Read Mandy’s journey on how she started a new career after 18 years as a forensic scientist…

In 2019, after an 18-year career as a forensic scientist, Mandy Bath finally made the decision she wanted to pursue data analytics and is now a member of the analytics team at dentsu.

"I was assigned to projects that required a higher-level analyst because the team had confidence in my past experience and abilities."

What has your career journey been like so far?

So, I am originally from America, and initially, I did a bachelor's degree in microbiology in the US. Immediately after, I came to Scotland to do a masters in forensic science, where I met my husband, who is Scottish, and decided to stay. After 18 years as a forensic scientist, I desperately needed a change. I wanted a career that had a lot more flexibility, more opportunities to grow, and, importantly, where I could transfer my skills. So, I went to university and pursued a masters in big data at the University of Stirling. That's where I first heard about dentsu. Dentsu came in and spoke to us about the kind of work they did, the clients they had, and how they were recruiting people for their graduate scheme. It all sounded really interesting, so I decided to go for it and was lucky enough to secure a role in the advanced analytics team.

Do you think your previous experience has helped you in your current role?

Absolutely! I had a lot of transferable skills. For example, I could present complex scientific and mathematical concepts in a non-scientific way. That's a big part of our job, and I already had that skill. Working in a team, project management, all the general business skills, I already had experience with. I was assigned to projects that required a higher-level analyst because the team had confidence in my past experience and abilities. I was promoted to Senior Analytical Consultant before the graduate placement was up, and then again about a year later to Lead Consultant.

What was the interview process like?

I started during the Covid pandemic, so everything was done online, and we had a virtual pizza night. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the analytics team, understand their roles, and learn about the graduate program. The next stage was submitting a two-minute video about why we were interested in the role and what we could bring, followed by an initial interview. The final stage was with the Head of Analytics and a few of the Directors, and we were asked to put together a data set. It was purposely vague, and I had to compile it, make recommendations, and present it back as if they were the client.

What interested you about analytics?

It was what you could do with data! My role as a forensic scientist relied heavily on experience and opinion, which is not a bad thing. But we had a wealth of data to back up all our experience and opinion, except it wasn't in a usable format, and that was really frustrating. That led me to look into analytics, machine learning, and data science. I already had a statistical background because a lot of my past job involved probabilistic statistics and weight of evidence. I just needed the technical skills of being able to code.

What keeps you working here?

One of the main reasons is the “one dentsu” culture, collaboration, and the effort to work efficiently and collaboratively. I have been lucky enough to be involved in conversations with people across the business to help build bridges for knowledge and skill sharing. I have been able to contribute to our vision and how we operate within our “one dentsu” concept. That's a big thing that keeps me here. As a company, dentsu is excellent at identifying talent and promoting from within. There are plenty of opportunities for people to grow and progress.

The hybrid working model is great. It's super helpful because sometimes you need to be at home, for example, if you have a delivery coming. We do try to come into the office as a team a couple of times a week, but it's not mandatory. We're just trying to create more of a team environment. Personally, I find that I can focus better on different tasks in the office and at home, so having varied environments to support that is useful.

Looking back at the start of your career, is there anything that you would have done differently?

I would still have pursued forensic science because I loved it. If I hadn't done it, I would have always wondered. The number of skills I was able to learn in my previous career has given me the tools to progress quickly in this career. Having gone through all that makes me appreciate what I have now even more, and understand what's important. When you are younger, you worry about asking dumb questions, speaking up, stepping out of line, or challenging things. But with 18 years of previous experience, I gained confidence, and I didn't worry about those things when joining an entry-level position. It's valued when you challenge things and when you speak up!

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