Alumni Q&A - Hope Barry
Bachelor of Commerce (2019)
Associate Consultant, Capgemini
Where in the world are you?
Tell us about your experience since leaving university. How have you come to your current position?
Last year I applied online for my current position and was invited to an assessment centre which also had an interview component. Capgemini had a big emphasis on continuous learning and development of its employees and had a social innovation program. This is something I was particularly interested in, and ultimately led to me accepting the role here. I started in February, so after graduating I had a bit of a break where I did some casual work before starting at Capgemini.
Is this the sort of role you always wanted to be in, or were there some twists and turns along the way?
Honestly, I spent most of my time at University not knowing what I wanted to do. I seemed to be interested in most subjects and above all enjoyed trying new things and challenging myself. In my final semester, I participated in the Management Consulting program which I loved and ultimately led me to a career in consulting, which is well suited to someone like me who enjoys constantly learning and being challenged. When choosing my employer I again decided to step outside of my comfort zone and accept a role in technology, which I had a very limited background with but was excited to learn.
How has your work day changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Are you working from home?
I was fortunate enough to be welcomed to the office and have my graduate induction and in-person training prior to quarantine. Following this, I began working from home. It is definitely a different experience to being in the workplace, however, the company I work for has made a lot of changes to ensure that we feel supported and connected. This has meant a lot of virtual meetings and social catch-ups, online masterclasses and check-in calls. We even have a running virtual push-up challenge, morning virtual plank sessions and a virtual lunchroom.
Have you learned anything about working flexibly/digitally that you were surprised by?
I was genuinely surprised by how connected and productive I could be when working from home. Coming from a technology consulting firm, we are fortunate to be well adapted to communicating and collaborating online, so the adjustment was pretty quick and seamless.
Do you have any advice for students who are getting close to graduating/entering the workforce?
My advice to graduating students would be to make the most of your remaining time in University and the extra time you have around the house. There are so many free learning and certification opportunities available online at the moment, so if there is a particular topic you are interested in, now is the time to upskill! Not only will it build your resume but it will show employers that you are self-motivated. The University of Melbourne has so many great opportunities too, I found getting involved with clubs and doing the Leaders in Communities Award (LiCA) program to be very useful.
If you’d like to ask Hope more about her experiences, connect with her on LinkedIn and mention you have read the Q&A.