Caitlin RichardsonCaitlin Richardson

Location: Edinburgh

Qualifications:  MA in Economics and Geography (University of Glasgow)

I joined SQW in September 2019 after graduating from the University of Glasgow with an MA in Economics and Geography. During my degree, I developed a particular interest in economic impact analysis, having undertaken my dissertation research into the economic impact of climate change within Alpine regions. I was therefore drawn to SQW by the opportunity to expand my knowledge of this area of research, whilst also gaining experience across all of the company's key policy areas.

Since joining SQW I have worked on a range of projects relating to business growth and development, sectoral analysis, skills, and health. Recently, I provided research support for a process evaluation of a programme aiming to use mentoring to improve productivity in SMEs. For that project I carried out interviews with business owners across a range of sectors throughout England, to understand the beneficial impacts that the programme has generated.

For me, the highlight of joining SQW has been the support and encouragement I have received to pursue my own interests. For example, my dissertation research focused largely on the tourist economy and consequently I have been actively encouraged to join projects in this field. I am now part of the team carrying out the Discover England Fund evaluation for Visit England, through which I have been able to contribute to survey design and data analysis.

As well as providing me with meaningful involvement in a range of projects from the outset, the RC role has also entailed a training programme which is equipping me to work across the company's areas of expertise. So far this has included training on qualitative analysis software such as MaxQDA and the mapmaking software ArcGIS Pro, as well as sessions focusing on softer skills such as interview techniques. These training sessions are enhanced by learning in a cross-office setting, alongside other RCs, which provides a great opportunity to meet people from across the company.