Profile: Sean Paul
After leaving Univ, Sean completed a Master’s degree in counterterrorism at King’s College London. He then joined PA Consulting Group before coming to Tellus Matrix. At Tellus Matrix he focuses on bringing disruptive technologies to market and executing energy and mineral financing deals. He is also Vice President of Gemin-i Analytics.
How do you think you changed from walking through Univ’s doors for the first time to your graduation?
I think I became more of an independent thinker during my time at Univ, something which has been very useful in my current line of work.
What, to you, connects counterterrorism and financial modelling and disruptive tech?
I think the connection here is in the question – disruption. In both counterterrorism strategy and disruptive technology one of your primary objectives is to impact the current status quo so significantly that it gives you an unassailable advantage over your competition.
Another connection is the combining of tried and tested methods with innovative technologies and techniques to achieve your goals. Every effective counterterrorism strategy utilises community level engagement to prevent radicalisation at a grass roots level while also using cutting edge technologies to track and trace active members of target organisations. Disruptive technologies provide totally new solutions to pre-existing problems using foundational knowledge of how practices work.
Finance underpins both sectors as it does most other things. Monitoring and preventing the movement of assets in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism is a critical activity in any CT strategy. Financial analysis plays a central role in the development and success of disruptive technology companies.
What do you hope to achieve with Tellus Matrix?
With Tellus Matrix we set out with a goal of supporting a stable of clients who, individually and collectively, will provide a social benefit to their own community and also the world. Our clients are in industries such as cyber security, cyber safety, biotechnology, smart procurement and the energy sector and each one of them has a business case that will result in benefits to their customers and society to a wider extent. I will consider Tellus Matrix to be a success as long as we are working towards that goal.
How do you think smart solutions can help the environment?
Smart solutions are helping in the war against climate change in more ways than I can describe so perhaps I will use an example. We’ve recently established another company, Gemin-i Analytics, that is providing new technologies and methods into the smart buildings industry which provide building owners and facility managers with ways to save more energy and maintenance costs than ever before.
The building and construction sectors contribute 40% of global CO2 emissions. Success in combating climate change must have an effective solution in the built space as a key component. Gaining better understanding of buildings by use of smart solutions and leveraging that improved knowledge to find new methods and efficiencies can have a huge impact on carbon emissions in this space. These wins are not achievable staying on the current low-tech legacy approach to the built space.
What advice would you give to young OMs in deciding their next steps, especially given these strange circumstances?
The great thing about the Univ OM network is that you are almost sure to find someone who has taken a path in life that interests you. I am fortunate to have a peer group that has already achieved so much in a few short years since graduation that makes them highly valuable to our organisation. The common thread with them is a desire to work together to develop a strong company together that can have positive impacts on the environment and society.
For those looking to start out their career I would always advise them to keep an open mind about what they want professionally and personally, noting that your desires and interests when you leave university might be very different from those a few years into your career. Never be afraid to change direction into a new sector role if you think it is a better fit for you.
Given the current pandemic circumstances, many industries and roles have been seriously impacted with some industries such as the arts and entertainment industry being particularly challenged. It has also given rise to a lot of new and unforeseen roles that have emerged in response to COVID-19. We can already see that many of those who are surviving or thriving in these times are those who have adapted quickly to the pandemic. I would certainly advise adaptability being a key trait to have when thinking about your career. Your situation can change suddenly and being able to pick up new skills and knowledge on the go is essential for always landing on your feet.
Why did you get involved with the OMT?
I had four brilliant years at Univ and wanted to give back to the College in some way so that we can make sure every student who walks through those doors has an equally fulfilling experience.
What excites you about Univ North?
The Univ North project presents the College with the opportunity to put itself at the forefront of sustainability through the building of environmentally friendly structures. It also will house a community of all ages, from a creche for the children of postgraduate students all the way up to the retirement home that is situated in the middle of the grounds. The result will be something truly unique at the university and hopefully the model for all development projects to come. As someone who works in the smart building industry it is very exciting to see the different considerations that have gone into making this development as advanced as possible.
Describe Univ in three words.
Friendly, grounded, historic
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