Sam: It was an easier transition than I expected because HCI has a different environment and culture than most organizations. You have immediate engagement with the leadership, and great opportunity to be an intra-organizational entrepreneur. The level of autonomy and the ability to work with clients and high level leaders in meaningful ways allowed me to immediately make use of the skills I developed in school and resulted in a seamless transition to HCI.
Sam: Tremendously. In university leadership, you are always dealing with competing objectives, which means you have to learn to think on your feet and make quick decisions. This parallels my position now in that you have to accommodate clients’ needs while meeting and exceeding your organization’s goals.
Sam: To me the biggest factor is the executive connection. With most large companies you feel distant from the leadership, while at HCI they make a conscious effort to work with you and develop your talents – and not only your technical skills but soft skills as well. Skills such as relationship building and the ability to communicate effectively become firsthand nature.
Sam: It was very helpful that they didn’t expect you to come in as an expert. In my first interview, I was very up front in saying that I didn’t know anything about the industry. Their response was: “Great, we’ll teach you everything you need to know.” It can be daunting at first, learning a whole new industry; especially in a field you haven’t been exposed to before. But the key is, especially in the early transition phase, that they are going to teach you everything you need to know. It’s something that you can pick up very quickly, but will take a lifetime to master, and HCI will provide the tools to do so.
Sam: It has been very exciting. I have been able to work closely with many different clients, and great people on the internal team. The program is designed to help you set yourself up for success. I touched on this before, but working in so many different areas, you get a better sense of the overall business versus one individual department. A training program like this is really the ideal situation for that, and allows you to come in and make an impact right away. You are given that autonomy to pick up a project, and you can lead initiatives. That is a remarkable thing that you won’t find in many other places, especially for a company of this size.
Sam: It has been a whirlwind, and has a lot to do initially with building respect and trust with your colleagues, and having that translate to communications with your clients. Everything you do in this program feels as though you are working towards something, whether that be winning a big project, or even just standing out among your peers. It’s hard to say what the future holds, but they make the path to success as clear as possible.
Sam: My best piece of advice is to really think about your career path. I know a lot of people are dead set on going to large, Fortune-500 companies, but you should think about how you can better yourself and better your professional skills. I think a firm like HCI – for the size that we are and our trajectory – there is no better company and no better organizational culture that is going to help you achieve your personal goals while being able to get high level client contact. If that is something you are looking for, I would say HCI is a great choice.
If you are looking to join a leading global consultancy firm and are ready to learn from some of the best in the industry, apply today. Visit here for more information on our Executive Trainee Graduate Program.