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October 29, 2018

The road towards a future-proof skill set – working 1 year at Papilium

When I’m around students and fresh graduates, I often get asked the question “What’s it like, working as a consultant at Papilium?”. The first few times, I didn’t have enough experience to give an educated answer. After working at Papilium for almost 14 months, it’s a great time for reflection. Here’s my answer.

Choosing a career in consulting

Upon graduation I was lucky enough to know what direction I wanted to take my career. Management consulting seemed to offer what I was looking for: a steep learning curve, interesting problems to solve and proximity to experienced managers. Then of course, I was excited to start off my career at Papilium. However, I soon realised the reality is more challenging than what I anticipated.

Facing unexpected obstacles 

At Papilium, we work on large scale transformation projects. Almost by definition, this means you end up in an environment with loads of ambiguity (what problem are we even trying to solve?), where a lot of entrepreneurship is expected from you (don’t we have an outlined solution for this problem?) and where you take your solution to all levels of an organization (can’t we just formulate the solution to top management and implementation will follow?).

At first, this made me quite confused: how will I climb that steep learning curve, solve those interesting business problems and learn about management if I don’t even know what problem to solve, which outlined steps are required to reach a solution and spend a lot of time with employees at all levels of our clients’ company?

Developing a future-proof skill set

Soon I realised that’s exactly the excitement of working at Papilium: the projects you end up in put you in a sweet spot where you need to take a step back and look at business problems through a conceptual lens.

• You are forced to structure your environment in a way that allows you to overcome ambiguity and find the problem you need to solve. Being able to simplify complexity through problem structuring is a highly desired skill in a world that is getting more complex every day.

• You are expected to broaden your horizon and come up with creative, tailor-made solutions instead of forcing textbook fixes. Creativity is a highly desired skill in a world where everything that doesn’t require creativity will eventually be taken over by computer algorithms.

• You witness first-hand how solutions you planned out with management is impacting employees on the field. The empathy you develop as a result is a highly desired skill in a world where collaboration and communication are progressively important value drivers.

Get in touch

If you’re interested to find out more about Papilium or management consulting in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a chat:

E-mail: hendrik.coppitters@papilium.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hendrikcoppitters/


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