Case study

Risk advisor — Adam Skene

Adam explains how skills gained from his politics and international relations degree have been essential in his risk management career…

How did you get into risk management?

After I graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MA in Politics and International Relations, I completed a two-day introductory course to risk management through the Institute of Risk Management (IRM). I then submitted my updated CV to the Head of the IRM North East Scotland regional group to distribute to members. Following this, I was contacted and offered a role in Norwich.

The geopolitical landscape is always changing and providing new challenges for a security risk manager

How relevant is your degree to your job?

It has been vital. Geopolitical analysis is a key function of security risk management, in the sector in which I work. I am now studying for the IRM's International Diploma in Risk Management and expect to complete this in 2016.

What is a typical day like for you?

My role as a risk advisor for the Harnser Group involves carrying out security risk assessments in different sites, usually forming part of a particular country's critical national infrastructure. I offer advice on how best to mitigate those risks that fall outside a company's 'risk appetite'. Mitigating solutions can change rapidly through technological advances but the key is finding a system that is efficient rather than cheap.

What are your career ambitions?

I would like to work in the Middle East or Asia and gain further experience of working in challenging environments.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love getting the opportunity to travel. With my job I have been lucky enough to visit America, Egypt, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. The geopolitical landscape is always changing and providing new challenges for a security risk manager.

What do you find challenging about your job?

Realising that the environment in which an asset is located can be as important as the asset itself when considering levels of risk and potential mitigating solutions.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to work in risk?

I would say that degrees are not enough - professional qualifications are imperative these days. Don't be afraid to ask your employer for training allowances. Companies also realise the need for continuing professional development and are often keen to devote time and/or financial resources to this.

Find out more

See what jobs are available at the Institute of Risk Management (IRM).