Published: 25 April 2022

“SurreyConnects allows graduates to secure important industry knowledge”

Andy Josolyne’s career journey encompassed the Royal Navy and the aerospace and defence sector, before he became a business consultant specialising in data analytics. He also completed an MBA at Surrey and has joined SurreyConnects as a mentor…

Why did you get involved in mentoring?

I was talking to a good friend of mine who runs a pub. His son was completing his business degree, but he didn’t know what area to go into. I had a chat with the son and he said he’d like to go into marketing. So I explained how that has many different areas within it and it was clear he didn’t have much of a clue.

So you helped him?

We continued to talk and I explained one area that could set him apart in marketing was if he acquired skills in data analytics. I’d been working in that area for a while and I started to mentor him. He took to it and he got an internship with a company I knew from my days in the Navy. I also taught him how to use more advanced skills in Excel.

He ended up getting a very good job and he paid me a huge compliment by saying, “I wouldn’t be where I am today without your help.” Even better, his dad also buys me beer.

Why did you get involved in SurreyConnects?

It followed on from the experience with my friend’s son. For me, mentoring is a two-way process. I enjoy sharing knowledge and helping people. I could see the tangible benefits it brought to him in terms of developing his career. Aiding someone like this is quite a privileged position. You’re having the opportunity to steer people in a direction that’s hopefully more beneficial to them.

It also keeps you on your toes because you may not always know the answer to a question. It forces you to do research and keep your own skills sharp.

Have you offered anyone advice on SurreyConnects?

I’ve spoken to a couple of people on SurreyConnects and I helped them where I could. I appreciate it can sometimes be quite daunting for students to reach out to a stranger they don’t know. But they shouldn’t be afraid. This type of network-building is important if you’re thinking about investigating a career option. Taking the time to ask questions from people who work in those areas can save you a lot of heartache later on.

What subjects have you discussed with graduates?

I mainly offered advice on data analytics. It remains a continually growing and evolving field so I do keep up to date with what’s going on. In 2017, for example, I won an Information is Beautiful Award, and I was invited to give a presentation to the London Microsoft user group outlining ‘the why and how’ methodology and techniques involved in the model’s design. In fact, I’m still doing at least one webinar every week to keep up to speed with the latest developments in data analytics and visualisation.

Finally, why should people join SurreyConnects?

Platforms like SurreyConnects are important because they allow graduates to secure important industry knowledge. They can utilise this to learn about emerging technologies.

For example, Excel is a hugely powerful tool if you know how to use it effectively; and why it’s so important to master its analytical capabilities and functions. That can be the difference between securing a job or losing out to someone else.

Visit SurreyConnects to find out more.

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