Excitement, nerves, anxiety, eagerness and much more; these were the emotions I felt before starting my first day on my first project assignment as a CDCer (CDC stands for Consultant Development Community). Not to mention the questions I had kept to myself; where would I go for lunch? Do I just turn up at the office? What shall I wear? Is the office far from the station? Will there be a seat for me?

You soon realise that all of the panic going on inside your head is unnecessary over-thinking, but at the same time it is very natural. Everything, in fact, just ends up falling into place!

I was told my first role at a big utilities company would involve shadowing a consultant in Swindon for 2 weeks, shadowing a consultant in Reading for 2 weeks and then back to Swindon for a billable role for 5 weeks (where the client is paying for me to be there). On top of that, I would be back to London in the office every Friday – the case for most Capgemini consultants.

The travelling lifestyle of a consultant is a given, because most projects are based on client site. Since my first day, I have found travelling provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on expenses, read the paper or a book, get extra sleep and even network. The only down-side is not being able to control train delays, but there is always the option to stay in a hotel closer to client site.

It might have only been a few weeks, but the highlights of my time so far include:

My second day involved going to a charity clay pigeon shooting event that the client had organised. Many different companies were there so it was a good opportunity to have fun and network at the same time, and already I was being exposed to things I had never done before!

Learning that one emotion I cannot hide is confusion… and realising it is okay to not understand 100% of everything that is being thrown at you! Always ask questions because everyone knows you’re not expected to be an expert when you start.

Going for coffee with Nigel Lewis (Head of the Capgemini Business Analytics team). Nigel encourages CDCers to come for coffee catch-ups because he’s interested in our views and what we are passionate about. This demonstrates perfectly the non-hierarchical structure that Capgemini have and what sets them apart from other companies.

Finally, going back to the London office every Fridays because it’s nice to catch up with the CDCers and the wider Capgemini team to steal potential tips on how to be a better consultant and to find out how their projects are going in London/Scotland/Europe and anywhere else in the world!

Shirley Lau
Associate Consultant,Business Analytics capability team

Shirley joined Capgemini as an Associate Consultant within the Business Analytics capability team in September 2014. She studied a BSc. degree in Mathematical Economics & Statistics at the University of Birmingham and a MSc. degree in Operational Research & Management Science at Lancaster University. She is passionate about data analytics and statistics and is looking to pursue this passion in her career.