobe Illustrator or Acrobat to work of graphics, which could include escape route signs or illustrations for reports.
A host of other software and tools can also be used, depending on the project I am working on. Sometimes software training is required in advance, and learning can happen on the job too.
The majority of my time is spent working on projects, however I also need to allow some time in my week to report to my managers and my customers on our ongoing projects, and finances. As I have a leadership role, an additional responsibility is to make time to speak with the members of my team – even if we are currently assigned to different projects.
Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?
One aspect of my work involves gathering data, then communicating it visually in a way that helps me (or colleagues/customers) to analyse the information or tell a story about what’s happening.
At home you could ask your friends and family what their favourite pizza topping is, record the results and present the information visually.
When processing data, you sometimes find that your data (in this case responses from your friends) include unexpected outputs. For example you might expect ‘pepperoni’ as a response, but someone may say ‘pepperoni and ham’. You will need to decide how you wish to represent your data – do you start with a list of predefined options, do you add every response you receive individually or do you try to group the information under subheadings such as ‘includes pepperoni’?
How might these decisions impact the accuracy of your results and conclusions you may draw from them?
To represent the information visually you could draw up a bar chart or a pie chart proportional to the number of responses on paper or using Excel.
Drawing by hand: https://youtu.be/LEXbMW-Amao
You could create an html viewable in your web browser using a free Google resource.
Using the following Google resource, copy the html into Notepad on your computer. Change the headings under the Data Table to match the data you wish to represent, e.g. rather than ‘slices’ you are counting ‘Votes’, and the toppings you enter maybe different to those listed. You will need to enter the number of votes per favourite topping.
By saving the Notebook file with the extension .html you can then double-click to open it and it will display in your web browser.
Creating an html for web browser viewing: https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/quick_start
What sort of conclusions can you draw from your results? How might this change if you were to expand your dataset by asking more people what their favourite topping is?