One of the most rewarding (and challenging) aspects of working in the Consultant Development Community (CDC) is the huge variety of projects that you have the opportunity to work on, regardless of your previous experience. One of the industries that I have been lucky enough to work in so far is Financial Services (FS).
It’s almost impossible to talk about FS without immediately thinking of the recent financial crash, which has had a huge impact on the industry. The most significant of which was an almost immediate loss of faith in the industry. This has rightly resulted in a number of changes in all aspects of FS, including company culture, practice and legislation. Some argue these changes are superficial, and the ‘new industry’ is built on the same structure that caused the crisis in the first place. Regardless of your personal opinion as to how genuine these changes are, there is a visible process of adjustment taking place within the FS sector.
Starting a project as a new graduate consultant can be daunting, and at least from my perspective, particularly so working with an FS industry client. . Understanding the issues the industry was facing, I knew that the stakes of getting something wrong are high compared to other industries. This has resulted in an overall mantra of ‘check it, check it again and then check one more time’. Once you’re done checking, you get someone to rinse and repeat the process. There’s also an absolute obligation to have evidence for everything that we suggest, no matter how insignificant or easy to assume it may be. We work together as a team to ensure we get it right for our client.
As a result, my experience working in the FS sector has taught me a whole new level of thoroughness, and great attention to detail l that I never thought I could bring to my ‘big picture’ brain. I also witnessed the intricacies of change in a complex industry that is recovering from a hangover like no first year student could possibly imagine. As a firm believer in the saying ‘someone else has always said it better’, I look to Albert Einstein to put sense into this point:
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” ― Albert Einstein.
This is what has been most fascinating for me: as a previous bystander to the financial situation, I became a part of the change for the better. This for me sums up the invaluable experience that the CDC programme offers. For as a student 5 years ago when the crash peaked, I could never have imagined the possibilities and opportunities that have presented themselves as a result of being a part of Capgemini.