Consultant Mathijs de Lepper has a background in the exact sciences, and he’s really in his element when he can utilize his softer, more empathic and people skills. So when he saw an opportunity to coach young professionals in their personal and professional development, he immediately volunteered for the job.

“When I look back at my first introduction to Capgemini, there were two moments that were decisive . The first was after I graduated, when I came to the office in Utrecht for a coffee with a former roommate who worked here.”
“Maybe I should back up a bit. I studied Theoretical Mathematics, so I have more of a science background. But I actually want to work with my softer, interpersonal skills. So ideally, I wanted to find the sweet spot between those two extremes. My housemate worked in change management at Capgemini, which was exactly that ‘soft’ side that appealed to me. Together we talked about what kind of work would suit me best.”
“It wasn’t really an interview, but as I was sitting in the Capgemini lobby waiting for my friend, I looked around and thought: I can see myself working here. I can’t really explain why, exactly. The atmosphere? The people? I just had a good feeling about it. All the pieces fell into place.”

Wow, I wanted that too!

“After the coffee with my friend, I spoke to some recruiters and managers at Capgemini, and I started working at Invent in the summer of 2019. That’s Capgemini’s management consulting branch; we build a bridge between our clients’ strategic objectives and their tactical considerations in the IT field.”

“Invent coaches and develops beginning consultants in a two-month program called ‘The Institute’. You learn what it means to be a consultant at a rapid pace. I remember sitting there together with the other ‘Institutees’, watching the leads – experienced consultants coaching us based on their experience. I thought: wow, If I can do that too someday, that would be awesome. But you’re only eligible for that role if you have at least four years of experience, so I wouldn’t be filling it any time soon.”

Working on real projects right away

“The fact that I was allowed to start working as a lead within just two years anyway is typical for Capgemini. You can really create your own career path at this company. ‘Get the future you want’ isn’t just an empty slogan. But it’s not ‘get’ in the passive sense of having opportunities presented to you. No, you have to actively go and get them yourself. So when The Institute needed a new lead, I immediately made my ambitions known. That started the ball rolling, and I was able to begin work in 2021. That was the second decisive moment.”
“The Institute is a value accelerator; an intensive program where young professionals are prepped to work for clients. The great thing is that they immediately start working on relevant issues, providing value from the start. Experienced colleagues from within the organization contribute short-cycle projects of around 3 to 10 days, and the participants work on them from beginning to end. The only difference is that they work for their internal colleague instead of directly for an external client . So they can gain experience in a safe environment and maximize their learning.

Making real friends

“As I mentioned before, I went through the program myself. It was a real learning experience. This was before the pandemic, so I’d work with other beginners from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland at various locations in Germany and the Netherlands. Together we attended training courses, worked on projects and received coaching. And in the meantime, we built up our networks. Because you don’t just work with other starters from the group; you also work with experienced colleagues from the Netherlands and abroad. Which is good for the rest of your career at Capgemini. When you need someone’s help, you always know where to find them. Also I made some real friends there, and I still enjoy the benefits of that today.”
“As a lead at The Institute, you observe the participants and give them individual and personal feedback. It’s an amazing role. I think it’s fantastic to be able to mentor new talents and help them grow – both in their professional role and in their personal lives. So that we at Invent can display the same high level of professionalism as a group, but new colleagues can also develop their individual strengths. We as an organization find development is very important, because young professionals are our company’s future.”

High-level consulting

“I’ve also helped to set up the Dutch branch of The Institute. We were originally part of the German organization, but now we’ve had to set up our own organization, with our own program . I lead the program for eight months in total. In that time, my colleagues and I managed to expand the program into the kick-ass career kick-starter that it is today, and we’ve grown from 8 participants to 23.”
“That growth suits Capgemini Invent’s ambitions. We have high growth ambitions and The Institute plays an important part in that ambition. That’s because the young professionals who participate in this program are able to advise clients at a high level from the very beginning . I’m proud to be and have been a part of that story. It was exactly what I was looking for when I came to Capgemini: a role where I could use my interpersonal skills . What applied to my role as a lead still applies to my current work as a Senior Consultant: when I have a chance to help people become a stronger version of themselves and become better consultants, then I grab it with both hands.”
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