Being in the same ICP team as Joan, I fully identify with her periscope analogy for what we are doing. For the past few days we have been wading under a huge sea of data and technicalities, and even though this is an industry which is personally interesting to me, I find the plodding nature of our current analysis rather daunting. Quantitative work and details have always been my forte, and in my last job I was often the gal churning out the market analysis, budgeting and forecasts. It’s a very satisfying feeling to arrive at a figure that makes sense after weeks of crunching the numbers, but at the same time it’s a challenge to keep a view of the big picture when much of the day-to-day work is mired in such minute detail.
Almost a week into the ICP, my group is at the stage where we have to really start zooming out and thinking about the bigger message and objective. With the highly technical nature of our project, there already has been a lot of learning as we absorbed huge amounts of information in the first few days and are still trying to make sense of it. Honestly, after reading literally hundreds of pages of text, my brain feels ready to burst!
But the one thing keeping me going is the knowledge that this process is exactly what I will have to go through, maybe time and again, in my job after graduation so I might as well practice now. Digesting huge amounts of new information, getting a feel of the bigger story behind it, adding value through pulling together my past experience and a few key external contacts, and then, hopefully, making things happen that will make the business better than it was before. Regardless of whether we are going into functional roles, strategy consulting or industry rotational programmes, this is the nature of what most of us will be doing.
Every time we raise the periscope, we are seeing another tiny scrap of sea. I’m just hoping that in the next couple weeks, we will be able to piece all these little bits together so that the tunnel vision evolves into a panoramic landscape of the ocean we are swimming in (or rather, buried under).
Over the next week, my classmates will be sharing similar stories of our ICP experiences from the various parts of the world that we are in. Stay tuned!