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Where are you now? Advice from an experienced Graduate

Category : General
 
In this blog Lucy Pearce interviews Sanjay Nand, an experienced graduate, to find out more about his time working for Business Technology Solutions (BTS) at Capgemini so far. 
 
What is your current role/ grade/ project? 
1.       Role: Digital strategy advisor
2.       Grade: Consultant (A4)
3.       Project: A healthcare provider  
 

What was your first project?

My first project was a value-led shared services operating model transformation – the aim was to implement a performance management methodology focussed on achieving strategic fit between key functional services and wider business units.
 

What has been your favourite role so far at Capgemini and why?

If I had to choose my current role would come first, however, I’ve learnt a great deal from all the engagements I’ve been on during my time so far. In my current project, I’m helping to shape a UK-wide digital transformation programme, introducing collaborative technologies and new ways of working. It’s provided me with a hands-on understanding of our digital offerings and the tools and techniques used to develop client’s internal digital capabilities. The project has allowed me to work with senior stakeholders during brainstorm sessions around user journeys.
 

What do you want to go on to do next?

Retail, retail, retail! My engagements to date have been mostly focussed within the public sector and I’m ready to mix it up.
 

What advice would you give to a grad to ensure that they are joining the projects and roles that they want to do?

1.       Be vocal and show a clear and personal interest in the projects that catch your attention – you’ll be amazed what you can get if you simply ask. 
2.       Often half the battle is knowing what projects are out there, this is where your internal network comes into play. Always start with your resource manager but don’t limit your conversations there, speak to project managers you used to work with, graduates you know who are on accounts and anyone else you think might be help.
 
 

What advice can you give to a Grad wanting to gain more experience and move up their career path?

‘Embrace being a novice’
Often graduates, particularly management consultants, feel as though they need to have all the answers however nothing could be further from the truth. By embracing the fact you are a novice and you are expected to ask all kinds of questions, it’s only then you’ll start to learn from the experts around you. Before asking any question always have a solid go at either doing some background research or finding the answer yourself first, this enables you to have a more meaningful conversation and will gain the respect of the individual you are asking as you’ve shown a proactive effort and are not behaving on a reactive basis.
 
‘Try everything’
Coming straight from university it is often very hard to know where you’re strengths lie and no that Myers-Briggs test you took in that one class that one time is not a solid indicator of your strengths and weaknesses. Only by actually giving everything a go will you find out what you enjoy and most importantly know where your strengths lie and areas you need to work on. As you progress through your career it’s crucial you start to focus your expertise to a particular area/discipline.
 
‘Seek Opportunities and Focus’
 Always have an eye open seeking out pain points people are facing, be it on client engagements or internally. Explore ideas that would mean for a better way of working, start to think about who to pull together your thoughts with and most importantly who would benefit from the change. Showcasing this proactive initiative will help grow your network will individuals you may have otherwise found difficult to engage with and will improve your branding with the types of characteristics that account leads seek when looking to resource new members within their engagement. It is easy to fall into the ‘over-commitment’ trap by saying yes to everything and seeking out your own opportunities – this is where the pareto rule comes in. Simply put, focus on the 20% of activities that will provide 80% of the benefits.
 
 

What internal work are you currently involved in and how did you become involved?

1.       Head of innovation – I lead the innovation stream within BTS running both internal and external facing initiatives that seek to achieve three key objectives: increase our network with future disruptors, increase the digital IQ of both our clients and colleagues and finally, foster collaboration across the business. 
2.       AIE insights – I’m one of the leads for our Applied Innovation Exchange (AIE) Insight Talks where we invite inspiring speakers; from start-ups to industry leaders, to talk about the latest topics disrupting the business world. The events started off small with a few colleagues and I strive to bring a TED-like talk in house and they’ve now grown at an exponential rate and become part of our AIE’s Discover capability. Insights Talks have covered a whole range of topics: FinTech, blockchain, customer engagement, applied innovation and an IoT (Internet of Things) Hackathon.
 

What has your most challenging role been so far and how did you get over those challenges?

 At the beginning of my current role the team started out on a remote working basis which meant very little face time with one another as we set up. This proved challenging as I was unaware of individuals working styles and we quickly hit the storming phase of Tuckman’s group development model. To help get over this challenge I worked with my Project Manager to introduce a number of agile project management tools to ensure accountability and deadlines were clear and the team was consistently aligned. The introduction of daily stand ups assisted with a virtual sprint board (Trello) and group communication tool (Slack) enabled us to work in a more structured format and stream line our communication, no more death by email.
 
If you’re interested in joining the Capgemini graduate scheme and experiencing digital transformation like Sanjay, then check out our website.
 
By Lucy Pearce – LinkedIn

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A variety of blog posts from our Graduates, apprentices and recruiters.

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