What attracted you to Oliver Wyman?
As an individual who sought out challenges, I knew that consulting was a job would satiate my intellectual curiosity and provide the variety I was looking for. Yet, prior to joining the Financial Services Quantitative Analytics (FSQA) team, FS wasn’t an sector I had considered moving into: barriers such as the erroneous assumption that one had to move to London for a FS career, and the complex world of FS made me apprehensive.
During university recruitment sessions, I was introduced to the Newcastle-based Oliver Wyman FSQA office. I was intrigued and applied directly; following the assessment day, I was sold. While finance is an area much touted as a career path following a math/physics degree, it is often difficult to find out where in the vast financial world does one start. The assessment day provided clarity by challenging candidates with analytical problems that the consultants would tackle on a daily basis, giving us insight into the role we would play, the skills we would need, and the scope of the job. The interviewing partner also discussed related projects he had worked on at Oliver Wyman, which let us get a feel of the projects that we would be staffed on. It was evident that my mathematical acumen was well-matched to the requirements of the job and it was a perfect fit for me: I loved the quantitative nature of the job.
Speaking to the other team leaders and candidates also convinced me that the office would be a great team to work with and learn from. I loved the inviting start-up feel of a new office, and the work-life balance proposition touted was one where the managers all took a serious view and enforced it. It was the ideal place I had always wanted when starting my career.
The Newcastle office contains a set of very experienced team leaders available for help and guidance, while simultaneously providing an immediate and definite ownership of areas of work when you’re staffed on a project with them; there’s no room for people to be doing busywork/shadowing not fully contributing to project goals.
"Real work, Right away”
I definitely believe that the best way to learn is by doing. FSQA certainly lived up to that, as the Monday after joining the team I was flying out to Lisbon to start work on a project.
Training tends to be on-the-job, coming from team leaders guiding on how to tackle a problem, demonstrating how a large piece of work is being approached, ensuring everyone on a project has a clear view of the other pieces going on.
On every project, I’ve had a sense of ownership of my work, where the tasks are relatively small but are still well-defined and I can point to areas of a project which were entirely my work/input.