Maddy Howarth

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Senior Consultant, ESP Consulting

The degree which Maddy studied, MSc Operational Research and Management Science, has changed its name to MSc Business Analytics.

Studying OR as an element of my undergraduate degree in Management at UMIST I found that I enjoyed applying the analytical tools and methodologies to solve business problems. After researching the options I discovered that studying for an MSc in OR would best qualify me to pursue this as a career. Being one of the longest established and renowned Management Science departments in the UK, along with its proximity to the beautiful Lake District, Lancaster was a clear choice.

The structure of the MSc in Operational Research and Management Science programme enabled all of the students to gain the core OR skills as well as allowing for flexibility to specialise in particular areas of interest, such as logistics or marketing analytics. Lecturers and support staff were incredibly supportive and approachable and always happy to go the extra mile to help if we needed further coaching on a subject or wanted to explore a topic in more depth. Classes were varied and included many external speakers from academia and industry as well as many practical workshops.

The project placements at the end of the programme were an excellent way of gaining real-life consultancy-type experience by carrying out a whole OR project for a real business client, presenting the findings and writing both academic and report-style papers. My project involved applying Soft Systems Methodology to investigate and structure the complex issue of major service reconfiguration in the NHS. It was a highly valuable experience which helped me understand the challenges in applying academic theories to real-life problems and in communicating complex issues to a variety of stakeholders.

Careers

Capgemini was one of many prospective employers who visited Lancaster to present career opportunities to the OR students. I was keen to gain experience in a wide variety of projects and industries and a career in management consultancy offered me the chance to gain a wide variety of experiences and core business skills, as well as to apply the OR skills I gained at Lancaster.

Since joining Capgemini I have completed projects for a number of central government departments, the National Health Service, a major electricity distributor and a global technology and outsourcing company. I have applied many of the specialist OR techniques taught at Lancaster, including Monte Carlo simulation, forecasting and system dynamics, and the soft consulting and problem structuring skills I gained during my MSc have helped me in every assignment.


Maddy has since moved to a new role as a senior consultant with ESP Consulting.