Inez Brady

Inez Brady – MPhys Theoretical Physics 2006

Research Team Leader in Psychometrics


InezApart from being close on an alphabetically ordered list of fields, physics and psychology are rarely seen together; however a few months after graduating I was to find out there were huge overlaps between the two areas.

I entered the world of psychometrics in a rather unusual way. After sixty-six applications I was becoming frustrated at how difficult it was to find employment. My degree classification was not high enough to get me though selection processes in my initial choice of career, and my degree subject meant several organisations informed me I was over qualified. Stuck in the middle of the two ends of the spectrum and unsure where to turn; I decided to embark on a completely different career as a Personal Assistant.

My first step to change career was to gain work experience shadowing an Executive Assistant. On the first day I was to discover the skills I had developed during my time at St Andrews had use outside of the classroom. A sample of questionnaire data from an evaluator designed to measure personality was awaiting analysis. The consultant psychometrician was late in submitting their report so I was asked to see if I could obtain anything from the numbers. Pattern recognition is at the heart of theoretical physics so I was more than happy to attempt to find something.

I was amazed, and continue to be amazed, at the harmony between responses from large groups of individuals. When asked simple questions about behaviour, subsets begin to form and it becomes easy to classify how an individual will be likely to respond to given scenarios. I remember being taught once to think of quantum behaviour like human behaviour – there is an uncertainty associated with how a particle will behave. Here I was doing the same process in reverse. The techniques developed to describe quantum mechanics could also be used to describe people.

Insights LogoAfter providing a simple summary of how well the responses to eighty questions were correlating with one another, the man I was assigned to assist decided he had other things I could help him with. Three years later, via a circuitous route, I had found my place, making use of my qualifications.

I now head a small research team with the same company, Insights Learning and Development Ltd.

Insights' corporate statement is:

“Igniting Corporate Spirit”

The Insights Research Team supports this statement through its purpose which is to:

  • Redefine the Field of Psychometrics – Ensure our offerings are of the highest standard
  • Maintain the Insights' Ethos – Be guardians of Jungian Psychology
  • Build a Research Ethos – Engage our communities and promote knowledge transfer
  • Enable the Sales Process – Be a route to market

I have been very fortunate to find a job which allows me to work in an area which utilises the best of my abilities and help others to do the same in their world.

My main pieces of advice to students embarking on their journey to employment are:

  • Never lose faith – physics really does describe everything so the skills developed will allow you to make connections in all areas.
  • Be open to new ideas and opportunities – I never would have predicted I would be working for a company which specialises in enhancing relationships, improving performance and changing personal and professional lives forever but I'm having the most fun doing so.
  • Work in an area which inspires you with people who you look forward to seeing each day – you'll spend most of your life at work so make sure you enjoy it!


Insights Learning and Development Ltd

First posted BDS 21.11.09