Jamie Cross

Graduated with a Mathematics BSc in 2015.

Current role

Productivity Advisor (Cyber Security) at the Local Government Association

What was your career path after graduating?

I absolutely did not think that I would be working in cyber security four years after graduating. I worked in the Students’ Union after graduating and that really made me passionate about organisations where the members try to improve a situation or service for the people it is designed for. I was also passionate about how local government looks after the most vulnerable in society.

I worked for six months in adult social care using digital solutions to deliver a better service – one of the projects was looking at how Amazon Alexa could help. Normally people would use this to turn the music on, but we explored how it could be used with older vulnerable people with limited communication, and how it could be used as a prevention tool to stay in their home longer. There’s thousands of ways to apply technology in a new way.

What would you like to do next?

The skills and experiences that I’ve developed in this role have been really useful and I’d quite like to do a side-step into a social policy type role in a charity or smaller public sector organisation. That’s what I’m passionate about.

How did your degree prepare you for this job?

It’s primarily about problem solving and looking at different ways you can approach a challenge. Local government is facing massive financial pressure at the moment so a lot of what they’re doing is transforming services and delivering the same services at higher quality, but for less money. That’s ultimately really exciting.

You look at the average local authority, they deliver about 400 different services – there are at least 400 different problems to solve in every single local authority and there are about 343 local authorities. That’s an absolutely phenomenal amount of problems that need to be solved and I think mathematics helps you to look at problems.

What did you enjoy most about your time studying at Bristol?

I had a great time at the Students’ Union, spent two years of my life working there as well. I loved my time leading the LGBT+ society. Bristol is a great place to be a student – I love the city and the student life.

Do you have any advice or tips for prospective students?

Passion is a great driver of change. The University taught me mathematics really well but it also taught me how to run a campaign and try to change the way a service is delivered, how to lead social movements. The holistic value of that student experience; ultimately that’s what’s got me where I am today. That’s my advice, to see your university experience as a whole, rather than just chasing the next top mark.

Jamie Cross, alumnus
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