One of the largest initial attractions to consulting for campus hires is the glamour of traveling. I had an Up in the Air vision of my life once I started at Capgemini. However, I found out I was going to be working on a local project very near to the downtown office- not even getting to explore the other parts of the city. What I did not realize was how much fun being local can be. There are lots of little perks, such as being able to buy groceries, hanging out with friends at night, and being able to commute on my bicycle. But, additionally, I can make suggestions for team happy hours, schedule a dentist appointment on a weekday, and sneak in a few extra hours of sleep on Monday mornings. One major upside to being local that I did not initially consider was not having to compartmentalize my life. When a friend is having a problem, I can show up to help. When something needs to be done for work, I know a refrigerator of healthy food is waiting for me at home. I can commit to being involved in my community because I am able to attend local events on weeknights.
At Capgemini, working on a local project often means that you work at the client site on Fridays. While this has meant that I have had to miss some office events it has benefits as well. Mainly, I am able to be proactive about working directly with the client on Fridays. The added work day onsite has proven very beneficial in completing work, and in developing a relationship with the client. Additionally, the extra day in the office has brought our project team closer together. Not only do we spend more time together in the office, but we have additional nights that we can hang out with each other outside of work- going to happy hours, local sporting events, or even having cooking nights.
While traveling has many benefits; it is important not to overlook the benefits of being local. While I may not be earning airline miles or hotel points, I have my full wardrobe to pick from and get to enjoy the “fall” weather in Houston. Plus, with this office view, can anyone complain?