Interested in careers in risk and political risk?

This post is written by Lindsay Parker, an Application Adviser and PhD candidate in the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries. 

The 2023 Discover Career’s in: Risk and Political Risk panel event was an opportunity to hear from professionals working in the diverse field of Risk and Political Risk and find out more about the sector, what it’s like to work in the industry and how to embark on a career in the field. We spoke with Luis Losada Simon-Ricart (Aperio Intelligence), Gleb Perestenko (Kroll),  Alex Cunningham (Gallagher) and Ola Owojori (Sibylline) to gain some insights and answer your questions. 

What types of jobs are there in Risk and Political risk?  

The job roles of our panellists were varied and included; Imbedded intelligence analyst at a political risk consultancy (Sibyliine), IT developer working in the reinsurance department of an insurance company (Gallagher), Senior analyst in the due diligence and investigation department of an independent, integrity risk consultancy (Aperio Intelligence), senior management in construction expert services department in a risk and financial advisory solutions provider (Kroll)  

What do these job roles entail? 

For each panellist, days were varied. Tasks included writing briefs and reports, regular meetings with other teams and external clients, carrying out research using a range of databases and other sources and keeping up with global issues and trends as well as responding to breaking news.  

The client might be different each time but to work in risk/ political risk, you will need to be able to understand and respond to the specific needs of the client by identifying and conveying the information most important to them.  

Is the daily work of the job stressful?  

Roles in risk and political risk are often fast paced and require you to respond quickly to on-going developments. You will need to remain aware of global trends and events which may impact your client and be able to work under pressure. This can be challenging at first, and our panellists advised that there can be a steep learning curve initially BUT in time, as confidence and knowledge grows, the work becomes more manageable. It is important to have an interest in your specialist region or area of expertise.   

What are good skill sets to acquire and demonstrate for a successful start in risk and political risk 

Our panellists described risk and political risk as a “multi-discipline profession”, roles included a range of different responsibilities and skills. That said, there are several transferrable skills that came up over again. Firstly, each day is different, being well organised and able to work both independently and collaboratively is important as well as being able to work under pressure and to strict deadlines. Roles often involve working with various stakeholders and communicating key details to them, analysing information (both quantitative and qualitative), writing and producing reports to present findings clearly and concisely and responding to client needs 

How do you find jobs in the Risk and Political Risk sector as a graduate?  

Roles in risk and political risk can be tricky to search for as they may not always be advertised using this terminology. It’s a good idea to start by looking for companies which do the type of work that you are interested in (political risk consultancies for example) and look for jobs directly. LinkedIn is also a valuable resource to look for opportunities and make connections.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the roles you are interested in and ask questions. Take a look at the Career’s & Employability Keats page for tips on networking online.  

For a lot of the positions, a specific degree is not required but rather, an interest in the sector (which could be demonstrated through optional modules or dissertation topic), and a willingness to learn as training will often be provided and you will do a lot of learning on the job.  

Risk and political risk can be an opaque industry but the sector guide on Keats provides some useful guidance to get started.

Time Stamps from recording (All from Q&A video) 

  • Luis outlines the pros and cons of starting career in UN – 2.07 – 3.55 
  • Panellists talk through their day to day  – Luis (27.06 – 30.40), Ola (30.43 -33.42), Alex  (33.48 – 36.06)    Gleb (36.13 – 38.48) 
  • Ola gives specific examples of global trends to look out for now – 21.38 – 24.54 
  • Ola gives advice on coping with the daily stresses of the job – 43.28 – 45.50 
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in the sector (all panellists)  46.35- 52.42