In the Consulting Development Community (CDC), we are set a target of spending at least 75% of our time consulting on a client site. When I joined the graduate scheme, the remaining 25% intimidated me. Now I can twiddle my thumbs with the best of them, but I couldn’t work out how I was supposed to look busy for up to 60 days a year without a client facing role.
The truth is there is a plethora of opportunities available to CDCers. The unique thing about Capgemini Consulting is how consultants from every grade are expected to shape the future of the business. It is seen as a key aspect of the development of all consultants, and we are assessed on our contribution to the business development.
These opportunities include, but are not limited to:
- Supporting the development of the business and the CDC
- Attending and giving training sessions
- Selling work to potential clients
- Carrying out research to develop content and knowledge within your Practice or your chosen sector
Developing the business...
As I mentioned, the culture of Capgemini Consulting is that the consultants shape the business. This culture is emulated within the CDC; we are given the responsibility of running the graduate scheme itself. This is managed in different streams within the CDC, and all graduates in their first year are expected to contribute to an individual stream in 6 month rotations. These streams include:
- Recruitment – CDCers are involved in all aspects of recruitment: from shaping the campus recruitment strategy to improving the overall approach to the application process.
- Events and Communications – we take responsibility for maintaining the high community spirit within the CDC by organising monthly social events (one of the more popular roles!), producing weekly newsletters and addressing concerns.
- Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability – you have the chance to work with charity organisations to practice consulting in a safe environment.
- Learning & Development – the training that we receive over the 2 year graduate scheme is driven by members of the CDC.
There are over 50 unique roles in the streams. You can also take on the ‘stream lead’ positions – this is a fantastic opportunity to nurture your leadership skills in a safe environment.
Training yourself and others...
When not developing the business and the CDC, it’s arguably more important to develop yourself as a consultant. Training is completed in a variety of forms – whether this is taking online training courses for the Foundation Management Consulting Certificate, training days at a Capgemini office (for instance, learning how to conduct financial analysis) or teaching yourself a new skill through the Capgemini L&D intranet. You also have the opportunity to deliver training sessions for the CDC or your business area, known as the ‘Practice’. If you are a whiz at Excel, don’t keep it to yourself – share the knowledge!
Selling work for the business...
Probably the most exciting thing you can do when you aren’t consulting is to support a bid to win more work. Working closely with senior members of the business to put together a proposal for a potential client in an intensely short space of time can resemble scenes from the Apprentice, and it is exceptionally rewarding to know that you helped your company beat the competition to win a new client.
Becoming thought leaders...
CDCers are expected to take an interest in their Practice or their industry, and help grow their department. Building up a specialist knowledge make you a valuable asset to the company, and you can do this by researching and writing blogs, creating propositions that your Practice can take to the market or sharing project experience with your Practice or sector team.
I’ve highlighted the common areas where the CDC has a high involvement, but it doesn’t have to be confined to those areas. Writing this blog is a somewhat ironic example! At Capgemini, you are encouraged to pursue your interests. By having the choice of what areas the business you want to contribute to, you have the flexibility to shape the direction of your career. What does a consultant do when they aren’t consulting? Well, it’s entirely up to you.