Sergei Plekhanov

Location: Edinburgh

Qualifications: PhD in Economics

I joined SQW in 2019 after completing a PhD in economics and then working for several years at the University of Edinburgh. In addition to teaching and research, I also was involved in many consultancy projects for private and public organisations, and over time I realised that was what I wanted to focus my career on.

If you split all people into two groups – ‘team quantitative’ and ‘team qualitative’ – then I am definitely in the former. I specialise in statistical analysis, applied econometrics and using data to inform or evaluate policies (and decisions more generally). That said, I do enjoy a bit of qualitative analysis, and often a combination of the two is the right way forward.

I tend to work in the areas of innovation, business support and labour markets. However, I’m also reaching out into other areas of the company’s expertise. In fact, this is what made SQW so attractive to me, as it was clear that I could choose whether to specialise in a narrow field of research or work across areas.

I enjoy the feeling of progress from seeing a question somebody needs an answer to, then finding a way to answer it, and finally working in a team to deliver the result. The variety of projects we get at SQW ensures that this doesn’t become a routine, there’s always something new and fresh about each project.   

We’ve adapted well to remote working during the pandemic and have now transitioned to a flexible ‘hybrid’ model. Perhaps it was relatively easy because at SQW we have many cross-office projects and know how to use tech to communicate and work efficiently. But probably it’s also because we made an effort to make others feel included, with online social catch-ups ‘over coffee’ to discuss work (and other things) just as you would in an office, but with no pressure to join all of them. I’m not sure whether we will ever be back to going to the office every day, but I’m confident SQW will remain an enjoyable place to open your laptop every working morning.