When Daisy Hammond joined the CDC 7 years ago, she was in almost exactly the same position as I am now, on my first client project and trying to learn everything I can, as fast as I can. Today, having worked across the UK and as far away as Mumbai, she is a Managing Consultant primarily working for one of the biggest high street retailers in the UK. After finding an elusive gap in Daisy’s busy schedule, our half hour slot stretched to an hour as she chatted very openly about her career development in Capgemini, and how she views the graduate programme that it all started with.
Daisy’s reasons for leaving her Marketing & Customer Insight role in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) for the CDC were very similar to those which bring the majority of people to Capgemini. This includes the variety and calibre of clients and work opportunities, but more importantly the personality and the energy of Capgemini which “meant it stood out [for her] from the offset in comparison to competitors”. She also added that something which she has become more aware of since leaving the CDC is the “impressive training and development. Clients are constantly commenting on the investment Capgemini makes in its people.”
Daisy’s enthusiasm when we discussed whether or not the CDC lived up to these expectations was palpable,
“I couldn’t speak more highly about my time on the CDC. It’s evident from the people attracted to consultancy that you’ll work hard, but you’ll also build great relationships with the people you work with. Yes, there are tough times when you are away from home in the week working on a project that might be far from your ‘ideal project’, but it really is in your gift to make sure you are making the most of all your opportunities and learning something new every day.”
Daisy’s focus here on the relationships which can be built with clients, Capgemini colleagues and other contractors, rather than on her own position, complements her attitude to the rapid advancement in Capgemini that she has achieved. When I asked how she has achieved what she has, she said she has actually “never [been] focussed on ‘getting promoted’ but doing a good job and making sure I enjoy what I do.”
I then asked why, after close to a decade in the company, Daisy still sees Capgemini as different from the other consultancies she works alongside, and what has made her choose to stay here.
“We have a very flat hierarchy, which I think is very different from other consultancies. Constructive challenges are always welcomed even from C1 [Associate Consultant/member of the CDC] to C5. All the leadership team are very approachable.”
“If you want to follow a standard method and repeat it, Capgemini isn’t for you. [...] If you want to own how you approach and design things and work with your client, that’s more what Capgemini is about.”
Daisy sees Consulting as a profession at the centre of massive changes, both current and future. This is mainly due, she said, to the growing availability of customer and industry data for businesses to draw insight from, “It’s a game changer and we’re on the cusp of doing some very interesting things with it.”
Process expertise has long been the main offering of Management Consulting firms, and yet Daisy sees this as a thing of the past,
“I think it’s fascinating how the industry has changed in just over the 7 years I have been here. Clients are demanding real subject matter expertise in their market as well as in process.”
She went on to say,
“Technology is enabling business transformations like never before and on such varying degrees of scale – the ‘IT’ and ‘business’ silos are becoming more and blurred by the day.”
Daisy explained that this space, playing the link between business and technology, is an opportunity for people “to really thrive”.
Throughout my conversation with Daisy it was clear that her approach to work is to embrace the work hard and play hard mantra. Whether it’s making time for sports, a social life or just having fun in the job and with colleagues, this culture and attitude is what has also characterised my first impressions of working at Capgemini. The team I’m currently working with contains some of the best in the industry, but it’s their open and enthusiastic approach that turns their knowledge into results for the client and development of their teams.