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Meet Paul

Before joining the Strategy Consulting team at PwC, I worked in Formula 1 for eight years. I studied mechanical engineering in DCU, and was lucky enough to join a team that won the world championship five times as an aerodynamics design engineer. When I considered making the move to professional services, I wondered if my skills would transfer. Thankfully, I quickly realised that the mindset and skills required of an engineer in a high-pressure environment are very similar to that of a strategy consultant. Being able to think quickly, process complex data in a short period of time, and come up with creative solutions are some of the fundamental skills required in both professions.

There is a lot of variety in my role at PwC. Right now, I am working with a client in the healthcare sector but I’ve also worked with public and private bodies in other areas. There are very few industries that we as a team don’t work with. This means that I have to bring a variety of skills to the table – from technical skills such as data analysis, interpretation and simplification of complex information to soft skills such as knowing how and when to communicate and research skills.

This variety means that there is no typical day. It ranges depending on the project or client that I’m working with. That said, most days start with a team catch-up where we discuss our planned work for the day, including any issues or queries. Depending on the project, I might have some data modelling work to progress, as well as developing insights from the data to present to the client. During the day, I may have a few calls with either the client or my team to go through the work to date. On top of this, I might have some training to do or proposals to build for future work opportunities with prospective clients. The variety is without doubt one of the most enjoyable aspects of my role.

My move to professional services has been a huge learning curve, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the most interesting companies and such a great, talented team. I really value the autonomy I’m given too. I work best in the morning and I try to plan any meetings later in the day, where possible, so I can focus on the more data-based work first thing. For work that requires a lot of focus, I’ll block out a few hours in my calendar to give it my full attention. PwC wants its people to achieve their potential, and they give you a lot of freedom – and support – to do just that.

"I wondered if my skills would transfer. Thankfully, I quickly realised that the mindset and skills required of an engineer in a high-pressure environment are very similar to that of a strategy consultant."

Contact us

Niall Hughes

Senior Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6108