Columbus Graduate Training Program: It's hard work and lots of fun
In August Columbus welcomed the second generation of graduates. Ten young recently qualified women and men from Norway, UK and US is part of the Graduate Training Program this year. Their university degrees differ; from IT, business, finance or humanistic studies. But common for all of them is that they are dedicated to make a career at Columbus.
The Columbus graduates from Norway, UK and US have spent the past two weeks together. They have been working for long hours, discussing, learning and socializing: At first they met at the Columbus office in Norway to obtain consulting skills. Then they went to UK to be part of a project simulation.
Three of the graduates - Christoffer Endresen from Norway, Jon Shearsby from UK and Andrew Govan from US – take a few minutes break from their intensive sessions in the Columbus UK office in Nottingham to tell about their impressions of the Graduate Training Program so far:
“It’s hard work. But we learn so much, and we have a lot of fun,“ says Christoffer, who is a graduate in Columbus in Oslo, Norway. “Right now we solve cases under time pressure, so we have to stay really focused and work fast.”
Jon agrees and continues: “We use the products whilst learning, we interact with each other, share our ideas and problems, and we ask for help and advice. That is so great, “Jon says. He is a graduate in the Columbus office in Nottingham, UK, and his goal is to become a project manager.
Andrew, who is a graduate in the Columbus office in Detroit, US, is convinced that this practical experience makes the learning process as efficient as fun. Furthermore he sees it as a good opportunity to strengthen his self-presentations and to grow as an individual, he says.
Consultant and instructor Mark Burrows explains, that the key idea in the Graduate Training Program is, that the graduates get the chance to practice and to learn the Columbus way, in a risk free environment. In particular the graduates will be taught to become experts on Columbus’ three industries, Retail, Food and Manufacturing, and they will get to know the strategy, Columbus15, to their fingertips. In this risk free environment the graduates can experiment and make mistakes without any consequences, and this will make them better consultants. “I wish that I had that opportunity when I started as a consultant, “says Mark Burrows.
Jon is convinced that the Graduate Training Program will lead towards an even better community within Columbus and contribute to a stronger international teamwork. The reason for this is obvious: According to Andrew, Jon and Christoffer the graduates get on well and they have lots of good discussions and fun together and this will undoubtedly continue after they have completed the program in approximately ten months.
Andrew adds to this that one of the best things about the Graduate Training Program is the travelling. “I have never been outside the US before, so it is a huge experience for me“.
About the Graduate Training Program:
Once a year Columbus Norway, UK and US launches the Graduate Training Program. It is addressed to newly educated, young people and lasts for one year. During the first months of the program the trainees attend Microsoft University and become certified in Dynamics. They also learn the Columbus SureStep+ methodology in the Columbus offices in Detroit, Nottingham and Oslo, respectively. After Consulting Skills training in Oslo and Business Simulation in UK, they are associated with the mentoring arrangement Mentoring@Columbus for the following eight months.