Name: James Flint, Research Consultant
Why did you choose a career in the consultancy industry?
A career in consultancy interested me as I liked the idea of a varied workload requiring the use and development of a wide skillset. Working for ekosgen in particular appealed to me due to the political relevance of the projects and having an interest in how strategic decisions are made regarding public funding and policy.
What skills do you use in your role?
Generally, my role requires both written and verbal communication skills, attention to detail and time management skills. I regularly have to utilise a range of research skills to explore the context and policies relevant to projects. Also, the role involves providing data analysis, to help provide assessments of the socio-economic conditions and outlooks for different geographies and sectors, and I review programme management data and stakeholder feedback for project evaluations. Therefore I have to use different data manipulation and presentation techniques to reveal the important messages from the data.
What economic development projects have you been working on recently?
Amongst others, recently I was part of the team who assessed the scale of the residential accommodation market in Manchester City Centre and surrounding areas. This evidence base was used to inform conclusions with regard to the scale of demand for housing and to examine trends in the Manchester labour market.
I am also in the team looking at an evaluation of the Nu Traxx programme which provides support for unemployed young people in Greater Manchester. This has introduced me to a really interesting policy area which I look forward to doing more work in.
What types of clients have you done work for?
In my short time as an Intern at ekosgen I have contributed to studies for a wide variety of clients : Salford City Council on their Industrial Strategy; the University of Birmingham on the evaluation of their EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account; and a housing developer to prepare a Socio-Economic Assessment of an area where they were considering bidding to deliver new homes.
What do you like most about your job?
That it’s taught me a lot in a short space of time! Not just in terms of the new skills I have gained but it has also given me insight into so many interesting policy areas I had little or no knowledge of before.
What experience do you hope to gain over the next six months?
I hope to gain greater experience and understanding of the development of projects from their inception to completion, and how the research and analysis feeds in to the development of conclusions, strategies and recommendations.