Alex joined Capco in 2016 after 10 years as an officer in the Royal Marines, latterly holding the rank of Major. He undertook conflict operations in Afghanistan and Somalia alongside staff-based roles that encompassed international work with government departments and agencies as well as NATO and other partners.
Impending fatherhood was the trigger for Alex’s transition to a ‘safer’ life in late 2015, and the following July he took up a place in the AF2C programme after the Officers’ Association brought it to his attention. “It was a real challenge leaving the services, but I had very broad goals,” he says. “I was interested in working in banks, though it was something I had never done before. While I had an offer from an investment bank the Capco opportunity made more sense. The idea of being on a project focused around change, and the prospect of 12-18 month assignments, really aligned with my military experience.”
For Alex, the skills he brought across from his years in the service are clear-cut. “The Army has a saying: ‘improvise, adapt, overcome’,” he notes. “So while it represents a big shift in practical terms – the daily commute for instance – your readiness as a Marine to accept change on a daily basis, to being open to anything and quick to adapt, are key elements of the consultant’s role.”
Relationship management is another. “When you’ve got an Afghan warlord in your face, the ability to talk things through and find common ground is key,” Alex says. “In the military you quickly learn to be unfazed by pressure, even though you still feel it – no flapping, no panicking, just staying focused on what the stakeholder needs.”
“As ex-military personnel, we are often humble and do not recognize what we have to offer. So think hard about all your experiences and how they might be applicable. You may not feel that experience is compatible, and lack self-belief that you have what it takes, but in the right role you have a great deal to offer.”
You can read more about the AF2C programme here.