Ruth Coleman, Medical Statistician

I chose the University of Plymouth for two reasons. The main reason was that the university offered a degree in Applied Statistics. The other was that Plymouth looked like a good place to spend 3 years (and it was).

The course followed a good balance of theory as well as applied topics. I had no real career ideas before starting university. The three years helped me focus on what I wanted to do when I left.

I also had a great amount of help from my supervisor who sent me all sorts of information on jobs in the medical statistics area. One of these prospects was for a statistician to work in the Diabetes Trials Unit at the University of Oxford. I applied for the job and have been working there for 3 years now.

I learnt a great deal of computer skills at Plymouth, which along with studying an applied degree has turned out to be incredibly useful, as many companies require experience of handling real data, along with a good knowledge of at least one stats computer package.

Through work I have been able to travel – attending conferences in Europe, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

After I had been at Oxford a year, the department decided to support me to study an MSc part-time over two years, which I have just finished and I have now returned to working full-time.