From Physics graduate to thriving Capgemini Consultant

From Physics graduate to thriving Capgemini Consultant

 February 11, 2019

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Kasia Tallis is an Associate Consultant at Capgemini. Below, Kasia shares her experience of her first year at the company where she first joined as a Physics graduate.

Looking for a challenge

When Kasia graduated, she wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do next. Most Physics graduates were either going on to do a Masters or PhD, and others were ready to start a graduate programme.

"I knew I wanted to work but I didn't know what career to pursue. I wanted something that would challenge me, but not completely push me out of my comfort zone. I wanted variety in roles but also to gain specialism in an area," explains Kasia.

Discovering Capgemini

After several weeks of searching graduate scheme websites and signing up to recruitment pages and LinkedIn, Kasia spotted Capgemini Invent. She read about the pathways available as a graduate and life within the Consultant Development Community (CDC) and felt that Capgemini could be a place that would bring her a diverse range of experience as well as offering her skills and training for professional development.

For Kasia, continuous learning and an interest in working within technology were also key factors for her. So she chose the Future of Technology (FoT) Academy because of its focus on emerging technologies which would allow her to develop additional capabilities within the CDC. With the flexibility of starting at different times in the year, Kasia succeeded in the final assessment stage and chose to join Capgemini Invent two months later. 

Joining the Consultant Development Community

Kasia explains that she joined CDC as a "fresh-faced university graduate" with very little experience in ‘professional’ work.

"Compared to my degree, I now had to use a different set of skills and interact with a new diverse set of people as a consultant. Applying my problem-solving and analytical skills would be no problem, but the thought of talking in front of a small group of people simply terrified me," says Kasia.

However, Kasia didn't want to spend any more time solving maths equations or writing 5,000-word reports from lab experiments. Instead, she wanted to transition from theory to the real world, where she could develop her industry knowledge and focus on tangible outputs by applying what she learned to real-life situations.

"Having worked as a student researcher before, I knew a graduate programme like the CDC would be an ideal way for me to transition into the professional world, developing skills such as public speaking, workshop facilitation, and project management that I didn't get the chance to experience at university," says Kasia. 

She spent her first two weeks at Capgemini in induction. She met other graduates who were also starting their new roles, learning about Capgemini Invent, and gaining core management consulting skills training such as design thinking, facilitating workshops, and selling and bidding.

She was also introduced to her team and the FoT Academy where she found out about the different capabilities within the practice, and the different types of training she would have access to throughout the two-year programme.

Being part of exciting projects

Straight after induction Kasia was placed on a project in the retail sector for three months where she had to put into practice what she had learnt in induction.

"I started to develop my ‘consulting guard’ and professional image around colleagues and clients. I helped to create client-facing communications and documents and supported the design and facilitation of core workshops. An exciting part of this project was flying to Warsaw a couple of times for workshops with the clients out there, a rare opportunity for new grads in their first month on the job!" says Kasia.

She also began creating her internal CV for the Capgemini Invent resource managers to get to know her her experience and background, as well as searching for internal opportunities to expand her new network. After delivering on the retail project for Capgemini, Kasia became involved in another exciting project within financial services that focused on cyber security.

The project is part of a large programme on Identity and Access Management (IAM) for a large multinational bank. Kasia explains that IAM is a key control for risk reduction, improved user experience, and improved operational efficiency regarding the robust management of access to systems, applications and data. In this way, IAM ensures protection against unauthorised users gaining or maintaining unauthorised access to the bank’s critical information assets.

For the last six months, Kasia has been responsible for overseeing and putting into practice the end-to-end cleansing process of a division of various applications. By improving application data quality and supporting data maintenance, it will enable system processes to more accurately and efficiently reduce IAM risk for the bank.

"Upon joining, one of my biggest fears I had was developing a professional relationship with the client, whether they were a key stakeholder or just an employee who knows the ins and outs of their company. But that’s now turned into one of my favourite things about the project; speaking to the various individuals across the bank," says Kasia. "The first time I had to engage with a stakeholder over the phone, I was nervous and I had to bring another colleague on to help me. Now, after liaising with more than 50 people, my confidence has grown exponentially."

Thriving in a supportive community

Kasia knows that working with a fantastic team and being part of a community of over 100 graduates has been key to her development at Capgemini. 

"This huge and diverse network has provided plenty of support and motivation. There will always be someone to help you with any struggles or to simply share experiences. We grab coffees, have lunch together, or simply have chats about the latest market stall where you bought lunch (consultants love food)," she adds.

"Looking back at my time at Capgemini Invent, within the space of a few months I have become more confident in communicating, presenting, and collaborating than I had in the 4 years at university. I’ve taken on more responsibility, become more organised, developed a professional image, and I’ve even learned some handy tricks in Excel. I can justify 'proficient in Excel' on my CV now!"

"I’ve experienced work in two different sectors that I had no knowledge of previously and I am continuously learning about the various innovative technologies in which Capgemini Invent works with. I’ve learnt about Agile, become a certified Scrum Master, and achieved the AWS Cloud Practitioner qualification. On top of that, I’ve been involved with various internal work, which has expanded my network. Instead of writing lab reports, I’m writing a blog!" continues Kasia.

"I’m looking forward to what my next project will have to offer, and what challenges and fears I will overcome next!"

Join talented women like Kasia at Capgemini

At Capgemini, people matter and results count. So find out more today about joining this prime employer for women. Research their exciting range of career vacancies and take your skills and interests to a company that truly values and supports the advancement of women.

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