Emily Milborne: BSc (Hons) Psychology 2016-2019 Research Officer at the Office for National Statistics

8 Dec 20

“Winchester helped me in terms of confidence and made me feel like I can achieve anything – the support I received was fantastic. During the pandemic I was thinking, how am I going to deal with this? But I reminded myself of what Winchester taught me, about how to persevere, stay positive and ask for help if needed. It is such a wonderful community. I hold onto the support and values I received while studying at Winchester.”

Emily Milborne has gone from working in the Psychology Department to working for the Office for National Statistics. Graduating in 2019 with a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, Emily now works as a Research Officer. Emily has always been eager to work and started employment after handing in her research project when she no longer had lectures.

“I wanted to set myself up for working straight after university. I began applying for jobs before handing in my research project in March and then secured an Assistant Researcher role with my lecturers immediately afterwards. This role was 16 hours a week for six weeks. It involved contacting schools external to Winchester and inviting them to be involved in a research project. This really helped me to reach outside of the Winchester bubble and make contacts – it was a great stepping point.“

“I then got a job based in Titchfield working as a Business Support Officer assisting in the delivery of the Census rehearsal. The Census is a survey run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that comes around every 10 years. The ONS hold a rehearsal of this operation two years prior to the full Census to help scope out any operational issues. For this role you needed experience but it was also an entry level role.“

Emily now works for the Office for National Statistics as a Research Officer, involving skills such as coding, redevelopment work, research and statistical analysis.

“The job I am in now is aimed towards graduates. I’ve been in this role for eight months. There is no end to my role, and I wish I had applied for it in the first place! I’ve learnt a lot from working on population and household projections. We create projections for population statistics every two years. It involves a lot of redevelopment work and coding. I’m also part of a learning and development committee for which I’m working on delivering a mentoring programme for the analytical profession. I can take what I want from it..“

Emily says her Psychology degree has helped her immensely in all her work but especially in her current job in which she uses skills she learned in certain modules, alongside general experience the degree gave her.

“My degree helped a lot, particularly my Advanced Statistics module. It increased my confidence in interviews and helped me to get my current job. Computational Skills also helped give me a knowledge of basic Python programming language which I use in my role now too. In general, the critical thinking I skills gained on the degree are so utterly important when working. Second guessing, having an eye for detail and thinking of other theories were all qualities of mine but the course encouraged that natural side of me.”

Emily also says that studying at Winchester has influenced the way she works in her current role. 

“My third year lecturers and dissertation supervisor were so helpful when I was in my final year of study. I also remember my lecturer in the first year doing a module in Applied Skills for Learning and development; I remember thinking I want to use this in my career. I now run a mentoring project at work. All that outlook came from studying at Winchester.“

Emily is classed as a mature student, having started her degree at the age of 22. Although initially feeling a little out of place when starting university, joining the Netball Society helped her to make friends and balance her studies throughout her degree.

“It was really intimidating being a bit older when starting uni and I felt like an outsider. Then I joined the Netball Society. I didn’t get into the team first time round but I went to training every Monday night and got in during my second year of studies. It helped get me through my mum’s cancer in second and third year. I made great friends there and we are still in contact now. Once I got on the team it helped me balance priorities between my dissertation and my own time.“

Emily has many happy memories at Winchester but one she specifically remembers involved helping other Psychology students succeed in their studies.

“I worked as a statistics demonstrator for Psychology statistics workshops, helping first and second years in my final year. I helped several students and I loved seeing the lightbulb moments – it is very Winchester to support each other.“

“A first-year student turned up for the first time halfway through the year. I’d never seen this girl before and it was the first time she had seen the software. I said ‘I am here to help’ when she said ‘I’m so lost with this’. I worked with her and she kept returning. She stopped me on campus one day after the workshops were over and told me she passed her research and stats module, I’ll always remember that.“

Emily is happy in her current job but has ambitions to work in other psychology roles. To achieve this, she is studying a Masters in Organisational Psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London.

“In the immediate future I would like to get a promotion and work my way up, I am ambitious and want to build on my experience and keep going. In the long run I am looking at occupational psychology. I would love to eventually become a lecturer at Winchester, a PHD is on my radar and I couldn’t give my money to anywhere else but Winch to do that because doing a PHD is high profile work, it is stressful but, I know I’d have the set of beliefs and support from Winchester that I’d need.”

Now Emily has experience working in multiple psychology roles and the civil service, she has great advice for psychology students looking to follow a similar career path.

“Take every opportunity you can get even small jobs. Take it and use it to frame responses for other job interviews.  It is really important to do that, you don’t need long extensive info just keep it relevant, always ask about things too!”

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