I joined the NATS Analytics department in April 2022 as an analyst with a focus on data science. Before joining the company, I had completed an integrated Masters course in MORSE (Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics and Economics) at the University of Warwick. As a part of my course, I also completed a placement year as a data scientist in AstraZeneca’s Product Development department which was a great experience and taught me a lot.

I first heard about NATS and the Analytics role from a friend who had worked within the company for a few years. The things she said about NATS indicated to me that the company had a strong desire to develop employees and their careers. This sounded like the sort of place I wanted to work for and the role in Analytics matched some of my previous work experience and studies so I decided to apply – the rest is history!

Stiliyan at his graduation

The projects I’ve worked on so far have required a variety of technical skills such as computer programming, statistical modelling, retrieving data and creating interactive dashboards. Often within my role, I need to combine several of these abilities, which can make for a steep learning curve, however it’s rewarding to see everything click together in the complete process and help deliver meaningful change.

I recently joined colleagues on a project about predicting how changes to airspace design would impact safety, environmental performance and delay. Another of my projects involves investigating the fuel burn implications of changes to a flight’s trajectory, ultimately looking for ways to optimise this. In all the analysis I’ve been involved with since joining NATS, I find that following the numbers is not enough and it’s important to understand what the different variables represent in the context of air traffic control. For me, this is one of the biggest challenges but also a hugely rewarding aspect of the job.

My favourite part of the role is the breadth of work in which I am involved. I get to work with different people in our department and outside of it. Most of the modules I chose at university had a theoretical focus and I didn’t have much practice in interpreting subject matter experts’ knowledge and using that to solve technical problems. My current role gives me plenty of opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and develop that skill.

I would definitely recommend the current Analyst vacancy to anyone who enjoys understanding the big picture of complicated systems but also has an eye for detail. NATS is involved in so many interesting aspects of air travel, from the navigation of aircraft and consulting airports on their operations to planning the complicated process of air traffic controller training and futuristic concepts that are soon to go mainstream such as drone deliveries and air taxis. I’ve only worked in some of these areas, but I am excited to learn more about the rest!

If you are thinking of applying for this role or any other analyst roles within NATS, my advice is to go over your academic and work experience and pick several examples that show off your relevant technical and soft skills. For more technical examples, make sure to be able to give the general picture and intuition, but also be prepared to go into more details if asked to elaborate.

I’ve really enjoyed the past 10 months at NATS and the fantastic support that my manager and colleagues have shown me has been been a key part of my experience. If you are considering applying for one of our vacancies then I wish you good luck and hope to see you soon in Analytics!

If you’re interested in a career in analytics at NATS, find out more here – Analyst vacancy


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