As a member of the April 2015 CDC (Consultant Development Community) intake, I’ve just finished a two week induction that every new CDCer completes upon joining CC (Capgemini Consulting). The induction was a whirlwind of presentations, tradeshows, critical consulting skills and meeting people from across the organisation. As you can imagine, we were bombarded with a wealth of information as our induction leaders aimed to ensure we were prepared for our first day on client site. I’ve broken the experience down into a few highlights and key takeaways to provide an insight into what induction was really like for me and the nine other April 2015 joiners.
Go With The Flow
As soon as we arrived at the Holborn office on day one we were all anxious to know exactly what our induction leaders had in store for us over the next two weeks, and exactly what life would be like in the CDC. However, we quickly learnt that the uncertainty regarding our schedules was something we’d have to get used to. From trying to predict when we would receive our phones, to what the next social would be, induction always kept us guessing. It was all part of the CC plan, to help prepare us for client site and remind us that we’ll need to be flexible and able to adapt quickly to whatever a role demands and wherever it may be.
It Always Depends
As a new joiner you’ll quickly learn that ‘it depends,’ is everyone’s favourite phrase. Throughout induction we heard from various CDCers about the projects they’d worked on, the skills they’d developed and the roles they’d held. Given the variety of work that is so inherent to the consulting industry, no two stories were the same. As there is no normal CDC experience we realised that it was very difficult for the CDCers to answer what we had assumed were fairly simple questions.
“What will I be doing on my first project?” ‘It depends.’
“How many projects will I work on in the CDC?” ‘It depends’
“What hours do you normally work” ‘It depends’
Acronyms and Capgemini Lingo
From CDC, to CXA (Customer Experience & Analytics), to KM (Knowledge Management) the acronyms and consulting lingo were endless...and slightly confusing. By the time all the other Capgemini terms had been added into the mix; Streams, Chapters and Fields of Play we were well and truly confused. We were told that the acronyms and terms would become second nature in no time, and by the end of induction they were already much more manageable. Plus, with nine other new joiners there was always someone available to answer those seemingly silly questions, like what does RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) mean or importantly, how do I book my holidays on the internal system.
Basic Consulting Skills and Top Tips
An important aspect of induction involved helping us master all the basic consulting skills that we might need on our first day on client site. Our fellow CDCers taught us all about Brown Paper, T Maps, RACI’s, PowerPoint, and even how to correctly remove sticky notes from the pad (yes it makes all the difference.)
We all came from very different backgrounds in the April intake, some of us came straight from university, while others had worked in different industries for a few years, and we’d studied a variety of subjects at university; Geography, International Relations, Economics, Law and Business to name a few. Given our varied backgrounds, it was great to be able to learn and practice the essential consulting skills in a safe environment.
During induction we got to meet Capgemini Consulting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dave Williams and a number of the Capgemini Consulting Vice-Presidents – who are essentially Senior Consultants who work as a direct support to the CEO. These talks allowed us to learn more about the Capgemini Consulting (CC) strategy, the organisation’s future focus, and improve our understanding of the various operations within CC. It was fantastic to have access to such high level people from the very beginning of our careers at Capgemini. These meetings really emphasised the lack of hierarchy that exists at CC and made us feel like a valued part of the organisation.
Last but certainly not least, the socials. The socials are of course, a great part of induction, and our induction leaders planned some great events to help us get to know each other, the other CDCers and the CDC managers. I won’t give away too many surprises for future joiners, but we got the chance to display our culinary skills (or lack thereof), detective abilities, our competitive spirit and most importantly our Fresh Prince of Bel Air rapping skills...
To summarise the two week induction was a great way to start our careers at CC; it allowed us to get to know others at CC, learn consulting skills in a safe environment and ultimately prepared us to add value on client sites from the very beginning. Although we’ve now completed induction, we’ll still receive lots of training, both on the job and formally, during the CDC. My intake will be attending the CSW (Consulting Skills Workshop) next week, for an intense three day training session with new joiners from CC practices across Europe. And so my CC journey continues.