I knew Sheffield was where I wanted to go

Politics graduate, Joe Twyman, pictured in front of a YouGov banner.
Joe Twyman
Co-founder and Director, Deltapoll
BA Politics
"Be prepared, be different and be resilient, but more importantly: do it all."

Course studied: BA Politics

Year of graduation: 1998

Why did you decide to study at the University of Sheffield?

I took the time to visit a number of different universities during the second year of my A-Levels. I wasn’t really sure about any of them, but the combination of the halls of residence and the Department at Sheffield just instantly clicked for me and I knew that was where I wanted to go.

What was the best thing about the course you studied in the Department of Politics and International Relations?

It’s hard to pin down one precise thing, I think it was the broad understanding I gained into how things in the real world might actually fit together, coupled with the skills I developed to be able to investigate that effectively and efficiently.

What has your career path been since graduation?

I am the co-founder of the public opinion consultancy, Deltapoll. In my current role I am responsible for all of the company’s operations looking into data around politics, but also many other subjects, in Britain and the rest of the world. Basically, that means I spend a lot of time telling very talented people what to do and going on TV and radio to tell the world what the public think.

Before I started my own company I was Director of Political and Social Research at YouGov. I was a director at the founding of that company back in 2000. My first responsibility was to build the company’s online research operations, having previously developed internet research for Research Services Limited (now Ipsos-MORI).

My 18 years at YouGov included spending two and a half years in Baghdad as a director of the company’s Iraq operation from 2007 to 2010, working closely with organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme and the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission.

What advice would you give to new students in the Department of Politics and International Relations?

Be prepared, be different and be resilient, but more importantly: do it all.

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