Careers in Professional Services: meet Sidharth Nair

In the lead-up to one of our flagship events, Careers in Professional Services, military veteran, Sidharth (Sid) Nair talks to us about what life is like for him to work for PwC — one of the companies that sit within what’s known as the ‘Big 4’. You will meet all four companies and others if you are registered to attend this year’s event on 27 September 2023.

Sid is currently part of the Cyber Risk Advisory team at PwC. His role is about collaborating with client organisations to assess their cybersecurity risks and maturity levels. He does this by identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities and then suggesting specific cybersecurity controls to help manage these risks effectively.

What was your background before joining PwC?

I started my career with an exhilarating seven-year stint as a Combat Helicopter Pilot in the Indian Air Force. My entry into the cybersecurity world was through an Indian startup that focuses on managed cybersecurity services. To further enrich my skill set, I pursued an MBA at the University of Glasgow in 2022. All these experiences converged and led me to this exciting juncture at PwC.

What made you consider a career in professional services?

Transitioning from the Indian Air Force brought me to a crossroads where I wanted to leverage my hard-earned skills and training in a new domain. After gathering insights from industry experts and delving into research, cyber risk emerged as a promising arena. The dynamic landscape of consulting, with its diverse challenges, strongly resonated with my curiosity and eagerness to continuously evolve.

Why did you choose PwC specifically?

My connection with PwC ignited during my MBA dissertation, which focused on cybersecurity. While reaching out for research interviews, one of the first and foremost positive responses I received was from a PwC director who leads a key cybersecurity proposition. His prompt response and further interactions illuminated the open and inclusive culture at PwC. It felt like a place where I could not only grow but thrive.

How do you feel your skills from the Armed Forces community converted across to your role?

Interestingly, the experiences I have gained in the Armed Forces have seamlessly transitioned into my current role in cyber risk. Although the context shifted from physical and operational risks to cyber risks, the fundamental principles of tiered defence remained consistent. Identifying threats, understanding vulnerabilities, managing risks, and building robust defences—all these aspects provided a solid foundation for this exciting journey.

What are your positives to the role and working for your employer?

On a personal note, a profound sense of purpose drives me in my professional journey. While my prior role as a military pilot was deeply fulfilling, cybersecurity consulting now offers me a clear sense of purpose and ample avenues for growth. Even in my relatively short time here at PwC, I’ve encountered unwavering support and guidance from experienced colleagues and peers. Their recognition of my diverse skillsets and experiences has been incredibly encouraging.

Did you experience any challenges?

Cybersecurity is a unique domain with its technical intricacies perfectly complementing the non-technical facets, wherein collaborating with colleagues who’ve been deeply rooted in this domain since the start of their careers can occasionally seem overwhelming. However, with clear goals, a thirst for knowledge, and a supportive network of colleagues invested in my growth, I am managing to navigate these hurdles.

What tips would you share with anyone considering a role within the Big 4

My general advice would be to research deeply to develop a clear idea of your future course. While military backgrounds hold weight, the real essence lies in aligning your military experiences with the role you’re aiming for. Tailoring your knowledge, experience, and skill sets to match the job description showcases your suitability and enables you to be clear and concise in your job interviews.

As a veteran who transitioned to a thriving sector and then onto a different country, I want to underline the potential within military individuals and say that nothing is beyond us.

I’d like to wish you all fair winds and blue skies – and good luck for a rewarding career ahead.

Would you welcome a conversation with an employment advisor?

Contact us at the Forces Employment Charity where a member of the team will be in touch with you.

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