Name: Anika Christine Mascarenhas
Degree: MA Management, 2010
Job: People and Change Consultant
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.