Like many, I joined the LSE in order to cultivate a global perspective. I truly cherished the privilege to study amongst the most international educational community around.
I chose the European Institute initially because of an interest in the Eurozone crises of the time and a rose-coloured fondness for the European project – but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the end, the LSE, the EI, and my overall experience exceeded every expectation; including those I didn’t even know I had.
My time at the EI taught me both hard and soft skills. I certainly received a comprehensive economic education: from the intricacies of monetary policy, to varieties of capitalism, to comparative economic policies. My EI studies also taught me the realpolitik ethos of our time, including collective action challenges, the nuances of disparate interests within a common bloc, and the power of national self-interest. Perhaps the best lesson was this – economics will tell you an optimal solution, but what second-best choice can realistically be achieved given a number of constraints?
I use this axiom in my career today as a Technology Consultant. From a technology perspective, the choice is often clear – but client organizations span the digital maturity spectrum and compromises must often be reached. I focus on data governance and integration, working with Salesforce, cloud platforms, analytics, and blockchain.
At the bedrock of a successful technology, transformation within an enterprise is often not based on the technical soundness of the solution. People and process are foundational for effective technology, and I serve as the liaison between the technical and business stakeholders within organizations. Technology that works for an intended purpose is predicated on clean data and an established governance framework, empowering those who work within that framework to make well-grounded decisions.
This is where the soft skills of my LSE and EI education come to the fore – cross-cultural communication, working within a team, polished facilitation, and quick thinking. The ability to formulate concise points of view and share them in an effective way with client stakeholders is derived from my seminar courses within the EI. In truth, these were my favourite aspect of my education at LSE – discussing and debating with colleagues and professors, often carrying on past class into the pub over a pint and a scholarly discussion.
Most of all, my EI education instilled an excellent work ethic, inspired by brilliant peers and a tolerance for the perspectives and opinions of others in a collaborative forum.
I bring this mindset and forged experiences with me in my daily client interactions: helping organizations develop a modern culture of data, and leveraging technology to bring positive outcomes to both the employees and their customers.