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Case Study: Lucy Jones

Personal details
Degree:MLitt Middle East and Central Asia Security Studies Profile picture
School(s): School of International Relations
Year of Graduation:Nov-2006
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Control Risks
Job title: Analyst, Middle East and North Africa
Occupational Sector: Risk Management
What has been your route to getting your current position?
Before doing the MLitt at St Andrews I worked in the not-for-profit sector in London and Afghanistan. I began working at Control Risks the month after I completed my Master’s degree. I initially worked in a department that provided security advice for business travellers, and have since moved into the Global Risk Analysis team.
What does your job involve ?
My job involves producing analysis of political and security risks in the Middle East region. My team writes daily commentary on regional developments, as well as bespoke threat assessments for companies and organizations operating in the region.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Being paid to read the news. Working with a diverse range of clients in a fascinating part of the world. Learning something new every day.
Why were you successful?
My previous work experience was important, but my employers were very positive about the specific focus of the St Andrews Master’s course that I took (Middle East and Central Asia security studies). Many job applicants in the field I work in have Masters degrees, and I think its helps to have a bit of a niche. It can make your CV stand out from the many well qualified applicants.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
Although I had worked for several years before taking the Masters, the analytical skills I learnt at St Andrews have been invaluable in my current position. Being involved in research at the CSTPV also increased my knowledge and understanding of terrorist issues outside the Middle East region and has proved very useful.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
There are a lot of people that want to work in this field and it can be very difficult to break into. However, work experience or other activities that show you have initiative and a genuine interest in the subject matter will go a long way to increasing your chances. Getting an interesting job can be a lot about luck and good timing, but you can help your odds by getting involved in as many things as possible related to your career of choice.