As a global leader in consulting, technology services, and digital transformation, Capgemini is no stranger to innovation. So when the company’s HR team saw an opportunity to launch a disruptive internship experience, they didn’t have to think twice.
“A lot of traditional internships involve busy work,” explained Anna Ceparano, Capgemini’s campus recruiter for North American markets. “Interns at other companies are often just sitting around on a computer. We wanted to invent a more exciting option: exposing them to our organization and clients while eliminating the typical trials that come with being a summer intern.”
With that, Capgemini launched the RISE experience: an accelerated four-day internship that offers individuals of all technical backgrounds the opportunity to solve real-life problems at one of the world’s largest consulting firms.
Named for its four key goals—reimagine, innovate, solve, and empower—the RISE experience is committed to supporting rising tech consultants on their career journey.
“Consulting can be a pretty intimidating industry to break into,” explained Ceparano. “RISE is designed to empower interns by helping them develop the confidence that’s needed to rise into the next step of their career. Ultimately, this four-day experience is a better way for interns to share their skills, learn about our organization, hear from executives, meet peers with like-minded passions, and then, if all goes well, leave with a full-time job offer. Considering the traditional alternative—an eight-week internship—that’s a real bang for your buck.”
To diversify its talent funnel and find professionals with the hands-on technical experience the company needs, Capgemini has been working with 2U to attract leads to its RISE experience, offering boot camp students and graduates a pathway to a promising career. With a 96% job offer rate, it’s clear that the firm’s commitment to building a workforce through both traditional and nontraditional means has paid off.
Read on for our Q&A with Ceparano to learn how the RISE experience is breaking down barriers to career entry—one internship placement at a time.
RISE interns have the chance to show us what they know, work in an immersive environment, and learn—knowing there’s the likelihood of a full-time career opportunity at the end of the experience.— Anna Ceparano, Campus Recruiter for North American Markets, Capgemini
How does RISE prepare interns for a potential career at Capgemini?
In 2019, we asked, “What if we can expose interns to our company culture, executives, and real-life client situations, without having them do busy work?” RISE is the child of that conversation. One way we prepare interns for a potential career at Capgemini is by bringing in executives and employees from across the globe who have varying skills sets, backgrounds, and levels of experience within the firm. In hearing these different perspectives, interns learn what sitting on a client site will really look like from people who have done it.
When applying to RISE, candidates are asked to select location preferences. Can you elaborate on Capgemini’s center-based approach?
Since our job placements are location-specific, we use RISE as a chance to start building the Capgemini network for interns. We want them to be able to see people who they'll hopefully work alongside in their future office. Our main centers in the U.S. are in Nashville, Houston, and Columbia [South Carolina]. This is a really exciting opportunity, because traditionally in consulting you're bouncing around to client sites, traveling when that’s an option, and never sitting in an office for more than a week at a time before going somewhere else. But with the center-based approach, you have the ability to collaborate with the local team while still working on huge projects with clients all over the world.
This year’s experience will be virtual because of COVID-19. We’ll go back to being in-person in the future—but for now, it's a really awesome opportunity to still support hundreds of interns and offer full-time jobs during a trying time.
As an international company with a global reach, Capgemini talks a lot about its commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2020 alone, the firm received several related recognitions, including “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign and “Top Companies for Executive Women” by Working Mother Media. How does Capgemini’s commitment to diversity play out in RISE?
Diversity is really important at Capgemini, and it plays a big role in our internship experience. As an employee at our firm, you’re going to be working with clients and colleagues from all over the globe. We want interns to learn how to work with people from many different backgrounds. By creating a diverse community through RISE, we’re able to show what working at Capgemini is really like.
What advice would you give Capgemini internship applicants—particularly those with nontraditional backgrounds?
We always ask: What are you doing with your own time? If you're genuinely interested in technology, which we hope every applicant is, are you building a computer in your spare time? Are you experimenting with web development or game design? Is programming genuinely something that excites you every day?
Candidates who check these boxes are going to stand out as really big rock stars in our eyes. During the pandemic, people have had so much time at home. What did you use that time to do? Were you advancing your skills in any way? That's a key consideration for us.
For the talent we look for in 2U-powered boot camps, I want to encourage them to understand that they’re learning the skills we’re hiring for. It's just a matter of showing up to the interview on time, dressing appropriately, and speaking about the skills you learned during the boot camp. Don’t count yourself out for having a different background.
What makes graduates of 2U-powered boot camps well-suited for RISE?
2U initially caught our interest because of its highly technical programs. Boot camp graduates don’t necessarily have an undergrad degree in computer science, but they have hands-on experience and know lots of programming languages. That makes them a really ideal fit for RISE. As interns, they have the chance to show us what they know, work in an immersive environment, and learn—knowing there’s the likelihood of a full-time career opportunity at the end of the experience.
Ready to kickstart your tech consulting career with RISE? Apply by 4/23 to be considered for a spot in RISE 2021, which runs August 10-13.
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