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Bad decision at 29yrs? Grad Schemes (IBM, Accenture, Capgemini etc)

 
#1 Bad decision at 29yrs? Grad Schemes (IBM, Accenture, Capgemini etc)
06/12/2007 00:32

LupinWhite

Wisdom (preferably) sought in relation to the following. I am 29 years old (young?!) and have just finished a masters (conversion) in computer science. Prior to that I have a varied background (medical school, teaching in Korea, and a year as a database administrator). I am currently in the interview process with the likes of IBM, Capgemini, Accenture et al for graduate positions in technology consulting.

After reading several negative posts on here regarding graduate programmes, I'm thinking that I may be somewhat naive. Am I unwise at my age to dedicate a minimum of 2 years to a graduate programme? Should I simply settle for a technology-related career via other avenues (e.g. using skills I have with 2nd-line support or DB admin?). I ask since, currently I am doing contracting work, and it pays significantly more than most graduate programmes but obviously has no security. Salary is not my motivating factor but to not consider this would be unwise I feel. Pardon the random "stream of consciousness" post, I just wanted to share...

Thanks

Karen

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#2 RE: Bad decision at 29yrs? Grad Schemes (IBM, Accenture, Capgemini etc)
06/12/2007 01:34

Tony to LupinWhite (#1)

Karen

I would in my limited experience advise you to go for the graduate scheme if you were 35 then that would be another matter altogether, however 29 isn't over the hill. The way to think of it is like this, if you want to do an MBA further down the track you will need that brand name on your CV to open doors. 3 years at IBM will look alot better than "I jumped from pillar to post doing contract work" it will also let you build on your skills and give some continuity to your CV which sounds like it is lacking.

It could also play to your advantage you have some life experience you know when to avoid the perverbal "pot holes" in the road that other grads will no doubt jump right into. If you are a grounded individual then you might progress to senior consultant level quicker than a 22 year old.

If questioned in the interview (which i'm sure they won't as ageism is a mind field) explain why it makes you a better consultant rather than a negative perspective.

But don't listen to me i'm only 26 lol

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#3 RE: Bad decision at 29yrs? Grad Schemes (IBM, Accenture, Capgemini etc)
06/12/2007 09:50

mac to Tony (#2)

Thousands of people are recruited into Consulting every year.

Generally, posts on here are from the ones who have something to moan about.

Most are relatively happy (if a bit overworked and frustrated) but most work in the knowledge that the return on the investment in terms of time spent in consulting is very much worthwhile.

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#4 RE: Bad decision at 29yrs? Grad Schemes (IBM, Accenture, Capgemini etc)
06/12/2007 19:36

Ned Flanders to mac (#3)

Firstly, there are "grads" at my firm that are mid-30s so from the feasibility side, it's doable. The impression I got from talking to some of these - one in particular with a similar contracting background - are mixed.

PROS:

- stability/sense of belonging

- although there is a lot of work to do, there is also a steady progression of work-load

- training

- watershed on CV, a good milestone in 2/3 years

- fresh start

- more credibility when taking on responsability

- Easier to network with managers and get onto jobs

- firm more keen to progress you quickly if you are good

CONS:

- dealing with 21 year olds

- possibly being managed by a 24 year old

- patronising at times (especially first few months)

- feeling under-valued (especially at the beginning)

- struggling to fit in (especially at the beginning).

- feeling out of place. Although it may seem trivial, getting along with the other grads I think is important for getting your barings.

- Sense of frustration at how mundane the level of work is

- Having worked as a contractor, you will not like being fed corporate mantra and the sterile one-for-all approach.

- you're a grunt

Overall, I would encourage it if you're ready to start from the bottom of the pile. There is a lot of rubbish with regards to the glamour of graduate schemes. They are overhiped in terms of what they give you in practical terms but they are very useful for (re)building a career.

My advice: assess where your present contracting work is going to lead in let say 5 years time. If it's not anywhere particularly fullfilling I would go for it. You probably will not like the first few months but if you stick it out it will broaden your opportunities.

Hope that helps!

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#5 RE: Bad decision at 29yrs? Grad Schemes (IBM, Accenture, Capgemini etc)
06/12/2007 23:19

LupinWhite to Ned Flanders (#4)

Hi All,

Thank you for the responses. Sincerely, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I agree with the need to add (establish?!) some continuity on my CV, and perhaps open doors in the future by having a respectable (whatever that may entail) company name on on it. Oh, and thanks for the perspective regarding moaners. I suppose it's not part of the human condition for people to beam happiness on forums relating to employment! Contracting: good money, but I don't really see it going anywhere. Projecting 5-years on, I think a grad scheme would open more doors for me, and provide a better salary.

Again, I really appreciate your input. Thanks very much. ;-)

Karen

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