Arts & Humanities PhD Case Studies: Consulting

This interview, and the others published over the past and next few weeks, are with the employers represented at the recent King’s College London Arts & Humanities PhD careers event. They have been written by PhD candidate Valeria Valotto, to whom we are very grateful!

From Philosophy and Political Theory to Management Consulting

Dr. Dom O’Mahony Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group

Current position: Dom is Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.

Starting point:

Between 2010 and 2013 I completed a PhD in Philosophy and Political Theory at Cambridge. I worked on the conceptualisation of judgement in Politics. Before starting my PhD I had been working for BCG as an Associate.

First turn – Consulting

I first applied to consulting more or less by accident – I had looked at a few other career options (mainly thanks to Summer internships while completing my BA) like investment banking, that I eventually decided weren’t for me. I had heard that consulting was a good way to create options for whatever it was that I would eventually decide to do with my life.

Second turn – PhD

I moved back to academia because I was seriously considering a career as an academic. My PhD was a unique opportunity to think hard about a particular problem. While doing my PhD I found ways to develop my business skills further. I was Entrepreneur in Residence at Groupon and eventually founded ‘Campus Partners’ a start-up that provided a number of services to companies looking for graduates.

Third turn – Consulting

The diversity of experiences, as well as the pace and the impact of the work, eventually drew me back to BCG.

Top tips for science careers from the Randall Division annual retreat

A guest post by Duvaraka Kulaveerasingam, PhD student, Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics.

For the first time, the Randall Division annual retreat at Royal Holloway featured an additional Careers Day exclusively for its postdoctorate, PhD and research staff.  It was a huge success.

Randall Division researchers at Royal Holloway

Randall Division researchers at Royal Holloway

The breadth of experience amongst our speakers was phenomenal and it was interesting to see the different paths they had taken to reach where they were today. It was encouraging to hear how they had overcome obstacles such as funding crises and relocations to achieve their goals. Here is some of the advice they gave:

 

 

  • All of our speakers stressed that you have to be able to sell yourself in any career
  • Network wherever you go – your contacts may one day find you a job as Roy Edward (Biostatus) found out when he was being made redundant
  • Make sure you are visible – whether it’s on LinkedIn or at a conference. Alison Care (Kilburn&Strode) let us know that she checks future employee’s Facebook pages too.
  • Pete Etchells (Guardian) told us to be patient with blogging; tweet, email and ask renowned bloggers to share or give feedback on your work, and practice writing all the time!
  • Never assume you aren’t right for the job – tell the employers what skills you are willing to learn. Arianne Heinrichs (Nature) described what she had to learn as a non-native english speaker during her career.
  • Turning down brilliant opportunities for personal reasons doesn’t mean the end, as Chas Bountra (SGC) and Peter O’Toole (University of York) found. They both ended up in their current positions thanks to these turning points.
  • Contact prospective employers and find out not only if you are right for the job, but if the company or the lab is right for you.
  • Keep your eyes open for internships opportunities. Aaron Goater (Westminster) stressed that some government departments have small teams with few roles so you need to check websites regularly.

If you are looking to organise a careers event don’t hesitate to contact our team to find out how we did it!

Photo courtesy Roksana Nikoopour

Academic Career Map – find out about European posts

Are you interested in taking up a research position in a university outside of the UK? An extremely handy Academic Career Map has been compiled by the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The maps show the different research positions available in an institution, the levels of responsibility, how they are funded at each stage and how a researcher may progress from one level to the next. Countries covered: Belgium (Flanders), Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

Red indicates positions which are funded by stipend rather than as salaried employment. Green marks positions supported by fixed-term grants. Blue indicates academic positions supported by core university funding. Orange indicates researchers with positions funded by external sponsors (either by research councils or industrial partners), although they carry out their research within the university. The charts show the key promotion phases or enforced exit points and the main bottlenecks in academic career paths and help to demonstrate how research positions fit together and into the university structure.

With thanks to UCL colleagues

Fully-funded places offered for the Cumberland Lodge Conference, Windsor

‘Life beyond the PhD’: an interdisciplinary residential conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor 26-29 August 2014

Cumberland Lodge

Cumberland Lodge, which is an educational charity, is organising a residential conference to give postgraduates and post docs from all disciplines an opportunity to exchange ideas, practices, experiences and aspirations. All participants will be expected to give a 10 minute presentation on their research pitched at non-specialists.

This conference offers postgraduate students and post docs the opportunity to explain to peers from other disciplines why their research matters, while also hearing from leading figures in academia and outside explain how research has changed their lives.

The Graduate School is able to fully-fund two places for PhD students and two places for Post Docs at this conference. If you are interested in attending, please send in a brief justification (200 words maximum) for your proposed attendance to the Director of the Graduate School, by email at vaughan.robinson@kcl.ac.uk, with the subject title ‘Cumberland Lodge’, by the deadline of 5pm on 23 MAY 2014. The justification should explain how you think you would benefit from attending the conference and presenting a paper.

98% of attendees at previous conferences were either satisfied or very satisfied and 98% would recommend the event.

Further details of the event, which takes place in a beautiful residential conference centre within Windsor Great Park, can be found at www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk

The conference fee covers all accommodation (in shared rooms) and the Graduate School will also cover reasonable travel expenses from London on presentation of receipts after the event.

Funded places at the Cumberland Lodge Conference – August 2013

‘Life beyond the PhD’ – a residential conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor 12-14 August 2013

The King’s College London Graduate School is pleased to announce that it is offering x4 fully-fund places for King’s PhD students and x4 fully-fund places for King’s Post-Doctoral Researchers to attend the upcoming residential conference at Cumberland Lodge.*

Cumberland Lodge, which is an educational charity, is organising a residential conference to give postgraduates and post docs from all disciplines an opportunity to exchange ideas, practices, experiences and aspirations. All participants will be expected to give a 10 minute presentation on their research pitched at non-specialists.

This conference offers postgraduate students and post docs the opportunity to explain to peers from other disciplines why their research matters, while also hearing from leading figures in academia and outside explain how research has changed their lives.

98% of attendees at previous conferences were either satisfied or very satisfied and 98% would recommend the event.

Those who are interested in obtaining funding to attend the conference are asked to complete a quick application, providing a brief justification (200 words maximum) for their proposed attendance, and to return the form to the Graduate School at: graduateschool@kcl.ac.uk by the deadline of 5pm on 31 MAY 2013. The justification should explain how you think you would benefit from attending the conference and presenting a paper.

Further details of the event, which takes place in a beautiful residential conference centre within Windsor Great Park can be found at www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk

*The conference fee covers all accommodation (in shared rooms) and the Graduate School will also cover reasonable travel expenses from London on presentation of receipts after the event.