We caught up with Charlotte, a Junior Consultant at Arcadis, to find out about her experience at the firm. In this interview she discusses her non-traditional degree background, the welcoming culture at Arcadis and her day to day responsibilities as a consultant.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Hi, I'm Charlotte and I'm 22 years old and from Kent. I studied a BA in Geography at Durham uni for three years (between 2016-2019) and had a brilliant time. This is my first role out of uni and I'm really enjoying it. I wasn't too sure what I wanted to go into as a career since Geography is such a broad subject. However, I'm so glad I chose to go into a Management Consultant role as it's so varied and I get to use the knowledge and skills I gained from my degree every day. Outside of work, I love sport and joined the Arcadis netball team when I first started - this has been such a great way to get to know people from other departments in Arcadis.
What inspired you to apply for this role?
I did door-to-door sales for 6 weeks in the summer between second and third year of uni, which was a real turning point in deciding what career path I wanted to go down. I was selling energy and pitching to over 100 customers every day which I really enjoyed. I loved learning new sales techniques every day at such a fast pace. Saving the general public money on their energy bills made me realise that I wanted a job which improved peoples' lives, whilst also ensuring I had a client facing and people-focused role. Therefore, Management Consulting was perfect for delivering value to the client and benefits to the general public.
What inspired you to apply to Arcadis?
Studying Geography has given me a huge interest in sustainability - when I saw that this was one of Arcadis' core values, it really attracted me to the company. I also looked at the projects Arcadis has delivered and saw how varied and global they were – two very important qualities for me. When I went to the assessment centre, they were so friendly and made me feel as though I was already part of the team - this made me want to have a job at Arcadis even more!
What has been the single most important thing you've learnt so far in your job?
It's okay to not know what you're doing when you first start. You've never done the job before so people in your team don't expect you to be amazing from the start. Just use your first role as an opportunity to develop your skill set, learn as much as you can about the sector you work within, and always ask for help and advice (people in your team will be expecting you to ask a lot of questions!).
What is your role and how long have you been at Arcadis?
I joined Arcadis in September 2019 in the role of Junior Consultant in the Management Consultancy department. My specific role on the current project is Global Communications and Training Lead for a global retail bank. This involves communicating with the client and project teams across the world, ensuring they understand how to carry out their roles to design, build and deliver branches and offices for the retail bank.
What would a ‘normal’ day look like for someone in your role?
A normal day would usually involve lots of meetings with my project team and client. I work with the Global Functional Leads and Regional Leads to deliver messages on how the project team should carry out their roles, from Health and Safety, capital planning and supply chain, to Sustainability and data analytics. My job is to tailor these communications to specific audiences using channels such as email, articles for a Sharepoint, newsletters and video creation. My day-to-day role also involves carrying out training sessions for my team, ensuring new processes are launched and are landed correctly. This includes hosting training sessions over Zoom and creating e-learning online modules. As a Management Consultant, you also usually carry out internal work - for me, I am the Arcadis rep for the Young Management Consultancy Association, so I ensure we are aligned with our objectives, spread training awareness, and help build the brand of Arcadis in Management Consultancy.
What do you find the most interesting about the sector/role you’re in?
I find the global interaction with clients across the world fascinating; I think it's so important to learn about different cultures and work with such a diverse team. My project is within the Buildings sector which is particularly interesting at the moment since real estate for offices are changing at a rapid rate due to COVID-19. I find the workplace strategy behind this particularly interesting.
What is the Arcadis culture like?
The Arcadis culture is friendly, diverse and inclusive. It's a very warm company which nurtures and really cares about your personal and professional development.
How important is diversity to you and what is Arcadis doing in this space at the moment?
Diversity is incredibly important to me, especially as a woman in an engineering company. In light of recent events, Arcadis has taken it within its stride to reset the inclusion and diversity agenda for the team and allow people to share their experiences though focus groups. From this, they'll use our experiences to develop material to educate and support our team.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a role at Arcadis?
Understand Arcadis' core values and how you relate to them. This helps you to not only understand what the company is about but feel more connected to it. Don't worry if you don't have experience in the role you are applying for - I didn't have any consulting experience at all! Just use what you’ve learned in previous roles - whether that was a role in a club or society at uni, a part time job, summer job or work experience. Good luck!
Interested in a career with Arcadis? Find out more.