Case study – Anya Bukshi

What is your nationality?Anya Bukshi

Indian

What/when did you study at Durham? 

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree from 2011-2014

What are you doing now?

I’m a Government Consultant on the Graduate Program at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

What does your job involve?

Being a consultant at PwC involves plenty of research, report writing, networking, and on the job learning. Working with the Government team makes me feel quite fulfilled as our work indirectly changes the lives of the citizens and residents living in the Middle Eastern countries we work with.

How did your time at Durham help you to succeed?

Being surrounded by a body of motivated, determined men and women made me want to do the best I could. The desire for success is contagious at Durham and I’m very glad I had three great years to learn as much as I possibly could from the people around me.

What advice would you give to current students?

Don’t let your degree get in the way of your education. Try new activities, go to the talks and debates that Durham’s societies organise. Be confident in who you are but be open to learning new things and self-discovery. Only then will you find what will make you truly happy!

Any other information you want to provide?

Don’t sell your soul to your employer. A healthy work-life balance keeps your mind, body, and soul healthy too!

 

Advertisements

Atiya at Accenture

Name: Atiya Kalim

Course: BA Hons History

 Graduated: 2008

 Nationality: UK/USA 

Current position: Analyst at Accenture

I came to Durham University at the very end of September 2005, having just turned 18 and never having lived anywhere but home. I was the very definition of a fresher. My suitcase weighted down with text books and a new winter coat I came to live out my dream of wandering around the beautiful city of Durham, studying history in the shadows of the medieval castle and cathedral. I arrived excited for the adventure of the three years ahead.

Looking back to those days I would never have imagined that my module choice of Britain as an Economic Superpower would not only lead me to taking a special subject focused on Ecomomic History (London as an International financial centre), but eventually see me working in technology consultancy at Accenture with a bank for a client. The beauty of a history degree, especially one at Durham is that it opens up so many opportunities. The subject is highly analytical and teaches one to quickly get through a high volume of information and also encourages analytical ability. The excellent teaching and support from the professors really lets you explore your own personal interests.

The excellent communication with and support from my professors, as well as the amazing student body that Durham attracts all combined to make Durham an incredible experience. Whilst studying took place more often in the modern library than next to the Cathedral in the end I learnt invaluable life skills. The attention to detail, the time management, the ability to collaborate and respectfully disagree with contemporaries (as long as you have the right support for your point of view) are all tools I use everyday even though I graduated over 3 years ago!

Apart from the department, and the welcoming and encouraging atmosphere therein, I was also a University Rower. As anyone who has been in a boat at 6am can tell you this is a very difficult sport that requires passion and commitment. I met some of my best friends on a freezing cold River Wear, and with determination we went from terribly mal-coordinated to winning the ‘Boat Race of the North’ against Newcastle university. This to me is characteristic of my Durham, anything can be achieved there with effort and support.

Jalesh goes Consulting with Accenture

Name: Jalesh Mahbubani

Course: MA Management  

Graduated: 2010

 Nationality: Indian

Current position: Analyst at Accenture, London

I enjoyed my time at Durham University, having completed the MA Management in 2010. The small town was perfect for the year long degree with the collegiate system  providing an ideal opportunity to meet people and make friends.

With a business degree at undergraduate level, the subjects weren’t entirely new for me. I applied for the masters at Durham in order to continue my studies in a different environment. And what a different environment it was; we had such a mix of students from all over the world, with a variety of backgrounds and interests. Not only were the students so diverse, the ‘way’ to do things was different from what I had previously experienced. Having been tested mostly through exams, writing out argumentative papers proved interesting, allowing one to really dig deep into a subject and come out with an individual point of view. The course schedule allowed for more than enough personal time. I took advantage of this by involving myself in a lot of sport and extra-curricular activities. I was part of the Amateur Boxing Club at Durham and played a lot of casual badminton and football with Team Ustinov and friends. This is something I recommend everyone should do!

Having the prestigious Durham University on my CV opened many doors for me, including the one to my current job as an Analyst at Accenture. After starting with Accenture, I can see how strong a brand name Durham has and how much effort the company puts into recruitment of graduates from here.

I had an amazing year at Durham; the people, the scenic town, the sport and even some of the lectures. Not only was the year enjoyable, but my time at Durham helped set me up for a career in management consultancy that I had wanted to pursue.

Anika’s making changes at PwC in Dubai

Name: Anika Christine Mascarenhas

Degree: MA Management, 2010

Job: People and Change Consultant

Nationality: Indian

Employer: Price Waterhouse Coopers LLC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

I have been in the consulting world for two and a half years since my undergraduate degree from James Madison University, USA and graduate business degree from Durham University, UK. The consulting world has been both exhilarating and challenging. The learning curve is exponentially high,  given the breadth of knowledge required and industry expertise gained across a variety of sectors.

Prior to joining PwC, I worked with the Hay Group in Human Resource consulting. I delivered professional job descriptions in line with the Group’s project objectives, developed role accountabilities, key performance indicators, evaluated jobs using the Hay Group’s job evaluation system, undertook job grading, salary, benefits and reward assessments. The clients included the healthcare industry, media, oil and gas and the real-estate sectors through various HR consulting projects I was involved in.

As part of my MA at Durham, I completed a Dissertation on Change Management at Avis Rent-a-Car Company, who sponsored my research project. Through internal meetings, interviews and focus groups with employees I evaluated the changes and new management structure in place at Avis. During the research project I conducted a study on the external environmental and internal organizational factors, including a SWOT analysis and a change management diagnostic framework called The Burke-Litwin Model, in order to raise the performance of the organization. I would highly recommend that Durham students undertake internships or research projects inside organizations, as the practical learning experience is critical to succeeding in future career endeavors.  

Since graduating from Durham I decided to join the consulting world again. In order to secure my current consulting position, at PwC, I went through a combination of interviews with the Director and a Senior Manager and a case study of a company facing losses in the sports shoes market industry. The interviews were gruelling and intense but prepared me for a future consulting career at PwC. However, along with the prestige of working with a top consulting firm, I must also contend with long working hours, tight deadlines and travelling long distances to the client site that make life extremely hectic. I encourage graduates who are flexible and open to change to definitely consider a consulting career as it opens up a lot of avenues and doors, develops critical logic and strategic planning skills, writing and oral presentation skills, and provides real life exposure to the business environment across different industries that extends well beyond the realm of the classroom.