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Adam Smith International

  • 500 - 1,000 employees
Banner of Adam Smith International

About Adam Smith International

  • Management Consulting

What it does: Design, manage and deliver complex projects for the civil, government and private sector.

Best known for: Adam Smith International is a global advisory company founded by London-based think tank Adam Smith Institute.

Staff stats: More than 700 employees.

The good bits: There are travel opportunities for those who prefer to work in a different country. Education specialists are an example.

The not so good bits: Adam Smith International hires people for a short-term period (e.g. consultants). The company prefers to hire experienced individuals, so entry-level roles for graduates are limited.

Hiring grads with top marks in: business and economics; social studies and development; political science; human resources and law; communications and media; information technology; accounting and finance.

The Adam Smith International (ASI) story

Adam Smith Institute founded ASI in 1992 as a consultancy company to oversee the Institute’s foreign operations. The global advisory company caters to international organisations, corporations, foundations and governments in more than 100 countries. Their consultancy services comprise ten areas and industries:

  • Climate change
  • Cross-cutting services
  • Education
  • Governance
  • Inclusive markets
  • Infrastructure
  • Justice, security and peacebuilding
  • Mining, oil and gas
  • Public financial management
  • Revenue reform

ASI initially focused on serving clients in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union before expanding into Asia, Africa and South America. The company has offices in Amsterdam, London, New Delhi, Sydney, Washington, D.C., and Nairobi.

The recruitment process

The company follows a three-stage hiring process for graduates. A detailed CV will be your best weapon to join ASI. An initial screening will match your experience with the job description, so your resume should have as much information relevant to the vacancy as possible.

Recruiters will contact shortlisted candidates through a telephone interview. The number of in-person interviews will depend on the position’s seniority. ASI conducts competency-based interviews through recruiters or the hiring manager. The usual questions refer to your skills in cooperating with different people, previous experience as an indicator for managing people, and your reason for wanting to join the organisation.

If you move on to the final assessment, the company may ask you to participate in a panel interview or create a presentation. The panellists usually consist of your prospective colleagues and superiors. (e.g. team leader). The company may hire you in as fast as three days to more than four weeks, depending on the urgency of the role.

Career prospects

ASI’s job vacancies are divided into corporate and project-based positions. The company frequently needs consultants for different projects. A typical contract can last from 40 days to three months.

The company has seven workforce categories despite the low number of employment opportunities: technical jobs (e.g. education, infrastructure), in-house technical specialists, project managers, business service specialists (e.g. finance and IT), business development roles, assistant managers, leadership positions (e.g. project directors).

Inclusive education specialists are some of the jobs that don’t require a specific number of years for experience. Graduates must prove a strong ability to communicate on a cross-cultural level, an extensive set of technical skills and fluency in certain languages among other requirements.


The company usually determines salaries based on regulations of the country where they need consultants. In Australia, the government’s Adviser Remuneration Framework’s categories serve as the standard for defining compensation to short-term employees. ASI’s compensation package also varies for every location.


A senior manager at the company earns an average of £61,400 per year. Managers and project managers earn around £34,000 and £40,000 per year, respectively. The median salaries for entry-level roles can range from £25,000 to £27,000 per year for assistant project managers. Project managers earn around £8,000 for the contract’s duration.


The average monthly salary for web developers ranges between $41,000 and $45,000 per year. A subject-matter expert may earn $5,000 depending on the contract’s terms. The hourly rate for communication managers costs between $15 and $17.

The culture

ASI’s preference to hire experienced individuals implies a highly skilled workforce. Graduates who are lucky enough to be part of the company should learn a lot from their colleagues and superiors.


The company provides significant responsibilities to employees and expect a hands-on contribution to projects. ASI’s involvement in highly interesting economic development plans can be stimulating for those who want a challenging task.


Some employees feel that ASI makes the wrong choice for putting people in senior positions, but they also recognised the company’s promising work environment.


New hires at the company won’t feel alienated since more experienced employees are friendly, although there is room for improvement in the local management style. Some employees enjoy working at ASI because of the autonomy given to them when working on projects.

The competition

ASI competes with Oxford Policy Management Ltd, Imani Development, Montrose International LLP and IPE Global Ltd.


The Department for International Development (DFID) in the U.K. forced ASI founders to step down from their roles in 2017, following allegations of profiteering. William Morrison, Amitabh Shrivastava and Peter Young reportedly made profits by leaking DFID documents.

The vibe of the place

You would need to be exceptional in your class and graduate with honours to have the chance of joining ASI. Most vacancies only involve short-term consultancy projects, so you should already know where to find a new job if the company doesn’t renew your contract. There are opportunities to live and work in a different country, which can help to broaden your skills on an international scale.


Locations With Opportunities
  • Pakistan
Hiring Candidates With Degrees In
Business & Management
Creative Arts
Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
IT & Computer Science
Law, Legal Studies & Justice