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Alumni

Mr James Boyle

Career Path: Recruitment Manager, PwC LLP
Location: New York, USA

I started my career during my sandwich year at Northumbria University, working in the recruitment team for IBM UK in Portsmouth. After completing my degree I moved to Edinburgh where I trained as a recruitment consultant with Hays and then after a short time there I moved to PwC to be a student recruitment officer in their Edinburgh Office. I was promoted to Manager and led recruitment for the Scottish market at PwC and then was given an opportunity to move to NYC on a two year secondment to the recruitment team focusing on specialty recruiting.

Where are you doing now?

I decided to stay in NYC after my secondment ended and PwC in the US sponsored my green card so I could stay here. I am now a Project Leader in the Global Advisory Recruitment Team.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals / give your career an edge?

I think the blend of the BA (Hons) Human Resources Management programme at Northumbria gives you the academic background and then gives you a chance to apply it through the completion of a year out in industry combined with graduate membership status with the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The combination of all of this is what gave me a springboard to get into PwC as an experienced hire and bypass the usual route of applying to graduate schemes.

What was the best thing about your course?

I enjoyed learning about employment law (and that has come in very useful in my career) - I almost switched to Law after taking some of my foundation classes in my first year at Northumbria! I also enjoyed my industrial placement with IBM. I am still using some of the skills I learnt during that experience and I met some great friends during that year!

Who inspired you the most, and why?

It was so long ago now I have forgotten their last names, but my professors Phil and Geoff. They took me under their wing and were always available to chat about things outside the lecture hall, which I think is really important. I couldn't have got through my dissertation without them!

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now/throughout your career?

I got my basic understanding of UK employment law and although I was never that good at the numerical side of HRM I appreciate now the importance of understanding economics and financial information. I never thought I would be working for a Big Four accounting firm that's for sure!

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

I enjoyed living in Newcastle and the people I met there, including the teaching staff.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Think practically about how your degree will lead to a job! I speak to students all the time who get to their last year in university and then start to think about it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Educational, practical and enjoyable.

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