So this time 2 years ago, I was coming to the end of my course in Information Technology at Wolverhampton University and I was going to graduate with a first class Degree.
Although this was an amazing achievement I still didn’t have a job to start once it was all over. I had looked into many different IT careers but nothing seemed to stand out to me. This was until I saw a position open on a graduate consultant program for a company called risual. After doing my research into risual and the graduate scheme I decided to apply for the role.
After three different interviews I was offered the place on the graduate scheme. As I was starting this job straight from university I was very apprehensive on how it would be, Would I fit in?, Would I know enough ? Would this be the career for me?
The first couple of months I spent learning how risual works and the different teams and processes that make it up. Although this was a lot a take in and learn, I had a great support system around me which included other employees who had previously come in as graduates along with mangers and team leads. Once I had a good understanding of risual I then started to work on my technical skills within my chosen technology area. While working on my technical skills, I also had the chance to shadow other experienced consultants on client projects in order to develop my softer consulting skills.
Although I found my technical skills were increasing rapidly and I was able to complete work assigned to me along with passing the exams I was tasked to complete, my consulting skills were not processing as fast. This was because I did not have much work experience in the real world.
With the support from my team lead and team members I started to work on smaller projects with support to help me improve. This included working one on one with clients and carrying out workshops and training sessions to groups. Doing this with support from other consultants meant I had the confidence to interact with clients without worrying that I might make a mistake or make risual look bad.
With the support around me at risual, 2 years later I am now carrying out client engagements completely unassisted with great feedback from the clients. I’m still continuing to improve in both my technical and soft skills every day and am looking forward to developing as a consultant.
Looking back, if I could give any advice to graduates looking to make a career in the consulting world. It would be to go for it and take in all the information and skills shown to you. This time in life is the best time to take advantage of all the help and advice you receive. No one can make you succeed, only you can do that. But you grab to opportunities that graduate programs provide for people coming into the IT industry with little or no work experience.