Nikolai Dienerowitz

BSc Economics, 2011
Senior Consultant , Oliver Wyman

After LSE, I went on to study for a MSc in Financial Economics at Oxford. After finishing in July 2012, I started working at Oliver Wyman in London, where I joined the financial services practice as a consultant.

I had no clear view of what I wanted to do before I came to LSE, so being in an environment that allows you to explore many different career opportunities has helped me a lot. Being made aware of what you need to do to be employable also helped, and sets LSE apart from other universities.

I chose economics as it gives you a toolkit for understanding the world of business and finance, which always interested me. I picked LSE as it offers a great mix of students from many nations, a very engaged student body and many opportunities outside the lecture hall such as public lectures and workshops.

During my studies, I had interned with KPMG (financial services advisory), HSBC (private banking) and McKinsey (Financial Institutions Group). This gave me a good overview of career opportunities and confirmed my decision to apply for a role in consulting. My aspirations have not changed significantly since I left LSE, although they have become more focused since I started working (or perhaps more realistic!). Fortunately, I have not encountered major setbacks so far, so have not had to change track.

I was looking for a role that would provide me with new challenges on a regular basis, allow me to have impact early on and work in a team. Consulting combines these three points very well. As a consultant, you need to come up with solutions for problems that your clients cannot solve by themselves. This requires rigorous analysis, strong communication skills and being able to work in a team. As projects usually do not last for more than 12 weeks, you need to be flexible and able to pick up new content quickly – this is what makes the job very exciting. I love meeting different people and clients on ever-varying projects, and tackling new problems on a regular basis. I also enjoy the atmosphere in the company, which ensures that you build relationships with many like-minded people and enjoy many more things than just work.

As with many demanding jobs, hours in consulting can be long. For some people, the frequent travelling that some projects can entail is not enjoyable. I will continue to work at Oliver Wyman, as my responsibilities and opportunities have grown significantly since I joined the firm. If you are doing well, you feel a clear step-up in roles and responsibilities – a very exciting experience.

I think that internships are crucial in exploring what you want to do and what you are good at. It is important to recognise that not everybody is cut out for banking or consulting, but it is your responsibility to figure this out. Being flexible is also a cornerstone to success – see what opportunities are available and ensure that you can match ever-changing requirements. Learning a language, for instance, is a great way of standing out.

I really enjoyed my time at LSE, which provided a stimulating atmosphere both in and outside the classroom. It is important to not forget that university is one of the most exciting times of your life. There are many things you won’t be able to learn at the library, so do engage in extra-curricular activities and try to meet people from other backgrounds. Don’t only get involved in lectures and career search – there are many other important things going on!

Nikolai Dienerowitz