60 seconds with Emma Mastin

Can you tell us a little bit about what Chevening’s Systems and Evaluation team does?

In a nutshell, we deal with data! We work closely with the other teams in the Secretariat to improve the quality of data we hold through data reconciliation, cleansing, and entry. We use a number of systems to both store and analyse our data, including two separate databases (one for our scholar data and one for our alumni data), as well as data visualisation and analysis programmes.

As part of my role I transfer applicant data from our online application system onto our scholar database and use it to prepare reports and letters during the busy placement period. Once the scholars have arrived in the UK, I work with the programme team to ensure the data we hold for each individual is correct and up to date, for example by updating any engagement events attended or adding additional fees.

The data is then transferred to our alumni database once the scholars have returned home, and I work with our alumni team to regularly audit and update this data using information from Chevening Connect (our alumni networking site). It is important that we aim for the cleanest data possible as I am often required to run bespoke reports, and respond to requests for stats from my colleagues and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Other members of the team work on the online application system and the monitoring and evaluation of the scholarship scheme as a whole. This is done by carrying out and analysing surveys from scholars and alumni as well as our reading committees and university contacts.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Having the opportunity to meet the scholars at our two large events each year – Orientation and Farewell. These are the only chances I get to personally interact with the scholars due to the nature of my role so it is wonderful to see them all in one place.

I also enjoy the variety of work that my job brings. I can be working with my colleagues on analysing survey responses one minute, and then uploading event attendees onto our database the next. No two days or data requests are the same!

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I enjoy exploring London by following guided walks with friends and stopping off at pubs along the way! I love going to the cinema to see the latest movies as well as catching shows at the theatre. When I’m not in London I enjoy going back to my parents’ house by the sea and walking our dogs along the beach.