Chloe Neal

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Non-profit - Other
Job title: Data Analyst
Subject of study: Sociology and Criminology
Year of graduation: 2021
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After I graduated in 2021, I started a master’s degree in Data Science at Durham University in October 2021 and finished in September 2022. During this degree, I did modules such as machine learning, natural language processing and programming. In August 2022, I began my first graduate job as a Data Analyst for a Welsh charity. In my current role, I create, manage and maintain the organisations’ dashboards, help with using the case management system and prepare statistics for any ad hoc reports, bids and tenders.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

During my sociology and criminology degree at Exeter, I particularly enjoyed the modules offered by the Q-Step Centre surrounding research and data analysis in social science. This inspired me to continue my education and develop my coding skills, as this was something I was interested in. I enjoy the challenges in my role, whether that is based on software challenges or working with people to encourage good data practices. I also enjoy utilising the data and numbers to tell a story and to identify patterns/trends.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

During my undergraduate at Exeter, I was briefly a member of the Horse Polo team and then SAC (Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology) society.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

As part of my degree, I really enjoyed all the modules offered by the Q-Step Centre surrounding data analysis and data analysis in specific contexts (I did Police modules, Terrorism, Immigration, and Social Network Analysis). All the lecturers I was taught by as part of the Q-Step Centre were passionate, extremely helpful, and patient, and you could tell they enjoyed what they taught. They were all very approachable, and I felt I could ask them questions. My biggest highlight was getting a 1st in my dissertation, as this was during COVID-19 and was a particularly difficult time. I was extremely grateful to my supervisor for his help, and he was always easily contactable despite the remote learning.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I absolutely loved Exeter University, the campus, the staff and the students. I couldn’t find a negative about my time there. Overall it was a great experience and really good facilities.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

A lot of the modules I took at Exeter are particularly useful to my career journey and current career. I learned all my software, research, statistics and coding skills at Exeter University, but all the theoretical and research aspects I also learned helped me have a wider understanding of very prominent issues in society. I did a ‘Pathways to Data Analytics: Python’ at Exeter University, and that taught me a lot of techniques I used in my master’s. But in general, university helps develop a lot of soft skills, such as working independently or in a team, problem-solving, excellent time management and being creative/innovative.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Initially, when I was exploring further learning and career options in preparation for graduation, I knew that I wanted to have a career in technology/data/coding/research. But a lot of them wanted more of the traditional STEM degree, such as Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science. I think that it is often thought that you have to pursue a career or further learning that is directly related to your degree, but having any degree gives you a lot of transferrable skills. There are always ways to branch out into different career paths, which is why I found a master’s that would allow me to do this despite a social science background. There are multiple options to get into the career you want, so explore which options are best for you.


Similar Alumni

Nadia Tomsa

Sea Trust Wales. I studied BSc Marine Biology with a year abroad. In my third year I went across to Tasmania, Australia, which was unfortunately cut a bit short because of the pandemic, but other than that was amazing. Whilst I was there, I was able to do some Antarctic studies and that is probably one of my highlights of my time at university.

Ella Clark

Ernest Cook Trust. Since leaving Exeter, I spent a month in Australia and New Zealand visiting family and friends before coming back to England to try and find a house! Then I got stuck into volunteering (with CPRE and at WWT Slimbridge), and joined my local Environmental Action Group.