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'You can address the CEO informally here'

He had never heard of Capgemini before. But that did not stop Mustafa El Barnichi, now a business intelligence consultant, from starting his graduate internship at Capgemini. How did he end up here and why did he stay on after his internship? He tells us all about it.

You had never heard of Capgemini and yet you came to us for your graduate internship. How did that happen?

“For a project during my pre-master phase, I had to interview a business intelligence consultant. At the time, I just went on LinkedIn, typed in a search term and ended up at someone from Capgemini. We had some brief contact for the interview and I left it at that at the time. Six months later, he shared a post about the Insights & Data Xperience day. And although I’d never even heard of Capgemini before that contact, I thought to myself, I’m just going to do it. Ultimately I found the Xperience day so enjoyable that I immediately let them know at that point that I wanted to do my graduate internship at Capgemini. And not long after that I received the invitation.”

What is your background?

“I studied business administration at the higher professional level and after that did a master’s in Information Management at Tilburg University. So I started on the commercial side, and then moved in the direction of technology.”

What was the topic of your graduation thesis?

“Blockchain was a hot topic during my degree program, and I got involved with cryptocurrency to some extent myself as well. I wanted to study that in more depth. For my thesis, I looked at what components you can use to measure the performance of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), an overarching concept of different technologies, like blockchain.”

And then your thesis was done. What happened after that?

“Yes, that went very smoothly actually. From February to the end of June, I was working on my thesis and I was at the office every day. Because of that, I saw and spoke with many people at Insights & Data (I&D) on a daily basis. There was already a click there. In April, I was asked whether I wanted to continue at Capgemini. During my graduate internship, I was already able to get a good sense of the atmosphere. That immediately made up my mind.”

Did you have a look around at other companies at the time?

“Certainly! During my final year, I also attended in-house days at two other companies. Another consultancy company and a well-known online retailer. In the end, I liked it much better here and you really have the opportunity to develop here. You also see multiple businesses here. So the combination of the work as consultant, the IT and the atmosphere at Capgemini ultimately really appealed to me.”

What do you do at Capgemini currently?

“I started as a business intelligence consultant at I&D in August and I have been working on the Financial and Agriculture Recommendation (FARM) project. This is an internal project that arose from our participation in the IBM Worldwide Watson Build competition, in which we’ve even managed to secure a spot in the European final!”

“We hold an indoor soccer tournament once a month. That really is a lot of fun!”

Sounds fantastic! Can you tell us more about the FARM project?

“Via the FARM project, we help small farmers in third-world countries like Kenya. To do this, we work with Agrics, a social enterprise based in East Africa. FARM is a data platform that can make various predictions based on geographic information systems, historical data, weather data, satellite images and photos from farmers. It can make predictions on how fertile the soil is, for instance, what the yield will be, what risks may be at play and to what extent the farmer will be able to repay his loan. By sharing information, making predictions and providing insight, we can eliminate uncertainties and in doing so help local farmers run their family businesses, with the help of organizations like Agrics.”

What a great project! How did you end up working on it?

“At Capgemini, if there is something you want, you have to go for it. So shortly after I was hired, I went to someone from our CoZone. I told him what I wanted to do and asked whether they had something for me. It just so happened that the project for IBM was starting at that point. This project immediately gave me the opportunity to learn more technical skills, such as programming in R and Python.”

What do you think of the atmosphere at Capgemini?

“Comfortable and actually very relaxed. You can literally talk to anyone and even address the CEO of I&D informally. If there is something the matter and you let them know, they also take it very seriously. And you get the help you need. I also find that the fun I have with colleagues is one of the best things about my work.”

Do you take part in activities with colleagues outside of work as well?

“Absolutely! Haha. We organize an indoor soccer tournament at I&D once a month, for instance, in which anyone can join. That really is a lot of fun! We also regularly go for drinks, we had a weekend away a few months ago and I’ve got a ski trip planned with colleagues soon as well!”

And finally. In your view, why should students do their internship at our company?

“During your internship, you are genuinely given personal guidance, you have regular contact and you get the help you need. And you might even get the opportunity to stay on afterwards. Now that there is a new graduate internship concept at Capgemini, there’s a little part of me that wishes I had started my thesis one year later. Haha. I also had a look around at other companies, but Capgemini is simply much more fun. So there is still a great deal to keep me busy here for a while.”


Would you like to follow in Mustafa’s footsteps and get your career off to a flying start? Come to Capgemini for your graduate internship. For all the possibilities, see internship at Capgemini.Want to get started as a professional straight away? Check out our job openings!