As a graduate fresh out of the University of Birmingham, the prospect of having to quickly grow up in a corporate environment was very daunting. I’d heard from a lot of my friends already in a workplace that making the transition into a professional environment isn’t always an easy one - Imagine how that made me feel at the naïve age of 21!
One of my major concerns about entering the working world was losing my sense of identity and not remaining true to myself. I’d heard the phrase “you’ve changed” articulated to a lot of my mates since embarking on their respective career paths and I didn’t want to be that guy, losing the respect of my friends or family for the sake of jumping a professional hurdle. I have always vowed to ensure I am helping other people in everything I do and this is a vow I was delighted to quickly realise Capgemini Consulting (CC) share and promote.
My first encounter with CC was back in June 2014; I took part in a fantastic consulting week, sponsored by Billie Major (Corporate Vice President, Head of Delivery for a major government client), who used to study at Birmingham. There were 25 very lucky hand-picked students selected to participate in the work experience, but this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill insight week, students were split into 5 groups of 5 and given a real-life charity client with a genuine business problem. These problems ranged from a lack of revenue generation right the way through to a poor social networking presence. In a nutshell, we were asked to combine our raw enthusiasm with the expertise of professional Capgemini Consultants in order to deliver a variety of tangible business outcomes for our charities. At the end of a gruelling 5 day process, we were asked to present our ideas back to the rest of the group, our clients and a host of in-house professionals at CC’s state-of-the-art ASE facilities. The environment we presented in is conventionally used to deliver exceptional client results in a collaborative manner - you only have to spend a short time in the space, and with the team, to realise how much of an asset this is to CC and the CDC! As you can imagine, presenting in such an inspiring environment was both very nerve-racking, but also very exciting! I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by just how refined these presentations were and how polished each of our students became over the course of the week. Clichéd as it sounds, it was truly refreshing to observe just how much everyone had learnt in such a short space of time and by the end of it, all 25 were offered a fast-track application route into the business.
My team and I with our charity client, Jane Beach (Kewford Eagles FC Supported Ability Section)
But what really blew me away was that Capgemini never allowed us to lose focus of the primary objective at hand: to help the charity solve its problem. It’s easy in these scenarios to get lost in a careerist ocean guided by waves of professional promotions but nobody lost sight of the real task. There was no talk of competition or individuals desperately attempting to outshine the rest of the group; merely an enthusiastic bunch of young people trying to make a positive and real contribution to a legitimate local charity. In all honesty, the job incentive was just a bonus. It was at this point I knew that Capgemini was the company for me. Having experienced less attractive employment from the age of 16, working long hours with little career prospects, it really does become apparent when an opportunity needs to be grabbed with both hands. And that’s exactly what I did.
Two years on, I’m now an Associate Consultant at Capgemini Consulting and I’m absolutely loving what I do! I’m still in contact with my charity client (Kewford Eagles FC Supported Ability Section) and adore hearing stories about how the work we did has had such a positive impact on them. One of CC’s core company values is being humble about the work we do – I think this is hugely important. One piece of advice if you’re thinking about joining our community would be to learn to work hard in silence – Not literally, but I’ve already learnt in my time at CC that the success of your actions makes all the noise it needs to and that should ultimately be your focus – stay humble and remain true to yourself.
Since joining, I’ve already been involved in a range of charitable initiatives, most notable of which is the Palace2Palace bike ride in aid of the Prince’s Trust. As a united front, Capgemini raised over £37,000 which is a tremendous achievement. For me, this proved two things:
- Teamwork is a powerful tool for making things happen
- If you’re passionate about a cause, make it known and Capgemini will support you
The Capgemini Palace2Palace Team
It really is all about applying your wealth of knowledge in the most responsible ways possible. After all, work isn’t all about work. I always like to say that you should “work smart, not hard”. Real results start with helping real people and never forgetting a face. Capgemini really has been the place to facilitate my aspirations and the opportunities are available to each and every one of you too.
A fellow member of the September 2016 CDC intake and I at the Palace2Palace.