Xena Kaur Stewardson

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Policing
Job title: Strategic Analyst
Subject of study: Criminology
Year of graduation: 2019
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Devon & Cornwall Police

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

My first job after graduating was as a Performance and Strategic Insight Analyst in the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit within Devon and Cornwall Police. This involved writing reports on the current threat picture of Modern Slavery across the UK. When this contract ended I transferred to Hertfordshire Constabulary as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst where I specialised in creating subject and problem profiles on Serious Organised Crime Groups and supporting live investigations. I am currently back in Devon and Cornwall Police as a Strategic Analyst writing strategic reports to inform and guide local policing themes such as Violence Against Women and Girls.

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

I ended up on this career path due to the opportunities that arose during my studies; this was primarily Q-Step related internships and placements including a 100 hour placement with Devon and Cornwall Police where I worked on Modern Slavery and CSE related reports. I found this to be an interesting, engaging and fulfilling use of the data analysis skills I was acquiring from my course. That sense of fulfilment and contributing to protecting my local community is what I most enjoy.

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

I was a member of SACSoc and BodySoc. I was also a peer-to-peer mentor for 2 years, and became an organiser of this group in my final year.

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

I enjoyed the variation in topics covered to appreciate how data analysis can be applied in different ways and to different areas which allowed me to appreciate the breadth of my career options. The biggest highlight for me was the Forensic Science module which I took for two terms – the coursework was so realistic and the guest speakers from high profile cases were very engaging and insightful.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The people that I met whilst there, University can be difficult at times but I had a great support network of friends and staff.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Exeter ranks highly as a UK university and I liked that it’s a city with a lot of green space and seaside nearby.

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

Clear communication, both written and verbal, which is accessible to all audiences. Also presentation is super important, knowing how to structure a report and how to best present data in a way that concise, simple yet effective

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

Make the most of the placements and internships available to you as these evidence your real world experience and skills application. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the organisations you’d like to work for as they may be able to offer you an internship opportunity even if they haven’t advertised for it. Also, mentoring other students is a great skill to have on your CV as it shows you really understand your course content and can clearly communicate it to others which is key in my role. Plus it’s a great way to make friends!

What are your plans for the future?

My future plans are to go back into crime intelligence analysis supporting live investigations.