No matter what stage you are in your career, joining a new company is an adjustment that has the potential to be extremely daunting. The initial period is key for embedding yourself into the company culture, but the combination of building your network, understanding the mechanics of your role, and making a good first impression is no mean feat. Throw in a global pandemic, and onboarding becomes even more challenging for both you and the company. In those first few weeks, you begin to realize whether the inclusive and welcoming culture, portrayed through clever marketing and interviews, is a true reflection of the company. Proxima is one company I have worked for where, within a matter of days, the culture shone through and proved to be a key element of working life as a Proximite. In a consulting role, you’re faced with hard work, high expectations, and tight deadlines, so having an open, inclusive culture and a tight-knit team behind you is crucial for success.

In previous roles, I’ve found on-boarding to be a ‘baptism by fire’ process, meaning you’re thrown in at the deep end, get stuck in, and it’s sink or swim, but not at Proxima. The ‘settling in’ process is designed to set you up for a successful career. One of the most unique aspects of my onboarding experience was the case studies, I was set a number of different tasks ranging from data analysis to contract reviews, all requiring output as if I were presenting back to the client. This process not only allowed me to showcase what I was capable of but also gave me insight into what was expected of me. Constructive feedback from my Career Manager pinpointed any areas for development which I can now take through into my client delivery outputs. Prior to joining Proxima, I personally found mentoring to be more of a buzz-word than a catalyst for development and driving career progression, however, Proxima has changed my opinion with their Career Manager program. My Career Manager is someone who is dedicated to supporting and driving my training, development, and progression, but here’s the key, it’s at my pace and in the direction that I want to take it.

I am lucky to have built a great deal of experience so far in my career from roles within a blue-chip engineering firm and as a procurement consultant before joining Proxima. However, I am still in the early stages, and I welcome any opportunity to build on my knowledge and experience. At Proxima, I have the opportunity ahead of me to work with a broad client base on projects including strategic transformation and accelerated savings delivery, gaining exposure to multiple industries and countless categories. The diversity of employee backgrounds and experience across Proxima culminate in a knowledge-sharing culture, providing me with a wealth of experience and knowledge at my fingertips. Category Experts and Thought Leaders welcome the opportunity to share their knowledge and work with you to build a value-driven outcome.

With a career built in male dominated industries, I’ve experienced first-hand the gender biases towards men and lack of senior female representation within the workplace, it’s been refreshing to join a company where in the first week I had a virtual ‘sit-down’ with the CEO who actively approached the topic before I did. The disparity between women and men in the world of consulting is not new. Both the stigma associated with women having a career in consultancy and the distinct absence of female role models may be seen as a deterrent, but that’s what we are working to transform. The inclusive culture at Proxima is a vital enabler of change, this combined with the effort being put into developing female talent through our graduate programme and Proxima are heading in the right direction. We certainly have a long way to go at Proxima, but our openness to having difficult conversations, ability to challenge each other’s thinking at every level and receptiveness to change will allow us to continue to drive change and address imbalances across the business.

As part of the client delivery team, you are the face of the company; you are the Proxima brand. You would think this creates an additional layer of pressure on your role, but I haven’t found this to be the case. Proxima is the unrivaled focus on delivering client value, but with a wealth of category expertise, market insights, data analytics, and procurement support, you are encouraged to reach out and lean on the knowledge base within the business. You are not alone, and no matter what client or project you are working on there is a team behind you to help you exceed the client’s expectations. You are encouraged to reach out and lean on the knowledge base within the business. Yes, there are plenty of opportunities for you to show your skill and expertise, to ensure you shine as an individual, but at the end of the day, it’s working as a team that impacts change for our clients.