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The University of Southampton
Mathematical SciencesOur alumni

Michael Lockett MSc Operational Research, 2013

Revenue Management Team, British Airways

Michael Lockett's Photo

Hi, I'm Michael Lockett and I studied MSc Operational Research within Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

The course provided me with a lot of opportunities and gave me examples to demonstrate each of the tick boxes alongside job applications including team working and independent thinking which made it a really useful degree in that aspect as well.

Why did you choose to undertake your studies at the University of Southampton?

I did my undergraduate here in Mathematics, specialising in pure maths and applied, and I wanted to do more statistics. It is considered really well nationally also. I wanted to improve my job prospects and so it helps that the University has a really good reputation and rate of employment as it got me a good job, and something that would be enjoyable to do

Were you involved in any work placements during your degree?

As part of the masters you do a 3 month placement in business during summer months after you’ve completed the main teaching part of degree. This was really useful for me to apply what I learned during the year in a different setting, gaining real life experience in the workplace and building up specialised knowledge which I have now applied in my current job.
My placement was with East Coast Mainline in revenue management and now I work for British Airways in a revenue management team. I work within fleet fanning which involves working in a small team, analysing, ordering planes, and basically kitting out aircrafts with different seats, different configurations and deciding what reach and having a look at network. It’s quite broad with lots of different projects under one umbrella. We recently completed a multi-billion pound fleet order which was really exciting to be part of. I literally walked straight into that job and this project which I have been running for year and a half already.

What do you feel you have been able to achieve?

It has put forward my computing skills a lot more, improved my logical thinking massively as well as my approach to problems using a more analytical mind frame which is useful in life and in job situations. The course provided me with a lot of opportunities and gave me examples to demonstrate each of the tick boxes alongside job applications including team working, independent thinking which made it a really useful degree in that aspect as well.

Did you get involved in any additional activities?

During my four years at university I sampled a few clubs and in last year I joined a small sport society which was great fun meeting loads of new people and going for tournaments all over the country. One of the best bits of the course was group work and getting to hang around with people in the course and getting to know them better. I became a lot closer to the people I worked with; It’s nice that everyone is going through the same thing so everyone gives you a hand no matter what which was quite nice.

How did you find the Maths department?

It was well regarded nationally but also offers a lot of support. Tutors help you out where they can, as long as you are doing work to support yourself they come and give that added bit. During my summer project I got stuck and was not feeling at all confident, so I saw specialist in that area and they pointed in the right direction. The staff may not necessarily be your personal tutor, as long as you know someone they are happy to help out. I have even contacted university lecturers since working for British Airways for advice on business questions I have, so they are very open for questions.

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