Thomas Owen

  • Current role: Sales and Capacity Planner
  • Year of graduation: 2015
  • Degree course: Astrophysics
'Look into the variety of roles that suit your strengths. Find out what is expected of you and work on any skills or experiences you might be lacking in.'

We asked Thomas...

What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?

I currently work in the central business planning team at Ocado where I make sales predictions for the following day and have to plan resources accordingly. I got this role after going into a Physics technical sales role straight from finishing 3rd year. I enjoyed being involved in a Physics heavy industry but found myself disliking the "salesmen" role. After looking for a more analytical role, I found Ocado and straight away felt like I had found a role that would suit my strengths.

How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?

My studies helped me prepare for working in busy, dynamic environments by challenging me all the time. Whether it was working on a big project like lab work or my dissertation or preparing for my exams it encouraged me to take challenges head on. Having to plan my study time and workloads has helped immeasurably when it comes to decision making and deadlines in my job.

What made you decide to study at this University?

I had heard about the excellent Physics facility including Bayfordbury Observatory. The high ranking of Hertfordshire in the league tables for Physics certainly helped too.

What was the best or most useful thing about your course?

The support and facilities available. There was never a point where I felt I had to go it alone and help was always on hand if things got tough. Lecturers took the time to meet with me personally if I had questions and the 24/7 LRC had everything I'd need for self-study and exam practise.

What is your stand out memory from your time at the University?

Handing in my final year dissertation and finding out I got a first for it! The late nights with friends in the LRC had finally paid off and we all went and celebrated afterwards as a group.

Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?

I am in touch with a fair few of them as some have gone back to Hertfordshire to pursue PHDs in Physics and Astrophysics and some (like myself) work near or in Hatfield still!

What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?

Enjoy the time you have there as it goes so quick! Make time to give yourself a work and life balance even when things can get stressful. Your mental health and wellbeing is more important than your grades.

Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?

Look into the variety of roles that suit your strengths. In online grocery and retail there are plenty of roles in many different areas from analysts, coding, finance, engineering for example. Find out what is expected of you and work on any skills or experiences you might be lacking in.

What are your future career plans/ ambitions?

I would like to continue working in the online retail industry as it is a very fast growing industry with plenty of different areas to aspire to work in.