Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Come Delorme. I am 20-year-old, and I am currently studying at EMN (Normandie Ecole de Management), a French business school located in the North-West of France. From September to November, I had the opportunity to join Pace University exchange program where I studied Management and Marketing.
In November 2022, in the continuation of my studies, I joined Talan New York office to work on various challenging and exciting project initiatives.
What are the different projects you are working on at Talan?
I had the chance to work in close collaboration with 2 different departments: Business Development and Recruitment/Sales, which allowed me to have a better understanding of how Management and Consultancy firms operate.
The first project to which I was assigned to, “how to increase the sense of belonging?” was under the responsibility of Brigitte Gouarin, the lead of the “Change & Optimization” practice. The objective was to identify and qualify a list of concrete suggestions to be implemented throughout the Talan organization, to increase the sense of belonging.
Approach & Key Outputs:
To do so, I run 2 brainstorming sessions with Talan consultants to collect their suggestions. All suggestions were then grouped into the following 5 main categories:
- Compensation & Benefits Package
- Care & Support (ie. Bienveillance)
- Teamwork & Community
- Continuous Learning & Development.
After having carried out an initial review/assessment of all the suggestions, I performed a first cut with my manager, and retained 63 actionable suggestions out of more than 100 (suggestions), for which we assessed the associated implementation timeframe (short/medium/long term) and budgetary requirements.
We have shared the results of our assessment with Senior Management to review and come back to us with a plan outlining which actionable suggestions should be prioritized for implementation in Q1 2023.
With regards to the second project to which I was assigned to, I participated in recruitment efforts for open positions in Business and IT consulting and assisted the Sales department and Talent Acquisition/Recruitment department in the design and development of a training platform.
Approach & Key Outputs:
To do so, we have targeted specific roles, and defined the basic knowledge and skill set required to perform each role.
I then performed a gap analysis between the qualifications, experience, and current skills of the consultants/candidates with the pre-requisites associated with each open position.
For each gap, I identified a set of trainings that would be appropriate to fill the skills gaps and allow consultants/candidates to acquire basic knowledge and/or strengthen their knowledge in a specific area.
I set up a few interviews with consultants to collect their feedback on areas where they need to improve.
The collected data allowed us to define and design a first draft of the training plan split into four main areas:
- Financial markets: organization and key players
- Capital markets
- Financial instruments
- Standard training platforms & financial tools.
Each area has been divided into several themes. For example, “Financial Instruments” has been split into three different instrument types:
- Fixed Income
The various information collected and put together in the form of modules allowed us to provide our consultants with a training catalog which would offer them the opportunity to customize their training needs and acquire/strengthen all the skills required to be a good fit for the role and be operational from day 1.
What 3 words would you use to introduce Talan?
- Care and Support: My internship at Talan was my first experience in the United States so it was very intimidating for me. However, even before my arrival in the company, people were already very friendly. Indeed, with my internship supervisor, we had regular meetings where she walked me through the different projects I was going to be assigned to, answering all my questions, allowing me to better understand what was expected of me and therefore to comfort me in my choice of joining Talan and my ability to be a good fit for the internship position.
- Perseverance and Perfection: At Talan, whether you are a consultant, manager or an intern, the level of expectation is the same. We bring passion & dedication to everything we do. We are self-starters that do what it takes to make things happen.
- Curiosity: My first few days at Talan were a little stressful. It was not only my first experience abroad and in the United States, but also my very first experience in the Consulting industry. However, I have always been encouraged to ask questions, challenge myself and work out of my comfort zone.
What has been your most memorable moment at Talan USA?
A very memorable moment was my twice a week business lunches with one of my managers. Since she works offsite in the client’s premises, instead of having weekly phone calls to follow up on my various assignments, she made herself available to meet with me in person twice a week to review my deliverables, answer all my questions, share best practices, and provide me with customized training and coaching. It was a great opportunity to combine work and conviviality.
More, during these lunches where my manager sometimes invited friends and/or colleagues to join us, I had the occasion to meet inspiring people, with different backgrounds and career paths. It was an amazing opportunity to discuss various topics, better understand American culture and the drivers that lead so many people to leave their country and family, to take a chance and live their own part of the American dream…
Who inspires you most in life? Why?
Rafael Nadal has been a tremendous inspiration to me since I was a child. Indeed, his professional accomplishments and almost endless awards in the world of tennis speak for themselves, although it is more his attributes outside of tennis (such as his personality, his attitude, and the values he embodies) that have left an indelible mark. He can show great poise in a high-pressure environment, a calm and serene attitude in the most stressful moments, while displaying a humility off the tennis courts despite his status and his notoriety, that makes me admire him so much.
However, during my internship I met a person who left an even more indelible mark on me than Rafael Nadal: Ms Gouarin.
From a professional point of view, Ms. Gouarin has the mindset, the character, the skills, and the principles that I admire and to which I adhere. Indeed, she always pushes her limits to achieve new goals and exceed her clients’ expectations. She thrived working outside of her comfort zone. She is passionate about her work and is committed to putting all her energy, effort, and passion into helping her clients achieve lasting success. Also, her expectations are very high no matter who she works with. Indeed, though I was only a 20-year-old intern, Ms. Gouarin made me redo my work again and again until she was satisfied with the results, allowing me to understand and learn from my mistakes, raise the bar, and go for the extra mile.
From a personal point of view, Ms. Gouarin demonstrated incredible qualities and values such as generosity, kindness, and approachability. In fact, despite her full-time job with her clients, Mrs. Gouarin has always made herself available a few hours a week to help me, provide me ongoing support, guidance, and best practices to help me grow and further develop my consulting skill - in addition to calling me every day to check if everything was fine on my side. Finally, she introduced me to some friends and colleagues, over lunch and drinks to connect with them, in a unique and memorable context.
Thus, since my internship at Talan I have found a new source of inspiration. Indeed, Ms. Gouarin has all the values and principles I try to adhere to every day.