Emma Pluck, Principal at Capgemini Invent
Emma graduated from BA History in 2009. She talks about how the skills she gained led her to a career in consultancy.
“When I came to University, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do as a career or become. It was more important to do a subject that I was passionate about, because I knew I’d get a lot out of it and would be able to work out what is it I’m good at and where it could be applied to jobs.
With a history degree, it allows you to work in many different industries and collaborate with a variety of people. I liked that, as it wasn’t a specific route into a job. I’ve got friends who did history that are working in very different careers to me and it is great to see the different career paths people have all taken from studying the same subject.
My focus in consulting now is in organisational change in marketing and consumer products, which I would never have thought I would be doing when I was at Nottingham doing history."
Skills for success
"I absolutely loved my time at Nottingham. I really enjoyed my course and got a lot out of it. With history, it’s a lot of digesting different arguments and trying to come up with a solution or helping to answer a question around a problem statement.
It was the talks that I went to at Nottingham and the relationships I built that got me interested in consulting. Hearing about the opportunity to go into an environment where you’re helping people understand the problems they are trying to tackle and helping them find answers, backed up with evidence.
A lot of our project work at University was focused on group sessions to discuss different arguments and come up with a point of view and this is very helpful in consulting. There was also a lot of independent work and research in history which requires self-motivation, and that is needed in my current job as well."
BA History at Nottingham
"I really enjoyed the variety of history periods on offer. I studied Tudors, to 19th-century history, to 9/11 conspiracy theories. That also meant I got to meet and work with different people and working styles in the various module groups.
I really enjoyed studying social history. My dissertation was on 19th-century philanthropy and how it evolved. I looked at the historical debates and evidence on whether philanthropy grew during that period for the good of mankind or for money and profit.
The course also provided different formats of learning and many opportunities for group discussion and work. I learnt how to solve problems with others; listening to different opinions and bouncing ideas off different people to come to a conclusion."
Working in consulting
"Before I went to University, I did work experience in a family law firm and found the content quite tough. I thought I’d be going into law, but then I had an opportunity to work in consulting and found it rewarding and very interesting. I applied to several consulting firms, including Capgemini, and have been working there since.
At Capgemini, I really enjoy the type of work that I do and the people I work with. This year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with our social innovation partner, called Purpose, on how to amplify our global social response in times of crisis. This has included working with NGOs and charities to support healthcare, small businesses and domestic abuse charities across the world. It has been super rewarding for me this year.
I have also had the opportunity at Capgemini to do international travel and been working in New York for the last two years.
I currently lead our consumer products consulting team in the US. I work with a fantastic and diverse team of people and get a lot of satisfaction from nurturing talent. The type of work that I’m doing and the content and variety of topics I get to cover keeps me motivated and allows me to meet and learn from a diverse number of people.
Consulting is all about people – helping people to make the right choices to improve their business and helping people deliver that in a successful way."
"I am passionate about making social change happen. I get satisfaction from enabling people to drive change and see results.
What I enjoy in my job is understanding what motivates and drives people and how to set them up for success. My success is when they see change and success happen.
I want to continue helping solve business challenges and being part of helping organisations transform. In my industry, there is a lot of focus on sustainability and purpose, which really interests me.
More importantly, I want to continue enjoying what I do and making the most of taking opportunities as they arise."
- "Nothing is more important than passion. If you can understand what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about – and get the mix of those right – your career will go from strength to strength
- Make the most of your degree and the learning opportunities you can get out of it. It's a fantastic way to enhance your strengths and work on your development areas"