My placement as an operational research analyst at the Home Office allowed me to expand my technical skills; I learnt several new programming languages and became a more proficient user of Excel. I also developed my wider business skills and became more competent at writing reports and giving presentations.

The analytical team in which I worked supported operational colleagues in forecasting, modelling and statistical analysis, all of which provided valuable insight into working across teams and departments within the office environment. This sector is where I plan to pursue my career, possibly returning to the Government Operational Research Service (GORS) in the future.

GORS analysts work across many government departments and agencies, opening up a range of exciting opportunities that my placement experience supported. The most rewarding part was seeing a large five-month project finished and signed off and presenting the work to senior colleagues.

When you’re looking for a placement, it's important to identify and promote your competencies. Application forms and interviews are largely competency-based, so make sure you provide good evidence of them in everything you’re asked. There are some great resources and help available on the University's e-learning platform Moodle and from the University placement team.