Why did you choose to study at LSE and how did you choose which programme to study?
I chose to study at the LSE because I wanted an international perspective from one of the world’s leading universities. My chosen course of study, Political Economy of Europe, offered two primary advantages – studying the changing nature of economic integration in Europe as it was happening; and the political economy aspect taught me that optimal economic policy is not always feasible, and how to evaluate realistic policy options in the face of these constraints – undoubtedly a worthy and applicable life skill.
How did you find the student experience at LSE?
The student experience was absolutely first class – London is the most vibrant and international city in the world – and the school is in the very center. My favorite aspect was the relationships forged with my fellow students. My flatmates were from the world over and I’ve now got close friends in every corner of the globe. I especially enjoyed the accessibility of the professors, which is not common in my home country – they invited students to call them by their first names and were very approachable, sometimes taking the entire class to the on-campus pub for a pint and an informal economic discussion.
Please describe your career path to date:
My year at LSE provided me the opportunity to evaluate career options and to make the right choice for my future. I was aided tremendously by the vast array of career-focused events on campus, which led me to management consulting. I’ve been in consulting for 4 years, and thoroughly enjoy my career choice, and I often recognize the role my LSE education played in my preparations.
Tell us about your current job:
I'm currently working with a Fortune 500 company, in the Consumer Goods & Packaging industry, better understand their financial statements through analytics, and assisting with a joint venture in the organic products market. In my career to date, I've worked in 4 industries, for 4 distinct clients, each offering supportive, innovative, and challenging projects to help grow their businesses. From Oil & Gas Completion Services, to Electric Utilities, to Financial Services, and now Consumer Goods, my experiences have been both interesting and rewarding. My job in each role is a bit similar - to serve as the liaison and chief communicator between the business units and the technical teams within the IT organization. I track project financials, milestones, and see project execution to completion, on time and within budget. These roles may seem to have nothing to do with my course of study (they don’t) – but the LSE taught me invaluable skills which I use daily; namely the work ethic required to succeed, excellent communication skills, the ability to forge professional relationships, and cross-cultural awareness.
Why did you choose it?
I chose management consulting because I enjoy the dynamic and changing nature of the work. I’ve been able to work with four very different clients, each of which has taught me very different and valuable professional lessons. I enjoy project-based work because there is a tangible goal to be achieved, and a team to work with, which motivates me. I chose my specific firm because of the culture, professional development opportunities and support system, and because I enjoy being surrounded by ambitious and hard-working people like myself – this experience and environment of collaboration reminds me of my LSE colleagues.
What advice do you have for LSE students who are looking to enter a similar profession to you?
First things first – start your job search early in the school year, as consulting firms hire annual classes, and do your homework. I found it a great privilege to be afforded the year to search for the type of career I wanted. I am the AFLSE Dallas (LSE alumni group) chapter coordinator, and I’d suggest reaching out to an alumni group such as ours in your field or home geographic region, as this is a great place to begin to grow your network. As far as skills are concerned for a career in consulting, I believe it is important to note that field of study does not matter much. Rather, firms are looking for creative thinkers, self-starters, people who excel in team environments, and sound communicators who can adapt to rapidly changing project conditions. Even though my career does not necessarily dovetail with my course of study, my educational experience at the LSE prepares me for challenges that I face in my career on a daily basis.