Graduate onboarding at Capgemini: My reflections from The Institute
Very often, as I hunted for a graduate job, I would see promises of ‘responsibility from day 1’ or ‘great training provided, to get you career ready’. That was exactly what I was after; to feel like the work I’m doing was worthwhile and that I was growing professionally. Little did I expect the whirlwind three months that awaited me upon joining Capgemini Invent, which will now be fondly remembered as my time in the Institute.
In this blog, I’m going to give you a taste of my Institute experience, so you can take away a flavour of the different things you might end up doing. By discussing my work, what I learned and the social aspects, I’m aiming to give you some insight into just what’s going on here at Invent. However, no two journeys are the same, so don’t take this as gospel. That’s also why it’s so exciting!
My work on Institute projects
Working in Utilities, Consumer Products, Retail & Distribution, Learning & Development and Bid Development, it’s fair to say my experience was varied, completing both internal and external work.
Now, when I say “external”, I mean work that is looking at companies outside Capgemini. All the work we did was to internal “clients”, where we followed a set structure/ process to gather feedback which could then be acted on for creating our final deliverables. However, these clients would sometimes be working on internal initiatives.
My favourite piece of “external” work was focused on the Energy Transition and finding out what companies were doing in that space. I’m passionate about sustainability and had always seen myself working to tackle the dual energy challenge and help meet the worldwide net-zero goals. Additionally, I had a bit of work experience in the Oil & Gas sector, so this was an ideal project for me! I created and presented a market research pack, as part of a strategy session with some of our most senior stakeholders in Energy & Utilities. Presenting to an audience of 40+ was quite the experience; needless to say, I was nervous, (luckily, in a virtual environment, it’s easier to hide that). The presentation was well received and, following it, I’ve done more work for some of the stakeholders – building my network so that I could shape my future at Capgemini!
So that was my highlight for “external” work. My example of an internal assignment is something totally different, where I created training materials for the Design Hub. This would form part of the Institute curriculum for future cohorts looking to upskill in design. This was something I didn’t expect to be doing, but it gave me a great opportunity to upskill myself in design, to think about how to tell stories and to better understand how to effectively share knowledge to future Institutees. It also means that my work will be supporting the business long-term, helping our design improve. Remember what I said about doing work that is worthwhile? Both creating, training and upskilling myself at the same time, I think that’s the epitome of learning by doing; something there is a huge emphasis on in The Institute.
The whole idea behind the Institute is to learn. Learn what is needed for you to become a ‘client-ready’ consultant who will deliver OTACE (On Time, Above Client Expectation). Whilst you do most of your learning on the job, there’s guidance through Friday Learning sessions (shout out to our coaches). Additionally, feedback from your coach and your “client” in your assignment creates learning opportunities. The feedback is powerful, encouraging you to reflect on what you did well and what wasn’t so good, then to address that. Always remember feedback is a gift! I still refer to my notes regularly, now I’m in a client facing role. (Hint: use Microsoft OneNote to keep a track of everything and make it easy to find!)
The Social Aspects
Lastly, I want to tell you about the social aspects, such as the ceremonies. Coming into a company with so many graduates was a massive highlight for me, and I’m sure a lot of the cohort would agree! The ceremonies in the Institute, like the Daily Stand Up, or Jour Fixe, give you a great opportunity to learn more about what all your colleagues are up to. This can be a springboard for more conversation, where we were able to support each other to tackle the challenge our next assignment would throw at us. Whether this was finding out how to use Power BI, what you would have to do as a PMO (and what it stands for!), or just asking someone who had worked with your new client what the vibe was like, it got everyone chatting. You build a community with your peers, and that was the best part about the Institute. The people making it fun.
I’ve touched on building my network, learning by doing and having some fun. For me, that’s what was important. I’ve really enjoyed remembering and reflecting on what I did in The Institute. I hope I’ve shone a bit of light on what we’ve been getting up to on the Graduate Accelerate Programme. Onto the next phase of it for me!
Find out more about the Graduate Accelerate Programme below.
Reece Gibb – Associate Consultant
Following Business Analyst work in Oil & Gas, Reece joined Capgemini Invent’s Graduate Accelerate Programme in December 2020.