1st November 2022 Share article

Settling into CIL

Caroline Billyard talks to us about her first six months as an Analyst.

Why did you decide to join CIL?

When I was applying for graduate roles, I knew I didn’t want to work in a major city – I did an internship in New York when I was 19 and found the city to be a nicer place to visit than to live. I also met my partner while studying at Bristol University and was eager to live in the same part of the world as him. When I came across CIL’s Frome office it felt perfect; the company allows me to do something intellectually challenging and interesting in a beautiful part of the world.

My interest in CIL grew throughout the recruitment process – everyone I met was so supportive and friendly.

How have you found your first six months at CIL?

My first fortnight at CIL was a steep learning curve – the induction period is focused on training you to do the Analyst role, and there’s a lot of information to take on. Add on socialising with your cohort and getting to know your trainers, and you’ve got a busy two weeks! That said, nobody expected me to remember everything from my training – it was enough to get a sense of what the role entails. I still get regular training sessions, which supplement the coaching I get while working on projects.

Frome is a very friendly office – when I first joined, we all went out to dinner and drinks together. Everyone put time aside to get to know me; the atmosphere is extremely warm and welcoming. All of our offices are good for that – we know each other quite well and there are no social barriers between different grades. We recently had a social in Bath which was themed on competitive socialising (think axe throwing and mini golf). It had a great turnout and CILers of every level joined in.

Tell us a bit about your experience on projects so far.

So far, I’ve had a great experience on my projects. They’re fast paced and no two are the same, which is great if you love variety in your role. I’m a people person, so client calls and interacting with stakeholders is always fun. I recently worked on some projects within the Industrials practice and was fascinated to talk to experts in the field – their passion for what they do is clear, and they have a lot of knowledge to share.

Our projects are staffed across offices – so far, all my projects have involved working with colleagues based in London. Working across offices doesn’t mean everyone is video calling all the time – there’s the option to travel between offices if you and the project team think it’s helpful to meet up. Personally, I like to meet up during delivery week.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a real mix of project sizes; my favourites have been ones that are just me and a Manager. These have given me plenty of exposure to different parts of our reports and given me some valuable coaching opportunities.

What would you say to someone trying to decide where to apply for graduate roles in consulting?

A lot of consulting jobs are the same – what sets a place apart is the culture. At CIL there is genuine care for your wellbeing, and we are constantly encouraged to protect our weekends and evenings. The hours at CIL are a lot better than at other consultancies and we are encouraged to maintain our hobbies outside of work.

When deciding on where to work, you’ve got to factor in what kind of lifestyle you want. If you’re like me and love the outdoors, then Frome is the best place for you. The town is surrounded by beautiful, woodland areas with public paths that are great for long country walks and running. It’s also a great place for foraging – in the autumn there are lots of apples that you can pick, and last spring I foraged wild garlic to make my own pesto!

The closest city, Bath, is only 30 minutes away and the Frome office often has socials there. Some of the CIL team live there too. Personally, I really like Bristol and visit regularly as that is only an hour away. If you have a car, you can also be in Cornwall and Dorset in under two hours. The South-West is my favourite part of England and I’m extremely happy living here.

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