At the end of another momentous year of the Opticos Young Professionals Program (YPP), Ida Svensson and Louise Lago reflect upon their journey through the YPP
Our first year as management consultants and participants in the Opticos Young Professional Program (YPP) has been nothing short of an adventure. To describe the knowledge we acquired, personal development, and challenges we’ve encountered during this period as merely significant would be an understatement.
Having dedicated four years to earning our Master’s degrees at Linköpings University, we could not help but feel a mix of nervousness and anticipation on our first day at Opticos. Our journey began on August 22, 2022, when we gathered in Stockholm, along with our fellow YPP colleagues. Given Opticos’ presence in both Stockholm and Gothenburg and the varied locations of program participants, our first week was divided between the two offices. This arrangement provided us with the unique opportunity to get to know our colleagues, fostering collaboration across locations. Our onboarding week was packed with various onboarding activities, lectures, presentations, and an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the company.
Some of the topics covered in the program included mastering PowerPoint and Excel to insights shared by previous YPP graduates. These sessions laid a strong foundation for our consultancy career, which we continued to build on throughout the YPP-year. This was made possible through a series of specialized sessions, thoughtfully curated by our senior colleagues, who brought their wealth of experience to the table. These sessions, thoughtfully crafted by our senior colleagues covered a wide range of topics; including Consultancy Skills, Project Management, Sourcing, Business & IT Strategy, IT Methodology & Frameworks, Data Management, Enterprise Architecture, and more – all in perfect alignment with Opticos’ portfolio.
One of the standout features of the YPP program at Opticos has been a blend of client assignments and lectures, which has proven invaluable for our development. Being a part of client assignments from the beginning provided us with hands-on experience, allowing us to immerse ourselves in real-world challenges. The assignments have been different for each of us attending the program.
Ida’s client assignment: A Hands-On Perspective on Digital Transformation
My journey began with a client assignment two weeks into the YPP year. The client was in the midst of a digital transformation journey, and in my role as PMO, I was able to get a hands-on perspective on its implementation. Further, I have had the support of senior colleagues throughout this assignment, who have been an integral part of the delivery process.
Louise’s client assignments: Multifaceted IT Experience
My journey began with an IT assessment project together with a senior Opticos colleague, which involved evaluating the client’s IT landscape and offering strategic recommendations to the board. Subsequently, my senior colleague took on the role of interim CIO, and I continued to collaborate with him on strategic initiatives as well as operational tasks. In parallel, I contributed to an Opticos team delivery, working on an information security project, where we implemented an information security management system and provided support to the organization. The assignments have given me a rapid start in understanding different sectors, organizations, and client needs.
In addition to the invaluable support we received from our senior colleagues in our respective client assignments, each of us was assigned a development coach (DC). These coaching sessions with the DC have been instrumental in our ongoing growth and development, not only helping us navigate challenging situations but also allowing us to identify our passions and improvement areas. At Opticos, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is paramount, and this year has been highlighted by enjoyable events, post-work gatherings, and laughter which has enriched our professional lives and forged lasting friendships. We’ve embarked on diverse activities, from painting hot air balloons on canvases to go-kart racing, music quizzes, workout classes, dinners, and much more. Beyond the local events, we’ve had the privilege of attending both the fall conference in Venice and the spring conference in Gothenburg. These conferences offered us the opportunity to work as a cohesive team, share knowledge, and envision the future of our company – a truly inspiring experience.
During these conferences, our Indian colleagues joined us, further strengthening our collaborative ties. As the YPP-year drew to a close, we embarked on a graduation trip to visit our office in Bangalore, India. This proved to be an extraordinary week filled with enlightening company visits, insightful lectures about the Indian business landscape, delightful dinners, and an enriching exploration of Indian culture and history.
In hindsight, as we reflect on our first year as management consultants at Opticos, it is clear that the year has been one of tremendous growth, both personally and professionally. We’ve conquered our initial fears, embraced new challenges, and found our footing in the world of management consulting. The mix of client assignments, expert lectures, and the unwavering support of our colleagues and development coaches has been invaluable in shaping our careers.
As we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in our careers with a profound sense of excitement and gratitude, our first year at Opticos will forever be cherished in our memories. Armed with newfound knowledge, strong bonds, and positive memories, we are well-prepared to chart our future course as management consultants, fuelled by the skills and passion instilled in us during this incredible year!