Measuring the magic of STEM: Technology Strategy Consultant

by Sara Llena | Sep 20, 2023

The world of STEM is incredibly vast and there are so many open doors of opportunities to go into. In 2021, I relocated to the UK when I studied my master’s degree in Industrial Systems, Manufacturing and Management at the University of Cambridge. It was a very practical course and it opened my eyes to how interesting working in consultancy is. I joined Cambridge Consultants last year as a graduate and since then I have been able to challenge myself every day. I have worked on some amazing things since starting, so let me introduce my job role further.

As a technology strategy consultant, I work as an analyst and help clients with their technology strategy. I assess the strategy that clients are trying to put into place by assessing a few components like planning, capabilities, the value that it will bring and the financial side of it too.

My day to day all depends on the stretch and demand of a specific project and one will always start with a large amount of research. This is to familiarise myself about the latest state of technologies that I will be advising on. I schedule interviews with CC experts to find out more in-depth information and analyse trends to see how technologies are evolving. When thorough research has been done, my team and I collate a slide deck containing our thoughts and analysis and then present it to the client. I always work on a range of tasks, so every day is varied.

Project work at Cambridge Consultants

On the first day that I joined CC, I was introduced to a project we internally called ‘measuring the magic’ and got myself onto the project team in no time. We were able to provide advice as part of Cambridge Consultants’ ongoing support for Cambridge Science Centre. CSC is a non profitable organisation which arranges hands on, interactive science activities for children.

They came to us wanting to measure the impact that they were having on children and their parents. And they wanted to collate and record targeted feedback on how people engage with STEM. When I heard about it at first, I thought it was a customer satisfaction problem which is something widely spread in sales. But the problem had a deeper dimension, CSC wanted to measure the impact that they were having when creating a positive relationship between children and STEM. After some research, we came to the idea that we could assess the impact through the measurement of children’s behaviour and how it changes due to the activities they get involved with. As a project team we collaborated in multiple workshops to generate ideas, prioritise a convergent approach and make sure it was actionable. We came to the conclusion that quantifying or qualifying human behaviour is indeed a challenging task.

We produced a framework that made sure CSC were able to measure the accomplishment of their mission and move away from anecdotal feedback. This is something they would randomly receive from parents and teachers for systematic and targeted feedback collation. CSC were able to create a base model that consisted of the theory of change and evaluation plans that other science centres in the UK are able to use. Throughout the process, there were many ups and downs, but it was incredibly rewarding to complete it.

From start to finish, I loved the project and the work I was able to produce. It was great to be able to try and understand how and why children think, work and act in the way that they do.

The real challenge for me was how to measure a children’s level of positive engagement with STEM and how to use behavioural sciences to quantify numbers and statistics. When looking for ideas on how people had done this before we couldn’t find the answers we needed, and so we conducted this research from scratch. I took the lead amongst the analyst team, which meant that I had a vital role to play in the project. This allowed me to get hands on with work that I was passionate about and learn the dynamics of how to engage with clients.

We had a fantastic relationship with CSC and they were very helpful throughout the whole process. They enjoyed engaging with us as we brought a fresh pair of eyes and a new skillset. Personally, this project was different to others as you don’t always get a holistic view on larger scale projects, and so it was valuable to gain this experience!

As an employee at CC you will feel invested in. There is unlocked potential for whatever job role you are in and experts around the business are knowledgeable people to learn from. You will get the chance to work alongside many supportive colleagues which gives you more confidence in your job role. The work life balance at CC is incredible with flexible hours and hybrid working (at managers’ discretion), it gives you a great balance between work and personal life.

Expert authors

Technology Strategy Consultant | View profile
Sara joined CC in 2022 as a Technology Strategy Consultant after completing her masters.

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