We caught up with Izzy to find out about her experiences at CIL Management Consultants.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and your role at CIL Management Consultants
I went to school in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and studied Business Administration at the University of Bath starting in 2017. My course involved two six-month placements which I found valuable in learning more about myself and what kind of work I enjoyed most, as well as meeting new people and learning how different businesses work. My first placement was at a small tech start-up in Shoreditch in a business development role, and my second was with CIL! I joined CIL as an Intern Analyst for six-months starting February 2020 and finishing in the summer. It was, of course, quite an unusual experience given COVID-19 and lockdown.
What made you apply to CIL Management Consultants?
Since starting my degree I had been keen to get involved in consultancy, as I felt being constantly exposed to different businesses facing different challenges would be interesting from day-to-day and would harness the skills and learning from my degree. However, there was a couple of things about consultancy which did not appeal to me so much. Firstly, I didn’t want to get involved in a company with an ‘Alpha’ culture, which can be stereotypical to consultancy, as this would not suit me at all. Secondly, the idea of travelling around and living out of a suitcase four days a week was not attractive to me either. This made CIL the perfect fit!
I had heard about CIL at university, as it has good connections with the placements team on my course. I decided to apply for my second placement at CIL after speaking with a friend who had completed their first placement at CIL. They told me that it was a varied role which always kept you on your toes, working on different things every day. They also said everyone was welcoming and patient at the company, making you feel comfortable to ask questions to support your learning. Additionally, as I just mentioned, she told me that CIL’s work doesn’t require you to work away on clients’ site during the week, which can often be a downside (in my view anyway) of consulting work. Finally, in comparison to my placement at a start-up, I felt the role would be more structured, which would fit better with my preferred style of working, while still being a small-ish company where people all know each other and there is a good sense of community.
What appealed to you about working in the Frome office?
For my first placement I lived in London for six months and felt it wasn’t for me! While it was a cool experience for a short period, I love living near the countryside, to run and go for walks and explore local villages, which made the Frome office a great choice for me. The Wiltshire / Somerset area I know quite well due to living in Bath for University and so it’s nice to be in a familiar area near to my university city too. Frome itself is a lovely town with pretty little streets and plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. It feels like a more chilled out place to work than London. It is also a lot more affordable which is great in terms of living costs. I live in a nearby town called Trowbridge which is ~20 mins away. There’s a good number of towns near Frome which you can commute from if you have a car. You also occasionally visit London for training, the odd social or to work with a project team there, so you still get to experience snippets of the London life for a couple of days here and there.
What is a ‘normal’ day like for you so far as an Analyst?
I have only been at CIL as an Analyst for two weeks so far and that time has been spent in induction training. It has been valuable for me to have a recap of the condensed one week training I had for my placement in February 2020. It has included training on primary and secondary research, financial accounts and the different sections of a typical report. The two weeks finished with a group project, and myself and the other new joiners in Frome were able to go to London for a couple of days to meet the new joiners from the London office and work with our groups face to face, finishing the week with some drinks with everyone to celebrate.
I have also had experience working as an Intern Analyst on my placement. My typical day on placement would depend on what part of the project I was on. However, it would usually include conducting customer calls, writing transcripts, secondary research, data analysis or building slides for the final report. To begin with I had a lot of support and help from my project managers, and I had lots of questions but everyone around me in the office and the project team were very patient with me, which meant I learnt and improved very quickly. By the end of my placement I was able to run a customer calls programme mostly independently which included scheduling calls, taking them and writing them up. I worked on tech and healthcare projects on my placement and I imagine I will be exposed to a number of other sectors in my next year or so here.
Any tips for anyone who would like to apply for a similar role at CIL?
My key tip for the application process would be to be confident, positive and enthusiastic in your application. Don’t worry if you make mistakes in interviews (I did in the market sizing exercise) just try your best to get back on track – it is made to challenge you. In the application process to be an Analyst you have your own mentor from the company who will give advice and answer your questions, so be sure to make the most of their expertise. Everyone is super friendly, and no one is trying to trick you, so don’t be afraid to ask anything – as many people at CIL have said to me ‘there are no stupid questions’!
Discover more about CIL and their current opportunitites here.