INTRODUCING SOCIAL ENTERPRISE CONSULTANT #17 – ROBERT WILSON

I’ve recently found myself with a chance to take some time out between changing careers from banking to management consultancy and Social Starters jumped out as a fantastic way to use this opportunity.

Jumping back to between school and university I spent time working in a small secondary school in Moshi, Tanzania.  The focus became on working with the staff to create and implement new strategies for improving the quality and structure of teaching and moving towards financial sustainability. I felt like I had been very much thrown in at the deep end but this actually made the experience much more rewarding and developed an interest in charity.

At university I quickly became involved with RAG, the fundraising society, and in my second year I initiated a project to introduce trips to other cities and appeal to a wider audience than the society had previously drawn in.

Towards the end of my Civil Engineering degree, realising I didn’t want to become an engineer, I then joined the Banking and Finance society in what could be seen as quite a major change in direction from charity! However, I don’t see the banking industry as a whole as simply just having a negative place in society and feel comfortable mixing the two.

Having worked for a couple of years in the investment banking arm of RBS, supporting large companies through the process of issuing bonds in the public debt markets, I have decided to move into management consultancy and will be joining McKinsey later this year.

I would like a part of my experience in consulting to be focused both on social enterprise and on businesses in developing countries. This is where Social Starters presented a great opportunity to learn, hands on, about the challenges and opportunities for growth in these sectors. I’m expecting the training and practical experience to develop a way of thinking about problems that is different from what I can expect to be introduced to as a management consultant.

If I were to define my current (and vague!) long-term goal it would be to develop an interesting career in business whilst providing a meaningful contribution to society in the form of enterprise, social or otherwise, rather than simply charity. I have limited experience of the world of start-ups and social enterprise, and so I’m coming into this programme excited for to what it might lead to or inspire!

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