Which drink to pick at the coffee machine? Learning about soft skills as a young professional

“What do real consultants drink?”, I ask myself in front of the coffee machine on my first day at Centigo’s office. Despite an intense crave for a comforting hot chocolate, I choose a double espresso. Strong, serious, adult. What — I think — hardworking consultants drink to get started on a long and challenging day. A necessary accessory to substantiate my new status of management consultant at the largest Swedish consulting firm.

Navigating unwritten rules

As a young professional freshly graduated from university, there are many unwritten rules: a kind of knowledge floating in the atmosphere, shared implicitly by all who have been in the business for a few years yet not directly graspable to newcomers. A certain way of acting, being, speaking, and relating to others. Given the fact that a consulting job is about as much a people position as it is an analytical profession, it is essential, in order to be successful, that management consultants master a number of soft skills.

During my six first weeks, on top of practicing on stimulating work projects, Centigo's introduction program has given me all the tools to soak up the consulting praxis. I learnt how to prepare for, lead, and follow-up on board meetings; how to captivate an audience’s attention; the do’s and don’ts when working at a client’s office. I was given rules of thumbs on knowing how to dress accordingly depending on the context and circumstances, and how much time in advance I should warn when I know I will need more time to deliver or will arrive late at a meeting. I was encouraged to find my internal drive, write down my ambitions and thereafter list all the actions necessary to reach my goals. Through individual and group exercises, I got to understand how I am working, how I work with others and how I can become a better team member. Thanks to this, I am now granted with a real road map of who I am, where I am going and how I will get there. I have never felt more secure about my future. 

A powerful kickstart

Centigo’s introduction program will not tell you which drink is the most appropriate to pick at the coffee machine as a management consultant. It will, however, help you kickstart your consulting career by providing you with all the unwritten knowledge and skills you need as a working professional. Like: you are not defined by the drink you pick, so indulge!