Andrea Lively

MSc Economics, 2013
Senior Analyst, NERA

Why did you choose LSE, and why did you choose your programme of study?

I chose LSE for its academic rigor and global reputation. Since I was not planning on going into academia, I was looking for a terminal master’s degree program that had a strong quantitative focus to complement my more theoretical undergraduate training.

Overall, how do you look back on your LSE experience?

My experience at LSE was great! LSE courses forced me to take the lessons taught in lecture to the next level, which was the biggest challenge. However, the strong collaborative atmosphere among students and discussions with the teaching assistants allowed me to learn quickly. LSE Careers was also a great resource! I highly valued the CV editing and practice interviews.

How did you arrive at your current career?

I wanted to pursue a master’s degree in economics to advance my studies in the field and to open up my future work prospects, since I wasn’t yet sure which path to take. LSE Careers held a consulting job fair, in which I was able to converse with consultants about the work they do. After doing my research, I decided it was the perfect fit for me!

Upon graduation, I started working at a small economic consultancy in Washington, DC that focused mainly on the telecom industry. Although I found the work very interesting, after a year I decided to look for a job at a larger firm that would likely have fewer inefficiencies. I was lucky to find an opening at NERA in the Communications, Media, and Internet practice area doing similar work, but with more opportunities for modelling and data analysis, which I really enjoy.

Why did you choose your current job?

After the LSE job fair, I knew I wanted to go into economic consulting. It was the perfect balance between the business and academic worlds. I enjoy seeing results from the work I do, researching interesting topics, and applying academic rigour to economic analyses. Rather than spending years researching one topic, consulting would allow me to apply economic analysis to solve real-world issues faced by clients. More specifically, I chose to work at NERA for its reputation in the industry, giving me the opportunity to work on high-profile cases. Moreover, the work environment is intellectually stimulating, while being very collegial. I work in the telecom industry, which is very dynamic, and one with which most of us interact. For this reason, I find the work I do very rewarding.

What does your current role involve?

I work in NERA’s DC office in the telecom practice area. NERA has a collegial atmosphere, and day-to-day responsibilities vary widely, depending on the project. Some tasks include, data analysis (mostly using STATA), financial modelling (in Excel), and report writing and editing. Communication skills, technical analysis, and writing skills are highly valued.

What advice do you have for LSE students who are looking to enter a similar profession to you?

I would take the time to talk to people at the job fairs and make the most out of the services that LSE Careers has to offer. LSE Careers has valuable resources on interview preparation and offers valuable feedback on CVs and covering letters. I also found attending companies’ recruiting events to be beneficial, as it allowed me to make contacts, ask questions, and get ideas for covering letters. Best of luck!

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