Kate Davies

Location: London

Qualifications: BA French Studies

I joined SQW's London office in 2015 as a Research Consultant after graduating from the University of Southampton and have since been promoted to Consultant. Over the past four years I have enjoyed getting to grips with a variety of interesting topics, including social care, health care (particularly person-centred care), mental health, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), children and young people, education, skills and employability.

One highlight has been working on the evaluation of Careers and Enterprise Company funded projects aimed at improving the employment prospects of school children. My colleagues and I consulted school leaders, project managers, young people and local authority staff. I then lead the systematic analysis of the qualitative data and made significant contributions to two of the study reports. Another highlight was the evaluation of the Allied Health Professionals Return to Practice programme, where I worked closely with the Associate Director to launch a survey, collect monitoring data, and consult allied health professionals, professional bodies and universities. During this project I helped report to the client via regular calls, a presentation and the final report.

Because of the breadth of SQW's expertise, working here allows you to carve your own career path based on your interests. Not only have I been able to pursue the policy areas that interest me most, but I have also been able to decide where I would like to develop my technical expertise. For example, I have a keen interest in qualitative analysis. Since joining SQW, I have learnt how to use systematic qualitative analysis software and have applied it to several projects. I have developed my knowledge and have since lead teams through the qualitative analysis stage of projects. More recently I have run companywide training sessions and am promoting the use of the software throughout SQW.

The culture at SQW is one that encourages continuous learning. Colleagues view projects as opportunities to learn new things and build on previous expertise. We are encouraged to attend conferences, training, webinars and similar events and share our learning with the team. SQW runs training sessions for Research Consultants and regular 'knowledge snacks' where a colleague will present to the company on a project or other relevant topic. This culture is one of the best things about working for SQW.