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The Institute Blog Series: Introducing you to The Institute at Capgemini Invent

8 Sep 2021

Naj Hayat – an Associate Consultant in Business Technology tells us about Capgemini Invent’s exciting, fun learning environment for Accelerate graduates – The Institute.

Welcome to this three-part blog series, where we will explore what it’s like to be a graduate in the Institute at Capgemini Invent. It is a three-month, practical training programme which forms part of the Accelerate programme. Designed to support the development of future inventive minds by equipping us with the necessary skills to offer value-added solutions for clients.

The renowned Accelerate programme consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1: The Institute – 3-month training focusing on building core consultancy skills
  • Phase 2: Foundation – 6-months’ worth of client engagement, where we “learn by doing”
  • Phase 3: Skilled Academy – 12 months’ worth of continued client engagements, as well as further career developments and specialism

The blog series will explore the Institute itself, the experiences faced by Institutees and how the Institute prepared Institutees to land on client site.

As this is the first blog, I will introduce the Institute, explain what it is, how it works, and what is expected. Now let’s get started…

Germany (D), Austria (A), and Switzerland (CH) (DACH) Background:

Before we dive into the details of the Institute, it is worth highlighting how the concept of the Institute came to life.

It all began with the Capgemini team in Germany 16 years ago, with only eight participants. Over the years, the idea of the Institute has been implemented towards global onboarding and has been growing ever since! It is a new process in the UK, having five cohorts graduate from the Institute. The stats show the programme has recruited over 100 graduates, completing over 300 assignments – with an outstanding satisfaction of 8.7/10!

The Institute:

The 2-3-week induction period onboards the Accelerate graduates, covering key sessions for core consulting skills. It also gives everyone a chance to get to know each other. The graduates are then welcomed to the 3-month Institute period. This is a safe environment which is a ‘training ground’, giving graduates an opportunity to network across the business; that means work hard, play hard! Everyone at Capgemini is super friendly and they want you to succeed… So how can you prepare? – The real secret to success is enthusiasm!

“Use your network, including your coaches and peers”

I continuously hear in meetings: “our virtual door is always open”. Everyone is so welcoming which makes you feel that you are part of a wider community.

Each Institutee is assigned:

  • A personal development manager (PDM): to help with any managerial and personal development related questions
  • A dedicated coach for each assignment: supporting us to get familiar with the internal processes, ensuring we have good preparation and management, providing continuous feedback
  • A buddy from the previous intake: for those friendly chats where your buddy with provide support and encouragement, it is also an opportunity to ask any further questions you may have

“Team spirit is in our DNA”

Additionally, we hold various socials with the cohort, so seeking advice from your own peers is like second nature, we are indeed one big team who look out for one another!

Through International Happy Wednesday events, we get to know our colleagues across the Atlantic or the Channel, with the use of fun quizzes and games. It is the perfect way to channel our competitive streak!

The nature of assignments:

We are given assignments for internal ‘clients’ to simulate the project experience. This is a safer environment for the first steps of tackling the project as an Institutee. We ‘learn by doing’ by following the assignment process to ensure we are confident throughout, gaining continuous feedback of the work done until the delivery call, where the final deliverable is presented. At the end, the Institutee also requests the client for feedback on how they tackled the overall project with achievements and development needs on various criteria.

“Welcome feedback, remember it is a gift”

There are many skills that the Institutees pick up on the way such as critical analysis through providing feedback from Jour Fixe presentations, active listening, collaboration and overall organisation skills which are all key skills for a successful consultant. Looking back at it, I managed to subconsciously pick up a lot of skills on the way!

It is a great practice of the 70-20-10 model where 70% of knowledge is obtained by practical job-related experiences, 20% obtained by interactions with others, and 10% from formal training. Being involved in such an environment means that we in turn, exceed expectations of the quality of work being delivered.

Please stay tuned for the next blog: ‘A Day in the Life of an Institutee’ written by Reece Gibb!