Time flies when you are having fun – don’t you agree? Our Accelerators have already covered two-thirds of the program. Jarrad, Josefin, Sofonias, Kevin, and Will are starting to feel the heat. 🔥
Columbus Accelerator program is truly a journey, filled with the promise of constant growth. Our Accelerators will learn about Columbus, our way of working, our culture, and the applications in Dynamics 365 F&SCM. So, what have they been up to since last we spoke? Let’s find out!
Four months into the program, the Accelerators have chosen an area to specialise in and started to work on customer projects. They recently visited the Columbus headquarters in Ballerup, Denmark and got the opportunity to connect with fellow participants across Columbus market units – creating a valuable network. 🤝🏼
➡ Read also: The Accelerator Stories Part One
Kevin says: It was great exchanging experiences with everyone, and I could clearly see that everyone was familiar with the Columbus values. This truly made us ‘One Columbus’, even though we were from different market units.
Photo: Accelerator workshop in Ballerup, Copenhagen
First Customer Encounter
It was nerve-wracking to meet customers for the first time. I've been involved in some meetings and workshops and travelled to Finland to meet customers and see how they work. This way, I've gotten to know the people in the project, which has made me more comfortable taking on a larger role - Sofonias.
Meeting a customer for the first time can be daunting, our Accelerators report that they were a little nervous (who wouldn’t!) but they had great mentor support and got to know the project team quickly which made it a comfortable transition. They are simultaneously handling diverse tasks, including setup and task recording, training for Microsoft certifications, and internal courses. The days are never the same when you are on our Accelerator Program!
Area of Expertise
At this time, the Accelerators also chose an area to specialise in. Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&SCM is a huge system with different applications and the Accelerators have various backgrounds. They usually choose an area to specialise in connected to their education - but not always.
Which area of Dynamics will you work in? And why?
Kevin: I work in the finance area of Dynamics 365 F&SCM. Everything is built on the financial foundation, which is arguably the most important part of the system. Almost every module in the system connects back to finance in some way. That’s why I find it interesting!
Jarrad: I was initially looking to specialise in areas around Supply Chain Management but am currently being given opportunities to broaden my understanding by assisting finance consultants with their work. I am now keeping my options open.
Josefin: I will work in Supply Chain, partly because that is where I have the most experience but also because I think it is very interesting and fun.
Sofonias: I will start working in Warehouse when the Accelerator program ends. I chose to work specifically in Warehouse because of my previous work experiences and my interest in it from my studies.
Photo: Head of Columbus Academy, Amanda Rogers, facilitating a course in effective communication for the Accelerators
Support and Development: The Backbone of Growth
A key element for success and growth is support. All Accelerators get a Mentor during the program. But also support from a culture founded on collaboration and helping each other when needed.
In what ways are you offered support in your development?
Sofonias: An important factor enabling my development is the support from my mentor, primarily, but also from my manager and other colleagues. The support has varied from each of them; for instance, I've been assigned practice tasks, tasks in projects that gradually become more challenging, and I've had 1-1 sessions with both my manager and mentor to discuss development opportunities.
Will: We receive a huge amount of support on the Accelerator program from a global network, whether it be technical or behavioural training. In addition to this, we have a large talent pool in the UK to call upon and ask for help. The nature of Columbus' workforce means that Senior Consultants and specialists are happy to teach and help with areas they have worked on which we are perhaps looking to learn about.
Kevin: On the project development side, I have been working in the finance part of the system, dealing with data migration by cleaning and migrating, AMC banking, and identifying errors in the environments. Recently, I was added to a new project with some of the same project teams. Therefore, I’m happy that the project members see that I can also contribute and offer my support to other projects.
Overcoming Challenges: System Hurdles and Learning Curves
Challenges and problem-solving are a big part of a Business Consultants days. The Program is no exception. We are curious about what kind of challenges our Accelerators have faced so far.
Will: The main challenges I've faced are system-related as it's completely new to me. I'm trying to improve my troubleshooting skills and therefore I try to fix and work things out myself as much as I can, however as I've started with others, we often arrange calls or reach out to one another to ask for help. In one case last week we weren't able to work it out and therefore I reached out to my mentor and we had a call the day after to discuss the area.
Jarrad: At the start, I was never looking to work with Finance with no background or training in it. So, when I first started looking into the financial aspects of business, I felt very overwhelmed. However, I have been given lots of support and there is understanding from the lead consultants. They are helping me through the key financial processes so that I don't feel like I am falling behind the conversation.
Josefin: To balance the work of the customer with the education that is going on at the same time. To distribute the time between the different parts is something I think has been more challenging. It is important with good planning, and I always block my calendar for all different tasks. Always trying to be a few steps ahead.
Photo: All Accelerators from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the UK
Accelerator Bonds: A Solid Support System
One of the big perks of attending an Accelerator Program is that you on an early stage build a support network among the participants - you are doing the journey together. So, what is the current atmosphere like?
Jarrad: Really good. We are all working together on projects although in different areas and we have a great communication network and relationships so that we can use each other as support when we are not understanding something. We are all in this together and no one is being left behind.
Josefin: I think a good atmosphere prevails among Accelerators, where shared experiences create a supportive environment. The understanding that we’re in this together strengthens our connections.
Kevin: The mood of the Accelerators in the Norwegian market unit is great. Everyone participates in social gatherings, and we usually eat lunch together. It’s quite straightforward to approach anyone at their desk for a chat.
Time For Fun and Activities
All work no play, you wonder? Oh no, our Accelerators have time for social activities – both with colleagues and in their spare time. 🥳 Will's life revolves around sports and travel, with football matches and golf holidays being his go-to activities. Work-life balance and having the opportunity to get to know each other outside the daily work is important for camaraderie, collaboration, and building the culture.
What kind of social activities do you do?
Josefin: We have been to a couple of dinners, after work, and also been to activities such as Escape room. We have a lot of fun together!
Kevin: At the office, we have had some after-work activities and events with the People department, which included learning sessions and dinner. In addition to this, I also work out in the gym after work with colleagues from the office.
Jarrad: There have been a few companies organised social events so far. The Subject Matter Expert day which was followed by an evening out with dinner and mini golf. We spent the week in Ballerup socialising and getting to know each other better with a few organised evenings out as well. I am also really looking forward to Christmas Jumper Day as well as Company Day in the new year to keep socialising with more and more of my colleagues.
In Conclusion: A Dynamic Journey of Growth and Connection
As we step into the lives of Columbus Dynamics Accelerators, a clear picture emerges - a landscape of constant learning, support, and camaraderie. Whether facing system challenges, expanding into new domains, or simply enjoying social activities, their journey is dynamic, promising, and filled with the potential for lasting connections. The Accelerator program is not just about learning a system; it's about navigating challenges together and building bonds that last beyond the projects and into a future career.
In our last and third part, our Accelerators will be busy bees presenting a fictional case - and getting close to the examination of the program. Stay tuned! 📢