We have finished induction, what a relief! It’s been a great experience; we are all eager and ready to start our new consulting careers. Many of my new colleagues know which projects they are going to be joining but several of us do not. It is nerve racking not knowing and maybe a little uncomfortable, but mainly, it’s really exciting!
It has been two days and my new friends are telling me about their amazing new clients. I settle down to focus on the myriad of opportunities available for internal work, perhaps I can get a head start on some of the many training courses available.
That all changed with an email; are you happy to undertake international travel? It is important to the business that you are comfortable with international assignment – my response: I am keen. “We have an opportunity for you”.
I receive a call from a Principal; he is looking for someone dynamic to join his project based in the Netherlands. The client is a consumer products giant based there and they are undertaking an exciting digital change. Our role is very early in the transformation, the exact sort of work I am looking for, with great exposure to senior business members. This is emblematic of the culture at Capgemini Consulting; we are an international firm and recognise that new joiners, as much as any others, should benefit from these sorts of opportunities.
It takes no time to get my tickets booked and my colleague, who will be mentoring and supervising my work, gives me some advice on where to stay and when to travel. I have travelled before with business, but being so new to the company, it was really good to have that support. You quickly learn that colleagues are very willing to share their experience, given the amount of travelling that takes place in the normal conduct of business. You can imagine that this advice is quite extensive; particularly encyclopaedic is the knowledge surrounding loyalty programs – all part of becoming a member of this family of international business travellers.
In that first week we do some long hours, and I quickly realise that this is the standard in international consultancy. We commit to deliver at a very high standard to the client, and with the added cost of travel, the company is very serious about delivering against that promise. You wonder, being far from home and working long hours, whether this is really your cup of tea (especially if it isn’t English breakfast). However, on my last evening that week, the Vice President takes us out for dinner; it’s a modest casual affair and I am stunned with how open and friendly they are. It is quite surreal breaking bread with some of the more senior people in the company, from across the group in fact. I have come to learn that this is how we do things at Capgemini Consulting. When it comes to international assignment, we are all in it together.