The alarm went off early. I had an 8:00 flight to catch from Schiphol to Berlin. By 10:30 I was surrounded by 20 Dutch and 40 German colleagues at Capgemini’s Berlin office. This is a typical beginning of the week when you’re starting as a Young Professional at Capgemini Invent.Your journey kicks off at The Institute. I’ll tell you exactly what that entails below!
I was fresh out of university when I got my first job at Capgemini Invent. The adventure began with an onboarding day for all the new Dutch employees of Capgemini Nederland (there were about 120 in October). About 20 of these new colleagues were starting at Capgemini Invent, so we joined the next onboarding program with them. On day two and three, we were given presentations about Capgemini Invent and The Institute; I would start with the latter on day four.
The Institute is a two-month program that implements a simulated environment to teach you all the necessary consulting skills and prepare you to take on your first external client. The simulations use internal clients and assignments to introduce you to the consulting role. Constant feedback and short, intensive projects help you to learn new things every day. The content of the assignments varies greatly, which makes the work very challenging. Because each assignment requires you to dive in to a whole new field, you gain a tremendous amount of specialist knowledge and professional insight!
In my second week, I flew to Berlin and began my work week with the weekly stand-up at the Capgemini office in Potzdamerplatz. The stand-up is held every morning at 8:30, which is when the work day starts. At 12:00 you go for lunch with your colleagues, and in Berlin that’s a real treat! After lunch you continue with your assignment, and in the evening you find a restaurant near the office to have a nice group dinner together. On Wednesday there’s an entire evening program called Happy Wednesday. Apart from all the hard work, there’s lots of time for socializing at The Institute and you get to know your colleagues pretty quickly!
The purpose of The Institute is to make you client-ready. This means that you have all the necessary skills and fully understand Capgemini Invent’s approach. You learn all of these skills and methods during the assignments you complete at The Institute. As the icing on the cake, you get to travel to Paris for three days of intensive training. Capgemini’s castle is the perfect location! Every Tuesday you find out if you can start booking your flights for the upcoming period, and whether you’ll be staying at The Institute for a while longer. Once the mentors at The Institute decide that you’re client-ready, your training is over and you’re all set for your first external assignment. This is a bittersweet moment: although The Institute is hard work, it’s also really fun and educational!
Once you leave The Institute, there are several options. One possibility is to immediately get started on an assignment with a client. In this case you’ll often work with your colleagues and will mostly have a supporting role at first. Another option is to wait “on the bench” for an assignment to come along that fits your skills. This gives you additional time to take training courses and help draft proposals for winning new contracts. Either way, you’ll be ready to roll and everyone will be happy with you and your expertise!
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