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Sean Jarkas, BSc (Hons) Business Intelligence

Sean had three placements in industry during his time at LSBU; now he's putting the tools and software skills he learned to good use in his role at British Gas

When it came to choosing the right university for him, Business Intelligence graduate Sean Jarkas found that a family recommendation pointed towards LSBU. “I knew that I wanted to study a course relating to business and computing, so the BSc (Hons) Business Intelligence (now BSc (Hons) Data Science) combined my interests into one degree,” he says. “I loved the location, in the centre of London, but there was also a strong family link – my uncles studied at LSBU over a decade ago, which helped make up my mind that it was the right place for me.”

“My CV really stood out”

It was a decision that proved the right one for Sean, who has since gone on to land a role as a management information developer at British Gas. “The job involves creating and supporting reports that help managers understand the business and make the right decisions,” he says. “It’s a job I would have struggled to secure without the experience of having studied Business Intelligence at LSBU. I’ve been told by recruiters that very few universities offer degrees like mine, so my CV really stood out – which was a big help. I still use a lot of the knowledge I picked up on my degree, both in terms of the tools and software I use and the methodology behind my approach.”

Extra experience

Sean feels, however, that it is not enough to simply have the right degree on your CV – it’s just as important to give all you can when it comes to your studies. “Getting extra experience can also help you to stand out,” he says. “I did a number of part-time voluntary jobs while I was at LSBU, all of which made me more employable as well as helping me put my skills into practice.”

Work placement

Sean’s first placement was as a data architect at Osborne Richardson, where he was responsible for data presentation for managers and a number of staff, using Tableau software.  “The placement was suggested to me by my supervisor at LSBU and a recent graduate,” he says, demonstrating the importance of our outstanding industry contacts when it comes to strengthening student CVs.

“My second placement was at Lambeth Council,” Sean recalls. “That was also recommended to me by my supervisor, Dr Daqing Chen. I worked alongside Dr Daqing in a team of five, creating a dashboard to distribute the council’s data and help to decide where budget should be spent on development.” Sean’s third placement was also recommended by an LSBU academic, Dr Safia Barikzai. “It was a two-month placement working for HSBC in China,” says Sean.

My placement in China was a great opportunity to understand the real world of work, as well as to grow my network of contacts.

Sean Jarkas

Positive experience

With such a positive educational experience under his belt, it is little surprise that Sean is considering Master’s study “in the next couple of years”, though he is currently enjoying his career and the chance to use what he learned at LSBU to good effect. “I’m a Big Data enthusiast,” he admits, “and my job is all about data. Every time I finish a project, I know that lots of people will benefit from the results, which is a good feeling whatever line of work you are in.”