My name is Stanislas and I have just finished my placement as a Data & AI consultant at Capgemini Invent! It has been a great experience, not always easy but definitely full of learnings. In this post, I would like to share some insights and tips to help you make the most of your experience as a placement student, more specifically if you choose to join the consulting world.
You might be wondering why I chose to embark on a consulting journey when most Computer Science students choose to go to software engineering/coding related roles. Well, there are several reasons, but one of the most compelling is the opportunity for rapid learning and growth. In consulting, you’re constantly exposed to diverse challenges, industries, and clients. This variety keeps you on your toes and allows you to develop a wide range of skills from designing dashboards with PowerBI, using Python and VBA to perform data analysis but also managing stakeholders, presenting executive summaries and mastering the art of storytelling.
Additionally, consulting offers a unique chance to make a real impact. You get to work on projects that often drive significant change, whether it’s analysing data for a bank to improve its operation, to implementing cutting-edge technologies in multimillion pounds IT transformation programme within the public sector. Lastly, the sense of camaraderie in the consulting world is incredible. You’ll work with a team of talented individuals who are passionate about what they do, and this collaborative environment fosters personal and professional development.
Here are a few general tips that I think would be useful to share as you start your placement year :
Embrace Continuous Learning: As a placement student, it is important to adapt to changing situations and be ready to find innovative solutions to problems. Stay curious, keep learning (either by learning from others or by taking some online courses to develop new skills), and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Your network is key : Building a professional network is invaluable. Attend company events, engage with colleagues, and seek mentorship to help you navigate your placement journey.
Be Adaptable: Be open to change. Projects & tasks can evolve rapidly, and your ability to adapt and stay agile will be highly valued.
Finally, if I had to sum up my experience in 3 words, I would choose the following words: dynamic, fun (don’t forget to have fun!) and rewarding. You will also have opportunities to enjoy fun times off work with your colleagues, I would recommend making the most out of it. Here is a photo of a boat trip organised by Capgemini during my placement, one of many other socials I attended during my year.
I hope that this post will help you settle in your new professional environment and best of luck for your placement year!