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Alicia Harding posing next to disney character 'sporky'

Alicia chose to study Economics at Reading as she found the subject very interesting and one that’s grounded within our everyday life. It was a subject that she saw herself making a real difference with. 

With many fields being open to Economics graduates, Alicia now works as a Data & Analytics graduate for Sky. Her responsibilities include elements of analytics, data science and project management. 

"My role is rotational and hence involves working across multiple departments, moving positions every 6 months. I have worked on some really exciting projects at Sky with more to come. With a rotational scheme brings a lot of opportunity - I have had placements in Econometrics, Product Development and Data Translation. Every day is different, and very fast paced which as a graduate has been the perfect environment to grow."

While studying BSc Economics Alicia started to understand how her skill set matched towards jobs within the Data & Analytics space. 

“I realised I was far more mathematical than I had first expected, and therefore this encouraged me to pursue jobs that built upon this. I learnt a lot of technical skills at Reading which have been extremely helpful. I also learnt very useful soft skills, such as the power of good communication and understanding, learning how to speak to others and present, receive and act upon feedback.”

Making you career ready

Alicia’s years at Reading were some of the best of her life so far. The Department went above and beyond to make the experience great for all students.

“I loved all of my lecturers, they were generous with their time, help and advice, while also making the course very engaging. Reading in particular offered a wide range of modules, which I found very attractive. I liked that I was able to take my degree in a direction that I found interesting, and tailor what I learnt to what I thought would be helpful for me post-graduation. I liked also, that there was a mix of modules from very mathematical topics to more essay based/research learnings.” 

While at Reading, she also had the opportunity to complete a placement year with The Walt Disney Company. This year was one of the most valuable, adding to her CV and strengthening her skills for a job post-graduation.

“My placement was with The Walt Disney Company, where I was a research intern. This involved working alongside a team of around 30 people gathering insights and information that was widely distributed across the business and to external partners. I also worked as part of the EMEA team, meaning I was in contact with other local markets on a daily basis. 

My placement was a huge learning experience, learning skills from how to actually write a professional email, to using analytical data tools as part of my role. My economics course was very helpful in my placement, as I had the mathematical and analytical skills required to carry out the job.

The Department’s dedicated placement coordinator helped me with applications and also getting my CV ready. After I started applying she also often asked how my applications had gone and helped me improve where I needed.”

Advice for prospective economics students

“Stop considering, and go for it! If I could repeat my University years again and again, each time I would still pick to do them at Reading. The University, Department and course are too good to miss out on.”