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Sophie Gunn joined Egremont Group as a Researcher at the start of the year. Four months into her role in consultancy, Gunn explains what her job involves and how she moved into the consulting industry after graduating with a degree in history.
When I graduated with a degree in history 18 months ago, I didn’t dream that my first job would be a leap into the future. I am nearly two months into a new job as a researcher at Egremont Group, based in London, and spend most of my time looking at future trends and gathering stats and predictions about the world of 2030.
Before I started working at Egremont, I didn’t have much understanding of what being a management consultant involved and it is certainly a lot more complicated than I could have imagined. I work across the company, interacting with consultants at all levels right up to the senior leadership team, researching statistics and trends that help formulate our forward-looking business strategy for prospective and current clients. This involves analysing the implications of these trends and their implications for the current business environment, where the areas of risk will be and how to mitigate that risk and plan for it. This is not something I imagined doing and it’s certainly very different from my degree where I spent the last few years looking back in time!
My degree demanded a whole different set of analytical skills, and essays that ran into several thousand words were not unusual. One of the main challenges I have had in my role has been figuring out how to condense key points from hours of research into a sentence or two.
Whilst daunting at first, the fact that I have so much to learn has fascinated me and means that every day is different. When one of my first research packs went down really well, it was such a great feeling knowing that I was on the right track and that the consultants appreciated the hard work I was putting in.
I was first contacted about the role whilst working as an intern at a retail trends consultancy. Straight out of university I had taken a year out to go travelling and thought it was essential to simply get into a working environment once I was back. Whilst there I started to build my Linkedin profile and send out applications to any job that I thought sounded interesting. I went to loads of interviews, even some for jobs that I was pretty sure I didn’t actually want to get, simply to get used to the interview process and get my name out there.
A recruiter contacted me about this role at Egremont after a three months of job hunting. I had three rounds of interviews including a phone call, assessment and a one-on-one with a consultant. The final interview with Sean Connolly, the CEO, was an informal chat about getting to know me as a person and working out if I would fit into the company.
A part of me wishes that I had thought about what I wanted to do earlier and started to research different jobs in my 2nd and 3rd year – whilst I had done a couple of internships over summer holidays, they never really led anywhere as I was uncertain exactly what I wanted to do. However, taking the year out really gave me time to think and meant that I was more eager than ever to get working when I did. This definitely helped during the interview process as I was ready and eager to work hard.
My first month and half in the new job have raced by and I already feel at home. I have been made to feel welcome from the start, helped by the open culture at Egremont and the outgoing and friendly staff. Due to the nature of my role I have been integrated into the business very quickly, working with a wide variety of people across a number of different projects, from business development research up to assessing broad macro-economic trends. The variety makes every day different and while the office has a laid-back atmosphere, there is a definite a work hard mentality here.
This article first appeared in Consultancy.uk on 12th April, 2018. To find out more, please get in touch with Sophie Gunn: SophieGunn@egremontgroup.com / +44 (0) 20 7298 7878