UCL News


Seven Questions with Laura Maria Weis

11 October 2018

This week we meet Dr Laura Maria Weis, who got her PhD in Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at UCL.

Student L Weis

She's a project manager, researcher and consultant at Brainpool AI, a UCL start-up dedicated to facilitating university-industry partnerships.

Why did you choose to study this subject and how has it informed your career path?

During my PhD I mainly focused on Social/Organisational Psychology and Social Network Analysis (SNA). Specifically, I was interested in how the presence of other people can affect an individual's behaviours, thoughts, and feelings.Psychology is interesting, relevant, challenging and has real-world application. I was motivated to study it to gain a better understanding of myself and the people around me. The skills are transferable and valuable to any job setting.

Today, my consulting work involves using these insights and applying them to critical business issues to generate actionable insights.

What was the most interesting thing you did, or got involved with while at UCL?

With most of my projects at UCL, I attempted to strengthen the link between academia and industry. I tried to make both worlds understand, appreciate and respect each other. For example, for my PhD I conducted studies in both settings to explore how insights may complement or contradict each other.

It turned out that being a bridge between these two worlds is incredibly rewarding, and I now work for a UCL start-up dedicated to facilitating university-industry partnerships, Brainpool AI.

What do you miss most from your time at UCL?

Even though I currently mainly work in the industry, I still teach a little at UCL just to get my little "dose" of its dynamic research culture and the stimulating and diverse environment.

From my student days, I miss the lay-ins, flexible study times and my alcohol tolerance.

What one piece of advice would you like to share with UCL students?

Put yourself out there!

If you were back at UCL for the day what one thing would you do?

Wander around the numerous cafés and bookshops in the Bloomsbury area.

Who inspires you and why?

My dad, who I must thank for my analytic skills, my strong drive and determination to get things done and never give up until I am satisfied. And my mum for keeping me sane.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I am a competitive amateur boxer.