Chris joined Capco in 2018 after eight years in the Royal Navy. As a Warfare Officer, his experience spanned responsibility for key strategic decisions on board the Navy’s surface fleet as well as executive branch duties.
“On leaving the service I asked myself what I could do given I had no specific direct expertise outside the military, and I recognized it would be a matter of focusing on transferable skills,” Chris says. Consulting seemed a good fit: “It is a matter of going in, identifying a problem and then fixing it, and there is a strong project management element to an officer’s role”.
Adaptability and self-motivation are further areas of overlap. “While there is a more rigid hierarchy or chain of command in the military, you are expected to think for yourself and work out implied tasks,” says Chris. “You also quickly become used to dealing with change and uncertainty in the forces, so the ability to adapt and innovate is key. You don’t always have the time or the tools or resources you require, and that can also hold true in consulting.”
Another key element is leadership. “The military invests a lot of time and money inculcating leadership qualities into everyone from the very start, whereas that often happens later in civilian life. So I was used to managing large teams – as many as 100 people – much earlier in my career than would otherwise be the case,” he notes.
There is a clear parallel with financial services consulting in terms of working alongside colleagues drawn from different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds: “The military is a very diverse environment, plus as an officer you are often leading individuals or teams with more direct experience than yourself. So you have to learn how to assimilate, make connections and build a rapport with everyone.”
“Have confidence in yourself and your abilities. As a management consultant you will be drawing on your skills around negotiation, stakeholder management and planning, all of which are eminently transferable.”
You can read more about the AF2C programme here.