2 1 3

'I just sent a message asking if I could come by for a coffee'

A career as an accountant: that was Jessica Dooper’s goal a few years ago, but she ended up changing her mind during her studies. Lucky for us, because now she’s using her talent as a management consultant at Capgemini Invent. How? Keep reading to find out.

For those who don't know, what exactly does a management consultant do?

“A management consultant works on issues that exist within an organization, such as a problem or topic that the company’s management team or CEO needs help with. We then dive into the matter and offer advice.”

And what do you focus on specifically?

“I myself work for the Future of Technology unit. I’m part of the team that’s responsible for IT strategy and IT operating models, so we focus on things like how to structure an organization and what the IT strategy is for the next five years. In doing so, we examine not only the IT aspect, but the entire company as well: the organizational side, the people and the culture. I think that specific combination is really cool.”

So you work for various organizations, but what kind of companies are they?

“All of the firms listed on the AEX, I believe. That means everything from large banks and transport companies to airlines and retailers. Pretty crazy, as you can imagine. When you start out as a young professional, you often have a broad range of tasks. Then as you progress, you become more specialized in a particular topic or sector.”

Was it always your dream to have a career as a management consultant?

“Actually, no! I originally thought I wanted to become an accountant. No idea where that came from, haha. I studied business administration and did pretty well. But then during my internship I found out that the picture I had in my head didn’t really line up with reality. At that point I started to rethink things. Eventually, through a university project, I realized that consultancy was a better fit for me.”

I understand that you were offered a job at the company where you did your graduation internship.

“That’s right. I was able to stay on board after my graduation internship, which was a really good thing in itself.  Still, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing out on any great opportunities, so I started talking to other consultancy firms. I happened to stumble across a post on LinkedIn that said Capgemini Invent was still hiring. So then I just sent a message saying that it sounded interesting and asking if I could come by for a coffee sometime. Pretty soon afterwards I was called in for an interview, and that’s how the ball eventually got rolling.”

That was quite a long shot, then. Why did you ultimately choose Capgemini?

“Mainly because of the combination of the work and the culture. At the consultancy firm where I did my internship, I was supposed to start working in a relatively small department where I would have to combine my cyber security role with IT audit work. Because of that, the company expected me to complete the relevant educational programs for these tasks as well. It wasn’t a subject I wanted to become more specialized in, and that was a big deal for me. When I came to Capgemini, I was immediately able to talk to everyone very openly about everything. I was also given the freedom to ask whatever questions I wanted, and it really just felt good right from the start.”

You are now working on your sixth assignment. Which project sticks out to you so far?

“My current project. A colleague received the lead for this project, but they didn’t have anyone who could take it on. So I had the chance to go talk to the client myself, determine how we could assist them and essentially secure the project. The client would like to further implement the GDPR, but the scope and budget are limited. They actually don’t know how to do it, either. I’ve now made a plan in consultation with the client and I drop by every once in a while to help them. They’re very pleased with that.”

When do you feel the most proud of your work?

“I feel especially proud when I can shed light on the problem areas in a way that also really helps the client. We’ll often come across an organization that wants to go in a certain direction, but there’s something standing in the way. If you can identify what that is and clearly explain it so that everyone understands, that’s really the moment when you think ‘yes, now we’re getting somewhere’.”

Are there also things that are difficult for you?

“Definitely. On top of the hard work and sometimes very long hours, we also have social things like drinks and training courses. I really enjoy doing all of that, but sometimes it does make it difficult to combine with personal activities like exercising, for example. If I do happen to have a free evening, then I don’t end up going to the gym anyway. Haha. Fortunately I have a lot of control over how I organize everything.”

Final question: what do you see in your future?

“At the moment I’m mostly focusing on gaining more specialist knowledge so that I can help a wider range of organizations. After I do that, I’ll look around and figure out the next step. For now I still feel like I’ll keep working as a consultant for a really long time. But we’ll have to wait and see, of course.”

Do you, like Jessica, see a career for yourself as a management consultant ? If so, then check out our current job openings and explore the possibilities at Capgemini.