As my first experience working with a client, I was privileged to work with Nationwide, whose company values are aligned with Capgemini’s.
This year, Nationwide was keen for both technical and non-technical graduates to play significant roles in the delivery of a tangible output which was aligned to the organisation’s strategic cornerstones which include:
- Built to Last
- Building PRIDE
- Building Thriving Membership
- Building Legendary Service
- Building a National Treasure
In the months leading up to the project kick off, we had to come up with themes for the graduates which were neither too broad nor too specific to eliminate idea restrictions or ideas which would prove difficult for the graduates to hone down into. Through the assistance from subject matter experts and thought leaders within Capgemini, and consultation with Nationwide’s Innovation Labs, we were able to identify big data and open banking as two major trends in the financial services industry.
Following months of preparation, we finally arrived in training week which was an incredibly immersive experience for all. It involved a week-long intensive training on communication, teamwork, financial services industry trends, agile methodologies and an introduction to the Design Thinking Framework. I also had the opportunity of co-facilitating on Monday and Tuesday alongside a Senior Capgemini Consultant. As a team, we coached the Nationwide graduates on communication and presentation skills, and on the building blocks required to work as high performing teams. The sessions were highly interactive as the graduates contributed to discussions and shared anecdotes based on their individual experiences. Shortly afterwards, the design sprint week was set in motion in the following week – this is a 5-day process which allows teams to solve problems through design, user testing and rapid prototyping and was run by Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange facilitators.
On the 29th of June, the graduates presented their finalised ideas to a panel consisting of Nationwide and Capgemini senior executives. The presentations were truly a marvel to observe and the feedback from members of the panel was of unanimous admiration at the maturity of content delivery and business value posed to the organisation. All ideas presented by the teams were immensely relevant and valuable. In particular, the Digital Mortgages Mobile Application solution resonated with me as in a few years I will be scouting the market for mortgage options so an understanding of the issues right now with mortgage applications and a solution to streamlining the process was impressive to watch.
From a personal development perspective, the Nationwide Innovation Project was instrumental to my growth and it provided me an opportunity to build and leverage client relationships. In addition, the project challenged my skillset through involvement in a variety of areas; this was a learning experience and is a highlight of my Capgemini career so far! I encourage fellow graduates to seek out consulting projects such as this as it really allows you to understand the needs of the client and as junior talents within Capgemini, building these relationships from the bottom-up is critical to careers as future leaders of the organisation!
By Aghogho Akponah, an Innovation Analyst at Capgemini