April Frimpong (Chemistry 2016) is a Data Engineer at the Bank of England.
April, known by her friends as Ama, initially worked in education before realising that her passion lay in highly technical work and identifying what she needed to do to change her career path. Her current work involves transforming raw data into reports for analysis.
An early career change
After graduating from the University of Sussex in 2016 with a Masters in Chemistry, April worked as an Assistant Director at a tutoring company, fuelled by her desire to help young people. After a year, April realised she missed the highly technical aspects of work that she’d enjoyed so much during her time studying chemistry. She started to teach herself how to code and then undertook training to become a Data Engineer at data consultancy firm the Kubrick group, kickstarting her career in the world of data.
While at the Kubrick group, April worked on client projects and sites, one of which was for the Bank of England. She worked at the Bank as a contractor for 2 years and, having built a good rapport with the team and feeling that the company was somewhere she could grow and progress, decided to take up a permanent position with them.
As a Data Engineer, April’s main job is to transform messy raw data into data which can be easily analysed by economists to help inform business and policy decisions. She is glad she challenged herself to make this career change and proud to be representing Black females in her industry as the only Black woman in her team.
April’s advice to students at Make it Happen 2021
At April’s recent appearance at the University of Sussex’s series of Make it Happen events, she advised that the most important thing at university is to gain as much practical experience as possible. She believes that it doesn’t matter if your degree and experiences are different to the field you end up working in, as you will undoubtedly have gained many transferrable skills, because “it’s not about what you’ve studied, it’s about what you learned”.
For those looking to learn coding, April advises using free platforms such as CodeAcademy and Udemy and stresses that you don’t necessarily need formal education in coding to be successful. LinkedIn Learning is another platform which could be used to learn about coding and is provided by the University of Sussex to all students for free.
Memories of Sussex
April spoke very fondly of her time at Sussex: “I miss the feeling of sitting in the sun on the grass outside Falmer Bar after handing in my dissertation”. When talking about making the most of your time at Sussex, April advised joining societies, especially those which differ from your degree as this can be a great form of respite from work.
It’s not about what you’ve studied, it’s about what you learned.” APRIL FRIMPONG
How you can get involved
The Make it Happen series of events are held once a year during the second semester. Come along in 2022 to network with alumni from a range of industries. Right now, you can check out CareerHub and Sussex Connect for more careers events!
You can find thousands of Sussex alumni, including April, on Sussex Connect, many of whom are willing to help with advice and also mentoring. Sussex Connect is a platform exclusively for Sussex Alumni and current students, so sign up today to start networking.