In our third careers feature, Sara Levy, recent graduate of MSc Psychology of Economic Life tells us how she became a Research Manager at Google and what steps she took to get there.
You graduated in 2017, what are you doing now?
Research Manager at Google
What skills do you use from your MSc in your job?
Quantitative and qualitative methods (on a daily basis!) and behavioural science / nudging (from Social Psychology of Economic Life – Advanced Topics)
When did you start thinking about your career?
It’s hard not to think about your career from day one. However, since I could only start working full-time after the MSc, I only started applying for jobs after I handed in my dissertation. During the MSc I focussed on building a network in London on LinkedIn by attending career events, PBS alumni events, and market research events outside of LSE.
What LSE resources did you find useful when you were a student to help you with you career planning?
PBS alumni events are a great way to meet people (and make LinkedIn contacts) who are more likely to be working in something related to your interest (plus with the same background). Also, LSE Careers’ services are like nothing I’ve ever seen: from basic stuff like CV review, to interview prep tailored to the job you are applying for (no need to hurry as this can be used even after you graduate). Finally, I attended some LSE Career events, but it’s important to stay focused to your career goals, because it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of events on campus… it took me a while to learn how to prioritize what to attend.
What are your top tips for a student thinking and planning their careers?
1. Build your network: one of the first topics my current manager brought up during my interview was ‘mutual connections’ on LinkedIn.
2. Do one good thing at a time: unless you are applying to grad schemes, there is no need to apply before you can even work full-time. Instead focus on writing good essays for your MSc courses that you can share later with prospective employers (if the topic is relevant to their business).
3. Use the “LinkedIn Premium trial” wisely: this feature helps (1) show your profile at the top of candidate lists and (2) recommend jobs where you are a strong profile in relation to other applicants, but save it for when you are focused on finding a job – the paid version is £26.99/month!
4. Recruiters are your best friend: don’t apply only to positions advertised by renowned companies, be open to positions advertised by recruiters. They are usually on your side and often help you prep for interviews. Plus many positions are advertised anonymously (my case at Google).
5. Take advantage of London, not just LSE: believe me, I know LSE can be overwhelming in itself, but one of the benefits of being in London is to take advantage of what the city offers. There are plenty of events going on (many times for free) where you can get in touch with prospective employers. In my case, I knew I wanted to go back to market research, so I subscribed to Market Research Society’s newsletter to know about the events in this area. Through this, I must have added +50 connections to LinkedIn, received about half replies of my messages, had a few coffee meetings, and got two job prospects.