Where Are You Now?

Andy Bolton

Andy Bolton

BSc Environmental Biology 1993

Andy is the Director of Fraudscreen, a fraud prevention and credit reference agency. He describes what he does as being a ‘professional geek’. Commercially he does Decision Science and runs analytics, solutions and R&D for Fraudscreen. 

In his spare time Andy delivers analytics and Geographical Information Systems to improve child poverty. As he says: “I’m an advocate on using Open Data, and I help promoting local business growth.  I still dabble in ecology, helping run a local nature reserve.”

Studying science and particularly Ecology at the University of Sunderland helped him develop an analytical approach and toolset. This has helped him succeed commercially in diverse disciplines such as Marketing, Risk and Quality Management.

“Having experiments fail and learning from them is key to science, but frowned upon in business – being prepared to try something and failing, and learning from failure is key to entrepreneurial and innovation success.

 I also think I benefited from not being afraid to do this”, adds the Sunderland graduate.

Andy can still remember what attracted him to the University back in 1990: “I came to Sunderland after speaking with a lecturer now retired (Alan Peat) and I was also really interested in the work of Professor Wallace Arthur, and Dr Dave Abel both of whom published really interesting books while I was being taught by them (The Green Machine, and Water Pollution Biology respectively).  After graduating I stayed in Sunderland and worked as a post-graduate with Dr Steve Percival and Dr Mark Davies which was a great experience.”

The 44-year-old also recalls the long lasting friendships he forged in Sunderland. In fact one of his abiding memories from his time living in the city is “living in a house full of friends and having a brilliant time, particularly some great nights at places like the Blue Monkey.”  The location was another of the things that attracted him to the University: “I still miss being by the sea and being on the beach in all seasons and travel to the coast as often as possible.”

Andy’s advice for current students on how to get a foot on the career ladder and secure their dream job is: “to find something that you love doing, and do that. Also, recognise your own skills that are portable from one profession to another, and it’s always good to challenge yourself to learn new things.”

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