Spotlight on Management Consultancy Careers – 19 Oct, 5.30pm – FWB 1.10


The Spotlight Series is a set of panel events for King’s PhDs and research staff. Featuring employers, often alumni, who have PhDs, the panel seeks to give an insight into different sectors that are often attractive to people looking to move beyond academia. This event focuses on management consulting with PhD staff from KPMG, Oliver Wyman, and Capco.

Hosted by Kate Murray and Donald Lush. Speakers include Grant Repshire, Capco, Philip Livingstone from KPMG and Nick Faull from Oliver Wyman.

Grant Repshire, Consultant at Capco: With a PhD in English Language & Literature/Letters Grant is now a management consultant for Capco, with a focus on process improvement, technology, and IT and digital transformation.

Philip Livingstone – “My PhD focused on the interactions between reward pathways and attention pathways in the brain and how they are affected by nicotine in order to find new therapeutic targets for disorders such as schizophrenia. I took a particular interest in how dopamine levels in the brain would change in this pathways as a result of increasing the effects of nicotinic signalling. I am now a Manager in the KPMG Management Consulting Healthcare Team. I specialise in redesigning healthcare services across whole care systems, involving the NHS, local government and not-for-profit sectors.”

Nick Faull – Nick Faull is a Principal in Oliver Wyman’s London Office within the Financial Services practice. He has nine years of experience in consulting to Financial Services institutions across Europe with a focus on strategic IT and operations topics. He joined the firm after completing an atmospheric physics DPhil and a 2-year postdoc at the University of Oxford, working on the largest climate modelling experiment in the world. When you take up this opportunity, use #kcldo1thing to let us know how you got on!


Wednesday 19 October 2016 – 5.30pm

Waterloo: FWB 1.10


‘The best careers event ever…': case studies from the NMS careers day

Listening attentively to a speaker

Listening attentively to a speaker

The NMS Careers Day this week was a great success, with 60 PhDs and post-docs attending and listening to ten employers talk about their transition from PhD and post-doc onwards.

Key learning points from our opening speaker, Robert Bowles from the Royal Society of Chemistry:


  • Industry is changing – look at SMEs as well as large corporates as they are outsourcing much of their R&D
  • Use the professional body for your sector area (eg Royal Societies and Institutes – eg see IMA for maths, RSC (Chemistry), IOP (Physics) and so on) for networking, jobs, other opportunities, and news
  • Your subject matter may not be what gets you recruited, but instead the high level analytical skills you bring – consider your values and interests when thinking about moving on.

Steffen Zschaler, Senior Lecturer at King’s, talked about his role as an academic.

  • Remember that PhDs from other countries have more time to be building a CV, as their PhDs take longer.  Other countries might consider a 3/4 year UK PhD to be pretty short.  How will you write about it in your application?
  • What do academics actually do?  Steffen spends less than a third of his time conducting ‘research’ – he tries to steal some research time from his teaching and admin, but it is tricky.  A good third of his time is spent in administrative tasks, and there is a lot of marking involved in the large subject cohorts.
  • The best thing about the role is the freedom it brings.

Parimal Patel – Schroders

Parimal began his academic career at the University of Leicester, graduating in 2002 with an MPhys in Astrophysics. After completing a PhD in this topic in Nottingham, in 2006 Parimal made the transition into the corporate world, becoming an analyst, for Standard Bank plc. In this role Parimal was able to put his studies to use, particularly with regard to developing pricing models and analysis. Since 2013, he has been operating in risk analysis at Schroders.

Adele Julien – Researchers in Schools

Adele is in the third year of her PhD at The Open University. Her PhD research focuses on pollen-vegetation relationships in Ghana and pollen wall chemistry. This work helps to inform the interpretation of the pollen fossil record, which in turn aids our understanding of climate change over time. Alongside her studies, Adele is actively involved with The Brilliant Club, the organisation that oversees the Researchers in Schools initiative. Adele works closely with the RIS Head Office team to educate organisations and institutions about the scheme, which places PhDs in secondary schools as trainee teachers whilst allowing them to maintain a research profile.  She also regularly speaks about the research that is produced through the initiative within universities. She has also experienced what it’s like to be on placement through the RIS program.

Neal O’Riain – Pivigo

Neal is the Community Manager at Pivigo, a data science training and recruiting company. Originally from Ireland, Neal has a PhD in Astrophysics from Trinity College, Dublin, and in his research career he worked on modelling the atmospheres of stars. During his time in academia he was heavily involved in science engagement and education. He is the founder of Student2Scientist, a science education initiative funded by Google and SFI, aimed at introducing computing centrally in the Irish STEM curriculum. At Pivigo Neal’s role is to support PhDs in their transition from academia to jobs in Data Science.

Jassel Majevadia – IBM

A scientist by training, Jassel completed a PhD on the fracture properties of materials for nuclear applications, where she worked within the faculties of metallurgy, mechanical engineering and condensed matter theory. It was here that Jassel first developed her programming skills using C++, Fortran, Python and SQL. This experience supported her in making her transition into the commercial realm, and at current her work at IBM is focused on delivering Proof of Concepts for cross-industry analytical solutions. At Imperial College London, Jassel founded an international summer school and conference on materials science and communications and also participated in a significant amount of science communication work, including presenting on the Discovery channel. Jassel is a passionate advocate of disseminating academic science within the public realm and regularly speaks for organisations such as Soapbox Science.

Karola Graupner & Alexei Mulko – Government Operations Research Scheme

Karola currently acts as an Operational Researcher at the Ministry of Justice, where she is involved in analysing statistics relating to the Criminal Justice system. Her academic background sits in physics, and she completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast. Following on from her studies, Karola continued to operate in a HE setting both as a Research Associate at Loughborough and as Assistant Laboratory Manager and the University of Oxford. She also holds a PGCE, and thus her varied background means that she is happy to advise people from a range of perspectives when it comes to answering the question What’s next? following the completion of your PhD.

Alexei holds a PhD in Mathematics from the Lobachevski State University (Russia). His area of research was systems of differential equations with periodic functions, existence of limit cycles and stationary points and analytical structure of the systems’ first integrals. Prior to this, Alexei completed an MSc in Financial Engineering from Birkbeck, where his area of research was commodities and commodity derivatives pricing. Within GORS, he worked as an operational researcher at the Department for Education (DfE) and later – Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). He is the leading analyst in carbon pricing at DECC and his work consists of developing pricing models and providing modelling advice across the government as well as driving the EU ETS policy development via analysis, impact assessments and engagement with the government and external stakeholders.

Judith McMarron – Elekta

Judith acts as functional lead within her team at Elekta and also works closely with the company’s Regulatory and Quality Assurance group. Prior to her commercial career, Judith studied a wide range of core physics and maths at The University of Manchester before moving onto The University of Edinburgh where she completed her PhD in Elementary Particle Physics, which was part of a project with CERN.

Stephen Harrison – Capco

As a consultant within the Innovation & Digital practises at Capco, Stephen delivers large complex programs that intersect innovation, strategy, technology and financial services. Stephen has been lead developer and product owner for a number of pieces of software, including both mobile and web-based applications for retail banks and internally at Capco. He is also part of the Digital R&D team, exploring new and leading-edge technologies such as machine learning, Blockchain and big data analysis. He has a 1:1 in Astrophysics, and a PhD in Theoretical Physics, both from University College London.

Notes by Aimee Wilde, Employer Engagement Officer, King’s Careers & Employability

Boston Consulting Group – PhD, Medics & Postdocs Careers Event, Thursday 14 May


Thinking about what to do next? Looking for a new opportunity that will challenge and develop you? 
If you’re thinking about the options available to you for the next stage of your career, come to our PhD, Medics and Post Doc careers event to find out what management consulting could offer. Our team at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) includes many who have made the transition from academia to consulting, with backgrounds as diverse as medicine, tendon engineering, game theory, 18th Century literature and the history of art. This event will give you an opportunity to learn what it’s like to be a consultant and what that might mean for you.

Want to learn more?
Sign up to our Careers Event designed especially for PhDs, Medics and post-docs. The event will include an opportunity to meet our PhDs and Medics to discuss what the transition was like for them, and to hear about their experiences over drinks and nibbles.

  • Date: Thursday 14 May 2015
  • Location: Holborn Bars, 138-142 Holborn, London, EC1N 2NQ
  • Time: 7.00pm-9.00pm

To attend the Careers Event, please register your interest via the following link –

Please note that space is limited and the link will close once spaces have been filled.  Once you register, we will send you confirmation of your attendance nearer the date of the event.

To find out more about BCG careers for those with advanced degrees, please visit Applications for full-time positions will open in September 2015.

We look forward to meeting you soon.

Advanced Degree Recruiting Team
The Boston Consulting Group

About BCG
BCG is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises.

BCG Consulting event… sign ups close tomorrow morning

See my post last week about this event – I had a chat with the recruiter this morning and BCG is really interested in early career researchers applying.  Plus you get to join at a higher level than undergrads (and therefore have a salary uplift….)!

Two main pitfalls she observes in early career researcher applications:

1) Not having a short, sharp CV.  It should be one page and very achievement-focussed.  CVs are initially screened by recruitment team and then staff with PhDs would look at them.  They are not interested in lists of publications and conferences unless these are useful to show eg ‘chosen to speak at a conference out of 50 other researchers’.  You need context which might be facts and figures.

2) Not knowing how to tackle case study interviews.  Practise practise practise!  They are interested in your thought process, your ability to see the overall picture (not the more PhD-typical detail), and your ability to do maths on the spot.

They are keen to hear from ECRs across all subject areas and are trying to raise their profile at KCL – let me know how it goes!

See here for the post and sign up details.


Management Consultancy: some insights from our Spotlight Jan 2014

Below are some notes from my careers colleague Dr Sophia Donaldson, who kindly hosted last week’s Spotlight on Management Consultancy.

Both speakers were from Deloitte: Nacho Quinones did his Biochem BSc at Imperial, and a Met Police sponsored PhD in forensic science at King’s. Liked science, but his PhD had focused on improving protocols to make processes more cost-efficient. Consulting offered him more opportunities to do this, as well as (compared with avenues like accounting) a way of really seeing how different businesses function, what works and what doesn’t. He has worked largely with life sciences clients so far, and likes still being involved with science.

Fahd Choudhry did a Pharma BSc, 3yrs in Pharma industry, then King’s PhD in Alzheimer’s research. Went on the City Course and chose consulting as a result. Expected to be used in Pharma consulting; had a few life sciences projects, but has specialised now in the banking sector.

Consulting is “Supporting clients make a change”. Examples of consultant projects that have made headlines: “Roche faces probe over safety data”, “London congestion charge: 15% price increase proposed”, “GSK decides to divest Lucozade and Ribena”. Teams of consultants are brought in to assess the current situation, identify issues, and devise and implement solutions.

Project work. Each project could mean a new team and a new location. The type of project and client dictates the hours. 8.45am-6.45pm is quite normal, but on tough projects or when deadlines are looming, the hours can be MUCH longer than this. Monday to Thursday you are usually expected to be in the client’s office. Nacho has had projects in Paris and Middleborough, and has travelled to Basel a bit recently. Fahd is usually in London for banking clients.

At first you’re just given projects. At the end of each project you get feedback on your performance from peers and managers. As you build relationships with people, you start to be offered projects by people who like working with you, and are better able to pick available projects that interest you.

Skills required: Problem-solving skills, intelligence, strong interpersonal skills, energy and enthusiasm, desire to make an impact, good academic record (regardless of subject), leadership skills, vision, flexibility to respond to the unexpected.

Application process: lengthy and competitive, with psychometric tests and multiple interviews. Fahd and Nacho recommend using the careers service – they both did!

Deloitte: Fahd and Nacho say Deloitte differs from some other consultancies because they see projects through from conception to completion. That’s why Nacho chose Deloitte; he wanted to implement the solutions he was suggesting. Deloitte offers all the professional services, and it’s quite easy to transfer between departments once you’re in. Deloitte is global, and again, once in and qualified, it’s pretty easy to transfer between country offices, on secondments or permanently (although of course, you have to be good enough for the new office to want you!).

PhDs apply to the regular graduate entry level (~£33,000 per annum salary). Might seem annoying, but when Fahd started he was 30 and expected to be much better than 21-year-old new grads. He was shocked at how great they were – age doesn’t matter. Nacho was very happy to go in at new grad level; although he was an expert in his field of science, he knew next to nothing about business.

Want to find out more about Deloitte?  They’re on campus soon: 

Appointment with…Deloitte 13/02/2014 11:00:00 – Careers & Employability Centre Macadam Building
Location: – Careers & Employability Centre Macadam Building

An opportunity to speak, one-on-one, with a member of the Student recruitment team, discussing the opportunities available, applications forms, hints and tips for interviews and answer any questions in relation to Deloitte and graduate selection processes you may have.

To book a 20 minute appointment, please email

Looking for career inspiration? Come and hear these stories

Early Career Researchers

Meet employers. Broaden your ideas. Be inspired.

For all PhDs, Post-Docs and other early career researchers looking for career insight.

Not a presentation, just life stories.

(No need to sign up, please just turn up!)

Programme Overview
 Date Time Room Session
Weds 22nd Jan 2014 5 -6pm FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Policy/Think Tank Research with Ann-Marie Brouder from Forum for the Future and Susan Steed from New Economics
Weds 29th Jan 2014 5 -6pm FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Management Consultancy with Fahd Choudry and Nacho Quinones from Deloitte
Weds 5th Feb 2014 5 -6pm  FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Patent Attorney with Claire Borton from Marks & Clerk and Rob Andrews from Mewburn Ellis
Weds 12th Feb 2014  5 -6pm  FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Medical Writer/ Science Communications/Science Publishing with Julia Coleman from Synergy and Pauline Starley from Portland Press
Weds 19th Feb 2014 5 -6pm FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Research – Social or Market with Emma Broom from Sociable Data and Jane Colechin from The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion
Weds 26th Feb 2014 5 -6pm FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Life Science Consulting with Muneer Ahmad from Lifescience Dynamics and representatives from Ernst & Young
Weds 5th March 2014 5 -6pm FWB 1.70 Career Spotlight: Turning your PhD into a Business (hosts TBC)

Leadership in science opportunity – good experience with industry

The Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable ( is currently recruiting for several leadership positions in its London team. OBR¹s mission is to foster an on-campus conversation about the healthcare and life sciences industry: We connect academics from across disciplines with each other and supply them with the industry resources and experience to move ideas forward. Since launching 2 years ago, we¹ve expanded to 8 chapters on 3 continents and 15,000 members.

Being part of the leadership team would allow you to work with blue-chip companies like GSK, Roche, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson and help organise events such as our annual £100k business plan competition. We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Chapter president: Oversees all of OBR¹s activities within London. A high-profile role perfect for a candidate looking to hone their leadership skills and dramatically expand their network in the industry.

Events lead: Responsible for planning and executing high-profile seminars, debates and networking events.

Outreach & marketing lead: In charge of OBR¹s outward presence, via our website, social media, and email communication

Consulting project manager: Leading 8-10 week strategy consulting projects for mainly biotech and pharma clients.

You can find out more about each of these here:

All roles are available immediately and will require a 10h/week commitment through Sept 2014. No prior experience is necessary.

Please apply by the 20th of January to


PhD 2 Consulting event

Notice has come round of this year’s event:

‘The PhD to Consulting group provides expert career advice and networking opportunities to current PhD and post-docs pursuing a career in management consulting. A highlight of our activities is the PhDtoConsulting conference, which gives delegates the unique opportunity to gain direct networking access to leading consulting companies and colleagues and provide a platform for discussion to PhD students/graduates and representatives from consulting firms.

We are delighted to invite you to the forthcoming PhDtoConsulting 2013 Conference, which takes place on the 27th of September at University College London, United Kingdom. This year’s conference will focus on:

  • Explore how receptive the UK consulting industry is to PhD students/graduates.
  • Sector/industry specific demands for PhD students/graduates.
  • What the consulting industry expects from PhD students/graduates.
  • Key skills a PhD recruit should have (quantitative, qualitative, etc)
  • Recruitment and assessment procedures including an opportunity to practice solving a case study.

Applications to the PhD to Consulting conference are competitive. Please go to our website for more details:

We look forward to welcome you to the PhD to Consulting Conference 2013!

Best regards,

PhD to Consulting Committee.



Panel event for SSPP PhDs this Friday, 11-12.30pm

Hello SSPP people!


Final speaker for the panel on Friday confirmed, so the full list looks like this:

Amir Smailbegovic, RBS

Having obtained Masters degree in Immunology and a PhD in Pharmacology (Effects of glycosaminoglycans on inflammatory cell function) at the Sackler Institute of Pulmonary Pharmacology, King’s College London under Prof Clive Page, I started working as a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellow at the School of Pharmacy, University of London. Although my education was science oriented, my other interests were international affairs and finance, something I developed while working for the World Bank in New York during my Gap year. Upon finishing postdoctoral fellowship, I joined Mitsubishi UFJ, largest Japanese bank as a derivatives trader, where I spent 6 years. In 2010, I moved to Daiwa Capital Markets in Hong Kong tasked with setting up a new derivatives trading desk, however, decided to move back to London a year later. I joined Royal Bank of Scotland’s investment banking arm in 2011 as Senior Business Manger within Global Trading.

Tom Huskinson, IPSOS Mori

Tom was awarded a PhD in Social Psychology by Cardiff University in 2004.  His PhD  was concerned with the psychology of attitudes: Tom researched the extent to which individuals differ in their tendency to base their attitudes on factual versus emotional information, whether these differences can be measured, and how these differences relate to aspects of attitudes such as attitude strength and susceptibility to persuasion. 

Tom joined Ipsos MORI (then MORI) after completing his PhD, and since then has managed surveys and research projects for a wide variety of clients, including the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education, Victim Support, and the government of Trinidad and Tobago.  Tom currently works in Ipsos MORI’s ‘Research Method’s Centre,’ which serves as the company’s internal hub of expertise in survey design, research methodology, and statistics.  The RMC applies the latest developments from academia to Ipsos MORI’s work, generates primary methodological research for dissemination in journals and conferences, and offers training and support internally and to clients on research methods.

Sara Fazlali, Secret Me Ltd

Sara Fazlali is the co-Founder and CEO of Secret Me Ltd, a high-end luxury invitation-only programme where individuals learn key personal protection skills that are then also applicable to real life and business from ex-Special Forces and Intelligence personnel. She is also the Founder and Director of Areté Club, a private members club that brings together different generations from the worlds of politics, military, business, law and the arts and hosts small intimate events to discuss and develop on today’s pressing issues. It brings people together to make valuable introductions and connections and fixes or brokers business problems around the world for Club members and contacts. She is currently still studying for her PhD at King’s in War Studies. 

Chris Mackmurdo, Foreign Office

Chris Mackmurdo is Head of the National Security Research Group at the Foreign Office. He leads a team of expert Research Analysts responsible for providing strategic analysis and advice on national security issues, such as international terrorism. Prior to joining the Diplomatic Service, he completed a PhD in international relations at the London School of Economics and was awarded an MA (IPS) and BA (War Studies) from King’s College London.  

Jamies Gillies, Bain

I joined Bain just over 2 years ago as an Associate Consultant, after finishing my doctorate in which I looked at how eagles control themselves in flight. Since joining Bain I have worked on 13 different projects, which have ranged from helping an Airline alliance to assess whether its financial model was sustainable, to running a survey of 5000 women in 5 countries to understand what they wanted in a pair of hair straighteners.

11-12.30, Friday 24th May, War Studies Meeting Room.

See you there!