Starting a career in consulting: an interview

One of the main reasons CIVITTA attracts top talent is the dynamic environment that enables rapid professional growth. This is a challenge as much as it is an opportunity and success typically follows those who first and foremost have the ability and willingness to learn fast. Niklavs has been a great and valued addition to our team and a great example of a junior team member taking up responsibility and meaningfully contributing to the final outcome of the project. (Rūta M., Project Manager)

What had been your expectations prior to joining CIVITTA and how have they been met?

Before applying for the vacancy at CIVITTA, I engaged in thorough research surrounding the firm’s history, organizational culture, and past projects, all of which profoundly resonated with me due to an emphasis on innovation and the challenging of the status quo. From then on, my expectations of CIVITTA continued to increase further due to the application process that was substantially more comprehensive than the industry standard in Latvia. With the roles of management and strategy consulting being intellectually demanding, I found this to be a great indicator that the organization is on a trajectory for success. This, coupled with the highly supportive nature of CIVITTA’S onboarding process, together formed great expectations of the organization before I even embarked on my first project.

Yet, now, 3 months into employment, I can confidently say that my work experience has fully lived up to said expectations. During my first projects, not only was I provided with the necessary guidance to come to grips with the position, but I was also given great autonomy to learn and provide my own critical input from day one – in this regard, I feel genuine gratitude towards my supervisors and team leaders who sensed my eagerness, ambition and ability early on, and proceeded to gradually increase my responsibilities, whilst helping me navigate the tasks every time I needed it.

How did you feel about the organizational culture and professional relationships formed and sustained in the firm overall, and during projects?

The organizational culture at CIVITTA does not follow the traditional blueprint of distinctively hierarchical and formal firms associated with the global strategy consulting industry. Instead, the agile business model and collaborative nature of employees more closely resembles the structure of a start-up, though one with an international presence. With that said, from the day I joined CIVITTA, I was positively overwhelmed by the experience and acumen of senior employees. Thus, I made it my mission to absorb as much knowledge as I can, as quickly as I can from everyone I work with. The close-knit community of CIVITTA that extends beyond any local office and instead continues on an international scale makes for an environment in which one can amplify their skillset in technical just as well as analytical and interpersonal terms. Moreover, the activities within CIVITTA extend beyond professional development, whether that’s movie nights, game nights or even international trips. Therefore, whatever your individual interests, you are sure to find a way of incorporating them within your life at CIVITTA.

How would you characterize a model employee at CIVITTA – what competencies are necessary, desired?

There are a variety of characteristics beyond the intellectual capacity and grit that are just as essential in CIVITTA. Primarily, on any project, finding the balance between being a valuable member of the team who always looks to generate independent input whilst trusting senior team leaders’ opinions on matters due to their surplus of experience is imperative for new analysts or consultants. One must not only be eager to learn and contribute but also able to leave their assertions aside when necessary and instead trust the judgments of project leaders. Secondarily, you should always look to improve and develop yourself. CIVITTA offers a plethora of opportunities for any employee to pursue professional development in any areas they may wish to do so. The community regularly hosts workshops, industry discussions and problem-solving events that stimulate the minds of every employee, whilst also making for an effective means to build camaraderie within the organization.

Did you feel challenged upon joining the firm, have you felt challenged ever since?

Yes, the compulsion for being challenged was one of the key drivers that aroused my interest in the consulting industry, and my experience at CIVITTA has fully delivered on this front – mind you in a distinctly positive way. The wide array of tasks involved in management consulting are, arguably, enough on their own for employees to maintain a sense of challenge. However, the aforementioned learning and development opportunities endorsed by CIVITTA make it that even at the least busy of times you can always find ways to expand your value-adding capacities, whether that’s by helping a co-worker in another country or learning to code. Most importantly, this wealth of knowledge and confidence in my value that I have attained by gathering invaluable feedback from my supervisors and always looking to deliver more than what was asked of me has proven to be instrumental in my current roles of leadership at university, where I am managing a professional consulting curriculum and guiding fellow students towards their own career development.