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My first week at Capgemini Invent

By Gioia Aquina

Exciting, your very first day at your very first employer. I still remember it well, Monday, May 1, 2017 (Labor Day, ironically). Curious about what a first week at Capgemini Invent is like? In this blog, I take you day by day through what you can expect.

Monday – Meet Capgemini

My journey to Capgemini starts by train and I couldn’t be happier about it. The train stops directly in front of the office. Since I was on time, there was no rush and I could first enjoy a cup of tea and introduce myself to some of my new colleagues. And there are certainly a lot! After that, the program started and we were all expected in the large conference room. Here we got to hear about everything, from Capgemini’s mission and vision and organizational structure, to the Capgemini Values. HINT: you will have to do an assignment on this, so listen carefully!

After a long session in our seats, it was time to stretch our legs and explore the building with a tour. My first impressions: a lot of open space, an agreeable atmosphere and plenty of coffee machines! After that it was time to make our own personal badge. And remember, this photo will follow you throughout your life at Capgemini...

After lunch, I got my SIM card, laptop and laptop bag (difficult choice: backpack or shoulder bag?); this was followed by another two presentations on Escape, the employee association, and sustainability at Capgemini. Finally, we ended the day with drinks and snacks. Yes! I also got to know my buddy, the person who teaches you everything you need to know about how things work at Capgemini over the next few weeks.

This brought an end to a good day of becoming acquainted with everyone and everything, and I hopped in the car to head home. That’s right, a company car! I got an Opel Astra and the guy next to me got a Mini Cooper. Oh well...dumb luck I suppose, not that there’s anything wrong with the Opel Astra!

Tuesday – Meet Capgemini Invent

You spend day 2 with the people who are starting at your organizational unit. In my case, Capgemini Invent. Straight-away that is a smaller group of people and most of the morning was spent getting to know each other. First you talk with each other about your background and your expectations at Capgemini. And then with the CEO, HR, Business Support and Staffing, among others.

After a morning devoted to getting to know people, the afternoon was spent with my buddy, during which he explained everything about time registration, setting up my Outlook signature, etc. Tuesday was a short day for me, which allowed me to get home on time to pack my overnight bag. Because the next day it was off to Berlin!

Wednesday – Let's go to Berlin: Kick-Off Institute

At ten to 7, I found myself at Schiphol with my overnight bag and fellow starters. Ready to travel to Capgemini Invent Germany’s head office. As a Young Professional at Capgemini Invent, you start with a training program. Within three months, you learn about all the tricks of the consultancy trade.

Upon arrival (the office is literally in the middle of Berlin!), we met our German fellow-starters and what the Institute entails was explained to us. What you can expect and also what is expected of you. Following that, we were given the time to complete a few e-learning modules on our laptops and it was soon time for ‘Happy Wednesday’. An initiative at the Institute to do something fun with your colleagues every Wednesday. We all played indoor volleyball in a large hall and concluded the day with dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant. It wasn’t long before the Dutch colleagues were feeling the effects of the long day. So immediately after dinner we headed back to the hotel to process all the new impressions from the past few days.

Thursday – Jour Fixe

After a good night’s sleep and hearty hotel breakfast, it was time to get back to work. Upon arriving at the office, a fellow colleague who has been at the Institute for a while asked me to help with an assignment. I then had a meeting with my *“lead” to talk about my “specialism.” So that she can link me to assignments that are a match for my background and interests. I can also turn to the lead with all my questions and for feedback.

During the afternoon, it was time for the Jour Fixe, a set time during the week when all institute members and leads come together. Two institute members gave a presentation on their assignment within the Institute, after which they received feedback from the others. And that is something, to have to show yourself in front of a group of 25 Young Professionals. The Jour Fixe ends with a Temp Check, whereby everyone tells how they feel at the end of the week. This gives the leads insight into everyone’s frame of mind and enables them to immediately respond to that.

At the end of the day, it was time for the “Dutchies” (yes, that’s what they called us) to fly back to the Netherlands. Because we had to be back at the office, ready to work, on Friday again.

Friday – Coffee & Drinks!

The last day of the week was mainly devoted to getting to know your own team at Capgemini Invent. In my case, the Digital HR team, a club of some 40 people! The best way to get to know your colleagues at Capgemini? By drinking coffee (or in my case: tea). And I certainly drank an ocean of tea that day and got to know many colleagues.

Everyone mainly wanted to hear about the Institute, since I was one of the first people allowed to visit the Institute. In between cups of tea, I completed another several e-learning modules on my laptop and promptly at 4.30 pm it was time for the new joiners’ drinks. This is organized on the first Friday of the month for all Capgemini Invent colleagues to get to know the new joiners. After a busy week of many new impressions, cups of tea and drinks, I hopped into my Opel Astra (yes, only one drink for me, of course) to head home and process all the impressions once again. What a cool company I’ve joined!

I hope that my story has given you some idea of what you can expect from your first working week at Capgemini Invent. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send me a LinkedIn message. I wish you every success and enjoyment during your first working week at Capgemini, and see you soon!