Maths and stats - student stories
Nathan Thompson, Project Manager
Tell us about your job and current studies
I am employed as a Project Manager at the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).
I am a current student at the Open University, studying Mathematics and Statistics. I chose the OU to study this subject as there are no universities offering this degree in my area. It also enables me to complete my studies outside of full time employment.
NNL has both Operational Research and Statistical capabilities and I've been given opportunities to gradually develop into these areas as my studies have progressed. I find the statistics modules in particular very practical and relevant to the work undertaken at the laboratory.
As a Project Manager, my main tasks that generally repeat on a daily basis are monitoring costs, dealing with customer requests and monitoring/organising delivery of the work. Exactly what that entails changes on a day to day basis depending on the project and what stage it is at in its cycle. The projects can be quite varied.
I am currently doing some statistical technical work which involves fitting a logistic model to some data relating to an issue at one of the plants from a nuclear site. The model will help to identify whether a particular feature is likely to be found given data for variables that relate to this feature. The statistical work also tends to be quite varied.
How have your OU studies helped with your job?
I've become much more efficient with my time through OU study, not just to study, but I've become more productive in general - both at work and home. My ability to read and understand technical information has also benefited from the method of study used at the OU.
Going forward, I hope to further develop the skills related to my studies and pick up an increasing amount of statistical work, with a view to becoming a statistician.
What things might make an OU student stand out to an employer?
Study with the OU shows an employer that you have drive and self motivation as well as a willingness to learn. The OU has traditionally attracted many mature students and offers a great opportunity for a career change. The National Nuclear Laboratory is a multi disciplinary employer that seeks employees of all ages.