As a senior manager in data and analytics at PwC, Katherine Leenhouts gives her advice for new candidates.
It’s often difficult at the start of your career to map out the best course of action. Just like choosing your college course, choosing a company to join isn’t always straightforward and can leave you with a multitude of questions. Where is the right place for me? What kind of skills will I need? How can I succeed in an interview?
We talked to Katherine Leenhouts, a senior manager in data and analytics at PwC, to find out what’s on offer in her company for those who are early in their careers. She discussed the kinds of support that new joiners can receive, as well as what the HR team is on the lookout for during the hiring process.
For anyone just starting out on their career journey, development is key. And, according to Leenhouts, PwC is a great place for that.
“I think if you’re early on in your career, you want to get as much tactical experience as possible. PwC offers experience in a variety of different industries.
“But beyond that, what I love about our data and analytics team in particular is you get to work with people that are extremely talented in their particular field. So, you get to work with folks that have PhDs, master’s degrees and decades of work experience between us, working on these problems.
“So if you get stuck on something early on, you’ve got a whole team behind you that can help you figure it out.”
The importance of asking questions
What are the important attributes for a career in data and analytics at PwC? To secure a place within the “talented teams” she mentioned, Leenhouts explained that it’s important to have the right blend of technical and soft skills.
“We’re looking for people that are able to bring data together, and so that’s usually using tools like R, Python, SQL and Alteryx – any way to bring information into one place.
“There’s a level of curiosity that we’re looking for because if you can start asking questions of a business or of data itself, you just wind up having these really interesting conversations with clients. And I think that helps us deliver better products.”
‘Think about what makes you memorable’
Finally, Leenhouts believes that applicants should “really think about what makes themselves memorable” because that’s what “makes them distinctive” during the interview process.
An old friend of hers, for example, made sure to discuss his experiences working at amusement parks in the US during the summer months every year, and that “gave him a sense of personality”.
“I say think about what makes you memorable and remember to highlight that in part of the interview,” she added.