Why ‘adopt’ a MSc Data Lab Student?

Article written by Bethany Rodgers-Rintoul, Delivery Lead at the MBN Academy part of MBN Solutions. MBN are one of the UK’s leading Recruitment/Talent Solutions organisations with a focus on the Data space.


If you follow MBN or The Data Lab, you’ve probably heard a lot of noise recently about The Data Lab’s MSc. Placement Programme …but what really is this Programme? Why do companies take part? And most importantly, how will it benefit my organisation?

What is this Programme?

Essentially, The Data Lab’s MSc. Placement Programmeis a 10-12-week paid internship where current MSc. Data students are paired with companies across several industries and locations in Scotland. This year, we are tasked with placing around 100 students who come from 11 Universities from Aberdeen to Glasgow and everywhere in-between. These students are all funded by the Data Lab and are roughly ¾ of the way through their post graduate studies. They have the full support of the Data Lab and their University and can utilise resources from both.


How it's organised

MBN, the Data Lab’s official delivery partners for the Programme, train all funded students in Employability skills, work with organisations to promote understanding of the Programme, help shape a suitable Project and match the most appropriate students to. MBN have been delivering the Programme for 3 years.

5 reasons to get involved:

  1. Address The Data Skills Gap in Scotland

The potential Data opportunity in Scotland is huge and the skills needed to take advantage of this are in great demand, but unfortunately in short supply. This Programme aims to create a steady pipeline of talented data individuals who are perfectly equipped with the relevant skills needed to help them build their professional data capability. The Data Lab MSc Programme differs from most other academic courses as it is focused on building applicable domain and soft skills expertise in addition to theoretical understanding. By developing both technical skills and industry gained “non-technical” skills that are essential to becoming a successful data scientist, we hope that these students obtain the perfect balance of hard and soft skills to ensure success in industry.


  1. Inclusion and Diversity

Diversity in approach, background and thought is a key driver within most organisations. A student can bring a world of fresh, diverse, new ideas to your company. They can see things from a different point of view, can help to influence decisions from a different perspective and can add value with a wider technological lens. This, along with the added research and support that they have access to, both from their University and the Data Lab, could massively help the development of your company. Often, a fresh set of eyes is all that is needed to solve problems and add innovate insight to your company.


  1. Gain technology knowledge

Upskilling staff through professional development/ refresher courses is often a time consuming as well as an expensive exercise. University students have been exposed to the latest technologies and tend to be very tech savvy and up to date with the latest trends. As these students are completing an MSc, they often have the added advantage of maturity which can be used to benefit an organisation. When you add “exposure to the latest tools and technologies” to “grounded maturity” you have a powerful combination. This shared knowledge can help you stay ahead of the curve and beat the competition.


  1. A set of helping hands

We’ve all been in this situation before, 1 million things to do and hardly any time to compete any of them. In brief, these students can help reduce the workplace pressure and “get things done”. Even with minimal commercial expertise, an extra set of hands can make all the difference. Also, with so many things to do and so little time, projects which are not ‘high-priority’ are often put out on the back burner and forgotten about. A student can help with these projects, which in turn lightens the workload for others and can produce very interesting results.


  1. A chance to give back

These students are at the start of their data careers, this internship will mark the commencement of their ‘practical’ experience. This is a huge and sometimes daunting step for these students, so helping them to establish themselves in the working world of data is a huge deal! We are all where we are today because of people who have coached and mentored us. Now, is it time to repay the favour? When you create an opportunity for a student, you are helping to prepare the next wave of Scotland’s Data Talent.


If this sounds like something that could interest you - please get in touch by dropping me a line at:


I’d be happy to talk you through this amazing initiative!