Arriving at Capgemini
By the time April 2021 rolled around, I was raring and ready to join Capgemini Invent. I had received my offer in November 2020, so was eager to hit the ground running when the time finally came to meet my new colleagues (virtually, of course). We were straight into action, starting with a 3-week induction, followed by joining the Institute.
How the Institute set me up for success in my first role
The Institute is a 3-month training focused on building core consultancy skills, in which you can learn and practice in a safe space, mixing practical ‘on the job’ learning, learning from others, and formal learning together. If you’re interested in learning more about the Institute itself, my colleague Naj has written a great overview, which you can read here – https://www.capgemini.com/gb-en/2021/09/the-institute-blog-series-introducing-you-to-the-institute-at-capgemini-invent/.
I think it’s important to point out, as is the way in the world of consulting, nobody has the same experience – and that’s certainly true within the Institute!
After completing a couple of ‘client’ assignments, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) team, who take on Institute rotations from Capgemini Invent. Thanks to the encouragement of my coaches, I secured the rotation, and spent 9 of my remaining Institute weeks working as an Associate Innovation Consultant.
The AIE are a team that applies innovation, made up of consultants, designers, and technologists, all of whom are powered by empathy and curiosity. My time in the AIE gave me the chance to start working with external clients, to deliver innovation. With my experiences varying from: working on a ‘future of communications’ deep research piece; co-facilitating a 1-week design sprint; learning the ropes of user experience and delving into customer insights for a major oil and gas company – let’s just say I was always learning something new!
Thanks to the Institute, and support from my peers, I delivered value within the AIE team, while picking up innumerable new skills and meeting brilliant new colleagues from across the business.
Making an impact
As my time in the AIE ended, I was happy to be walking away with a deeply embedded streak of innovation – which set me up in a perfect position for my next role.
I had heard about a partnership agreement between Capgemini and The Prince’s Trust, which also involved Capgemini taking on development responsibilities for the charity’s Future Steps App. As somebody who is passionate about giving back, I was keen to get involved. After a couple of conversations, it was confirmed that I would be joining the Future Steps team – bingo!
Firstly, some context – what is Future Steps?
Future Steps is a 10,000-steps-a-day challenge, which The Prince’s Trust run annually over the month of February. Participants download the Future Steps App to track their steps and fundraise to support young people.
What were Capgemini there to do?
An agile delivery team was formed, and our target was to stabilise the existing Future Steps app, as well as deliver enhanced functionality for users, all in time for the February 2022 challenge. We were on a tight timeframe, with eight two-week sprints before app store submission was required at the beginning of December 2021.
My role in the team was as a Business Analyst, allowing me of course to learn the fundamentals of business analysis, while also building my product management skills. The team was small; therefore, I was able to support the refining and management of the product vision and roadmap, and had the chance to lead sprint reviews, sprint planning, and client interactions. Thanks to the connections that I had been encouraged to build across Capgemini Invent during the Institute, I was well positioned to seek expert advice from those who had ‘been there and done it’ when there were problems my project team were struggling with.
The project was a success. We had introduced new user-driven functionality, and the upgraded (and importantly, stabilised) version of the app had been approved by both Google and Apple app stores within just a couple of days!
How my time in the Institute enabled this success
Within the Institute, to ensure that you are client ready come the end of the 3 months, there is time carved out for formal learning. During these sessions, we covered topics from stakeholder management, to agile for consulting engagements, presentation skills and business analysis. Every single ‘on the job’ experience I gained during my time in the AIE, partnered by these learning opportunities, impacted my ability to deliver something truly impactful for The Prince’s Trust.
Not only did it benefit our client by being able to deliver an excellent product, but my experiences also benefitted my team. I was able to take learnings from my time in the Institute around the benefits of sharing knowledge by introducing knowledge nuggets for the developers to share their expertise. This exercise not only enabled my team to upskill in highly technical areas, but also supported them in building softer skills which they may not have had the opportunity to build elsewhere.
Thanks to the opportunities offered by the Accelerate graduate scheme, I’ve been able to grow personally and professionally, but most importantly, I’ve been able to make a real difference to my colleagues and to a charity who are doing amazing work for young people. For me, there’s nothing more rewarding than finishing a working day, knowing that the work I’ve done will have a positive impact (directly, or indirectly) on someone else.
There are still a team on the ground working to maintain the Future Steps App, with The Prince’s Trust partnership extending beyond the Future Steps challenge. If you want to read more about The Prince’s Trust and Capgemini partnership, please see here: https://www.capgemini.com/gb-en/the-princes-trust-partnership/
If you want to participate in the Future Steps challenge this February, the Future Steps App is available to download via the Apple App Store and Google Playstore. The challenge starts on 1st February and runs until 28th February.
Laura is a member of the Accelerate Graduate Scheme having started at Capgemini Invent in April 2021.