As I hand over my boarding pass to the air stewardess on the afternoon flight from Gatwick to Belfast, I pause to wonder what’s just happened. My first month as part of the Capgemini Consulting Development Community (CDC) has gone by in a flash. Whilst in the air, I reflect on what has been a whirlwind of a first month at Capgemini.
Everyone who joins the CDC undergoes an immersive two week induction, which gives insight to the breadth of opportunities available, the skills to deliver them, and the culture at the core of Capgemini. The first-rate induction not only highlights the experiences ahead of you as a CDCer at Capgemini, it peaks your interest for your first project. By the end of it I couldn’t wait to get started.
Everyone in consulting will tell you the job is fast-paced, has a steep learning curve and is highly diverse. My first project for one of Capgemini’s flagship clients within the public sector certainly reinforces this. On my first day I completed a security check in London, travelled to Cardiff where I would meet my team, and quickly familiarised myself with the change management demonstration I would be running each week in different cities to multiple stakeholders. Unsurprisingly, my role evolves each day as the project grows and my skills develop. In the past week I have been entrusted to provide training to fellow CDCers who are on-boarding, carry out process improvement for the project and create a dashboard for the client. Although all these actions were unfamiliar to myself, all my questions along with my initial apprehension were relieved by all the fantastic individuals on my team who guide you along the way. With consulting being a people business, it’s no surprise that the people you work with are fantastic individuals – use them to your advantage.
So what have I learnt so far? I would particularly emphasise that learning on the job and being able to deal with new situations presented to you daily is a huge part of becoming a successful CDCer. Having to deliver multiple hour long transformation demonstrations on a daily basis has undeniably improved my presentation skills, whilst growing my confidence when facing new challenges. Moreover, I have learnt how valuable it is to build relationships with your stakeholders, even if it is for a short period of time. The impact that confidence and enthusiasm can have when you impart your knowledge to stakeholders can dramatically influence the buy-in message you are trying to deliver. Overall I would highlight that being flexible, adaptable and willing to learn are key attributes of any successful CDCer.
Even from my short time at Capgemini, it really is evident that everyone – whether it is your fellow CDCer or a Principal – has time for you and is willing to divulge their support and advice to help you succeed. In an extremely short period of time I have transitioned from having little knowledge on my sector and consulting life, to having delivered business transformation presentations to over 1,000 stakeholders. Thus now, as I sit here on a plane with the clouds flying by, I feel excited and prepared for a new week, a new city and a new challenge.