Emma Berg, Accelerate
At university, expectations on me as a student for each element in the courses were always clearly stated in the course curriculum. When I graduated and was about to start the next chapter of my career, it felt quite unusual and scary to be in a context where the expectations put on me, as well as my own expectations on my future work life, were vaguer. So naturally, it was with nervous steps that I walked up to the 4th floor Ascend office the first day as part of Ascend Accelerate, 2nd generation. However, as soon as I set foot in the beautiful, cozy office, I was overthrown by warm welcomes and expressions such as “You’re finally here!” by my new colleagues and I suddenly remembered why I chose Ascend as my employer in the first place. That is, because of the warmth and strong feeling of inclusiveness that is so present here.
Being part of Ascend Accelerate, Ascend’s one-year program for newly graduated junior consultants, means that I, from the start, get to combine internal education in typical consulting-tools and skills like the Office-package, project management, and presentation techniques, with being involved in real client projects alongside more experienced colleagues (I got to be in my first client meeting my very first week!). The combination of education and actual projects means that I get the opportunity to apply the skills I learn directly in real work situations, which naturally puts an exponential increase in my development curve. It has now been over a month since that first nervous day at Ascend and during these first weeks I have been involved in many different workflows, I have prepared and held client workshops along with project teammates, created pitch-material for meetings with new potential clients and done research in areas I previously knew nothing about, to name a few.
Regarding my expectations, I know now that, as a management consultant, you can never really be sure what to expect. Every day is different. But one thing is for sure, learning will be constant. Further, I can now feel secure in the fact that the number one expectation on me from my colleagues is having a will to engage and an ability to develop. At Ascend, there is a wide understanding that, as a junior consultant, you have a lot left to learn and therefore, questions are always encouraged. It is obvious that there is generally a high trust in us newcomers, while at the same time there is a safety net surrounding us – If something feels too difficult or challenging, there are always people there to help you. Further, at Ascend, it is widely known that development comes from being included in project teams from the start, having fun while working and learning and achieving exceptional results together with colleagues and clients. And knowing this, I am now confident that starting my management consulting career as an Ascend Accelerate will prove to be the best start I could possibly have gotten!