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Hashir Ahmad

Name: Hashir Ahmed
Home/EU/Overseas: Overseas
Course/Graduated: L100 Economics / 2017
Current role: Senior Associate at PwC

Can you please tell us a bit about you?

I graduated from Warwick in July 2017, having completed my Economics Bachelors at the university. I moved to the UK from Hong Kong, and that was my first time leaving home, so the whole experience was very new and exciting

Following graduation, I decided to stay in the UK and now work at PwC in their Operational Restructuring practice in London. This mainly involves helping under-performing or distressed business improve their cash position, or reduce their costs, by focusing on their operations. In my spare time, I like to play and watch football. I also try to be as creative as I can and design and draw if time allows!

When you think of your time at Warwick, what comes to your mind? Do you have a favourite memory?

Moving from a city like Hong Kong to Warwick was a big but pleasant change – I really enjoyed the campus university experience, and even thought Leamington Spa was a great city for students to live in.

The best memories in Warwick are (fortunately) all Summit related – I spent all three years of my time at Warwick with the Summit! I have to say that I really enjoyed all the tours that we went on – it was a great way to meet people across all three years and degrees, and the friends I made on tour in Year 1 are still some of my closest.

How do you think your experience at Warwick helped you throughout your career?

The usual experiences of independence, having experiences outside of your comfort zone, and taking responsibility for yourself are definitely key attributes that help with my career. However, the diversity at Warwick in people and ideas is definitely the most useful attribute – it allows you to open up and build a social connection with your colleagues as well.

What excites you the most about your job?

It would definitely have to be the people – given that the firm is so diverse, you are able to meet people from all backgrounds, who have done a range of things throughout their lives. But what makes it exciting is that people at the firm will take time out of their day to speak to you about these experiences, and how you can develop yourself as well.

What qualities do you think are most important to being successful in your role?

I think you have to be quite open to new ideas and methods of doing things – for example, you may meet two very different manager personalities, to whom you would need to adapt in order to best work with them. This is important because the managers will definitely be adapting to suit your style of work as well.

You would also need to be open to new ideas, and learning how to best approach certain situations. There is definitely value in having and voicing your own ideas, but you should be open to learning from managers, directors and partners who have a wealth of experience behind them.

Is there anything that surprised you about being a consultant?

What surprised me the most is the level of detail that you would need to go to in order to answer what seem initially to be relatively simple questions. As a consultant, it is always important to dive deep into the problems faced by the clients without forgetting the initial question.

What changes do you see in your field in the future?

Data will be the biggest influencer in the next few years – as consultants we rely on client and external data in order to make calculated suggestions for improvement. This implies then that the better the data and analysis, the better suggestions a firm can make. If companies in the field therefore invest in data mining, management and analysis tools, they will definitely be ahead of the game.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

As much as consulting excites me, I have always grown up wanting to own a business. My father is an entreprenuer, and he has always encouraged me to analyse the world around us, find certain issues and opportunities, and then be fearless in solving the issues or exploiting those opportunites.

In ten years' time, I want to be a social entreprenuer – someone who is able to see issues as opportunities and provide a solution to society in a fair manner.

Can you please share some advice for someone who wants to enter your field?

There are a lot of firms in the industry that are great places to start your career at. But I think that you should be looking at the subtle differences – who are their main clients, are they able to provide only specific services, or a broad range, and are you able to move around and seek new experiences within the firm.

I would also encourage people to speak to more firm representatives about how they work, rather than what they do. So questions about dress code, flexible working and socials will give you an idea of the culture at the firm, which is ultimately what makes the firms different.