Our People

Georgie Vaughan

Junior Data Scientist
Georgina Vaughan

Georgie's Story

Can you give brief overview of your apprenticeship?

I completed a Data Science Degree Apprenticeship, a three-year programme during which I worked four days a week and dedicated Fridays to my studies.

How would you describe your overall experience during the apprenticeship at Ricardo?

My overall experience during the apprenticeship at Ricardo was exceptionally positive. I believe it has significantly accelerated my career progression, and I now perceive myself as a well-respected professional and a technical expert in my field.

Can you share some highlights or key achievements from your time as an apprentice?

My proudest achievement is presenting the wildfire detection algorithm I developed in my final year at Oxford University and at the Spatial Conference in New York. The reception was overwhelming, with numerous attendees expressing great interest in my work and saying that my presentation was their favourite of the day. They were amazed to learn that I was an apprentice. 

Ricardo allowed me to extend my stay in New York, enabling me to attend a Broadway show, visit the 9/11 Museum, and truly experience the city. It's an experience I will never forget!

How did participating in the apprenticeship programme at Ricardo specifically contribute to your professional development, and what specific skills did you acquire or improve upon during your apprenticeship?

This programme gave me skills in coding in Python, Machine Learning and Statistics, emphasising industry-standard code quality. Beyond the technical aspects, I developed countless soft skills, including public speaking, teaching, and project management.

Were there any challenging aspects of the apprenticeship, and how did you overcome them?

My programme was relatively new to the university, and we encountered some initial challenges. My line manager guided me to view these challenges as opportunities for developing skills in handling difficult conversations and providing constructive feedback that leads to meaningful change. Skills that I am now very confident in.

During deadline seasons, managing stress is essential. I have learned to maintain honesty about my workload and have found that constantly adjusting the balance between work and academic commitments is crucial for maintaining overall well-being. In the first year, I attempted to excel in both work and university continuously and simultaneously, but I now recognise the importance of adjusting my focus between the two as the semester progresses.

How did the mentorship or guidance you received at Ricardo impact your learning and growth?

Regular feedback sessions with various team members, addressing both technical and professional skills, consistently kept me ahead of my university course. This proactive approach not only reduced my stress and developed my skills but also empowered me to aim for higher academic achievements.

How has completing the apprenticeship influenced your career goals and aspirations?

This apprenticeship has fuelled a greater sense of ambition and confidence in my abilities compared to what a traditional university course might have offered. The firsthand experience of working on innovative projects with industry leaders and receiving positive feedback has highlighted the value I bring to my profession, motivating me to pursue more challenging career objectives going forward.

What advice would you give to someone considering an apprenticeship at Ricardo or in a similar field?

  • Choose a company that makes well-being a priority.
  • Choose a programme involving multiple apprentices so you have someone to share the experience with.
  • Don't stress about achieving a specific final university grade, professional development matters far more in your career progression.
  • It's going to be hard but it's going to be worth it.