The Aston University graduate igniting her passion with Public Health England
With her passion for combining health and technology, Saloni has now begun her graduate role as a Data Surveillance Information Officer at Public Health England, a government organisation with the aim of protecting and improving the nation’s health and well-being.
Saloni remarked that Aston University has helped to prepare her for her career, through her course adopting a practical approach to study along with providing opportunities to enrich her curriculum vitae. With an invaluable placement experience and student volunteering opportunities, Aston University has enabled Saloni to embark upon a journey of personal development as an international student. This has now enabled her to secure a graduate role with Public Health England.
Igniting her passion with Public Health England
Saloni began her graduate role as a Data Surveillance Information Officer with Public Health England in July 2021, within their East of England region. The majority of Saloni’s role has revolved around Covid-19, including presenting the Covid-19 figures of regions that need to be addressed at a national level to track infection rates in the East of England. Along with Covid-19 related tasks, Saloni is also responsible for investigating diseases, identifying the origin of a disease and what is causing it.
From a technical background in software engineering, Saloni has always had an interest in a career that incorporates health with technology. Through her role, Saloni has realised her passion for helping people by utilising her technical skills working with data and technology, positively impacting the lives of people in the East of England.
She admitted: “I'm very much passionate about helping people and working in the health sector. I wouldn't have got a better opportunity than applying for health related roles in Public Health England.”
Before securing her role, Saloni applied for numerous positions, receiving many rejections along the way. For Saloni, her search for a graduate role was a tough experience but she chose to not let this stand in her way. Learning from each rejection, Saloni adopted the practise of requesting interview feedback that helped her to shape herself and prepare for the next interview.
She said: “These practices really helped me to shape myself and be ready for applying for the jobs.
“I believe from every rejection you can learn something.”
An invaluable placement experience
Saloni also managed to secure a placement experience as a Computer Scientist/AI and Machine Learning Intern with The Innovation Factory Cooperative, a start-up company with the mission of reducing barriers to starting a business, reducing business failure, and critically for what Saloni was passionate about, to make entrepreneurship more inclusive for under-represented communities.
Within her role, Saloni was responsible for developing an artificial intelligence platform to write business grant applications, using natural language processing and discovering how it can help to grow an organisation. Along with developing her technical skills, Saloni's placement experience offered her a great opportunity to improve employability skills, gain confidence and add value to her curriculum vitae for her future career. It also empowered her and showcased her ability as a woman in tech developing complex solutions to business problems.
She said: "I want to say thanks to Aston University for providing me great opportunities like this, as the internship really helped me get into the career I always wanted to get into."
Why Aston Business School?
When choosing a university for her masters degree, Saloni researched a number of universities and compared their modules, ensuring they aligned with her passion for analytics. After reflecting upon her options, Saloni concluded that Aston University was the best option for her, specifically as it is triple-accredited by AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS, and is widely recognised for the quality of its teaching and the employability of its alumni by major certifying organisations and independent rankings. It's location, being in the heart of Birmingham, and the practical modules taught in Business Analytics course were other factors that helped Saloni make her decision.
Life as an international student
Adjusting to life in a UK university has been quite tough for Saloni, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the education system in England is quite different to India. To help her settle into life in the UK, Saloni connected with Aston University alumni who helped her become accustomed to student life and advised her on the careers services.
During her time at Aston University, Saloni became very active in her student life through volunteering as a global ambassador, a postgraduate mentor and within the Aston Indian Society. These experiences provided Saloni with a great opportunity for personal development as well as providing her with skills to add value to her curriculum vitae. Saloni’s experience at Aston University had been impacted by Covid-19, but despite these challenges Saloni has successfully achieved her masters and secured a graduate role.
She said: “I would say the overall experience though has been challenging, but it has been enjoyable as well.”
Advice for future Aston University students
When asked if she would recommend Aston University, Saloni responded:
“I would definitely recommend Aston University to prospective students. You should definitely be involved in the student volunteering opportunities to get the best experience out of the university."
For Saloni, a placement experience is a very useful opportunity to add value and credibility to your curriculum vitae, encouraging other students take advantage of the opportunity of a placement. Saloni emphasises the importance for all students applying for roles to remain positive, believe in your abilities and be open minded to volunteering opportunities.
"If you are offered a voluntary placement, I would recommend you take it because it's definitely an important experience for your CV, especially in the field which you actually want to enter.”