From biology to business
Business Analytics Graduate
Vodafone Hutchinson Australia
Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Genetics and Molecular Biology)
For Alex Metcalf, every day requires constant problem solving and extensive creative thinking.
As a Business Analytics Graduate for Vodafone Hutchinson Australia, he helps the organisation utilise statistical data insights and analytics to make better decisions.
“On an ordinary day, my role requires the accessing, cleaning and manipulation of data,” he says.
“On an exciting day, my role requires statistical modelling and machine learning to get the most use of our data.”
Alex majored in Genetics and Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland, before starting a job as a Research Assistant at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in a Cancer Genetics laboratory.
After deciding he was ready for a move into the business industry, Alex started learning business terminologies, identifying scientific skills he felt would be transferrable and practicing communicating these skills in a way that would resonate with future employers.
"Studies emphasising a data-centric, hypothesis-lead approach to problem solving was definitely an advantage when I looked to secure a corporate job," he says.
“I can’t stress enough that quantitative skills, even the basic mathematics and statistics of a biology degree, are in very high demand by employers at the moment – especially due to the rise of Big Data.”
It was this multidisciplinary focus, combined with the Advanced Studies Science program at UQ was which attracted Alex to UQ.
“The opportunity to be part of a selective program at the best research university in Queensland seemed like a worthwhile use of my OP 1,” he says.
“I found the undergraduate research opportunities were both challenging and engaging, they also forced me to develop the problem solving skills, which are essential to my day-to-day work now.”
“Studying a diverse, yet highly technical discipline such as Science has left me with the skills and the confidence to feel comfortable consulting the literature on almost any topic – from new statistical algorithms to economic business concepts – and even an occasional biological article, to reminisce.”
Image: Alex Metcalf