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The Capgemini Talent Acquisition Team Presents: Carlos Arango, Delivery Executive

The Capgemini Talent Acquisition Team Presents: Carlos Arango, Delivery Executive
Posted By: HBCU CONNECT on June 14, 2021

Capgemini continues to build a more inclusive and diverse workplace, where freedom of ideas and a culture based on equality are paramount. To celebrate this culture, we are proud to bring you up-close and personal stories from some of our exceptional diverse colleagues. In these Q&As, they share lessons learned, advice on how to overcome challenges, and why it’s important to find an employer that celebrates our differences.

Carlos Arango is a Delivery Executive in the SAP practice. In this Q&A, Carlos offers insights into his career journey and what he has learned along the way. To learn more about career opportunities at Capgemini complete this interest form (https://forms.office.com/r/ZHNeSCFzfK) or visit us at https://www.capgemini.com/careers.

Q: What is your role with Capgemini?
Carlos Arango (CA): I’m currently the Delivery Executive for a consumer goods client and an agro-industrial client. Internally, I am also a member of the SAP Go-to-Market Team, with a focus on energy, utilities, chemicals, and agriculture.

Q: What inspired you to get into consulting?
CA: In the early 90s, I had the opportunity to join the SAP America team and found that it was something that I really liked. It gave me the opportunity to help people and solve problems with technology. ERP implementations and even process improvement work lends itself to those passions, so it was a natural fit. I have since had an array of delivery roles, including SAP and Oracle implementations and performance-improvement consulting.

Q: Who has inspired you in your career and how?
CA: My dad has been my biggest inspiration and he is a great role model. He immigrated from Colombia to the US in his early 20s not knowing the language. He was able to earn his bachelor’s degree and MBA late in life. He was able to go from having very little to being the president of a large window manufacturer. Through him, I was able to see how effort and dedication helps you achieve your goals. He laid the foundation, so the next generation can reap the results, but of course it needs to be maintained.

Q: What was your first day of work like?
CA: Going to work for SAP back in the 90s, I was part of a group of 12 people from all over the US with diverse backgrounds who went to Germany. In Germany, we had a larger diverse group from multiple countries – the Netherlands, China, Japan, Russia, etc. My Latin American culture and upbringing served as a connection point to foster relationships with my team members. People take an interest in people from other places and backgrounds and you can use it to differentiate yourself and make those connections. You never really know how much people have in common until you start to talk about your culture and background.

Q: How do you celebrate your culture and roots at work?
CA: I endeavor to understand and partake in the cultures of my colleagues, relate my own to theirs, and share my culture and roots wherever possible to make a positive impact. I like to show and share the commonality of things independent of geography. I think that creates bonds, trust, and understanding among all of us. I am glad it still happens virtually, even if you’re not there to see, you can still see people’s body language and how they react through video chat.

Q: How has Capgemini supported you in your career?
CA: Capgemini has allowed me to pursue and do work for some premier clients. They’ve supported me by helping bolster my client, risk, and engagement management skills with training and access to seasoned individuals. It’s not just the training that Capgemini provides, it’s having access to people who can share their wisdom, experiences, and client relationship management pointers with you.

Q: In your opinion, what are some of the biggest roadblocks to success that underrepresented professionals experience?
CA: The biggest roadblocks are the lack of role models with similar backgrounds and mentors to give them guidance; somebody who has that shared experience and can provide guidance based on what made them successful. How was it that they overcame perceptions and instead used their background as a strength to further their careers? At times, it’s hard being that one person in a sea of other people who are very similar, so having someone to look to is comforting. Sometimes, it’s not even someone from your own culture, it could be somebody who has a different perspective but understands where you’re coming from. I think we need to be more proactive and do more in terms of mentoring and identifying who those role models can be and how they can help guide others into better roles and aspire them to greater things. I am encouraged that we are making a difference, because I see my peers playing these roles as well.

Q: How do you give back?
CA: As part of the Go-to-Market team I have had the opportunity to reach many people. I really try to give back in terms of knowledge, helping other projects, and just mentoring folks along the way. I strive to not only be a mentor to my people tree but also everyone I come in touch with.

Q: What advice would you give the next generation of consultants?
CA: I would encourage them to leverage their strengths to give them opportunities to pick up the skills they lack. As a young professional I was very good in technology skills and I quickly absorbed how to work in a system such as SAP but had to proactively train in the consulting skills. The next generation of consultants should invest and hone skills that serve as a solid foundation such as process-leading practices, public speaking, and executive presence. Those foundational skills will never change, so as technology changes, if you keep that foundation, you’ll be able to grow the other skills.

Q: What do you identify most with at Capgemini?
CA: I identify closely with our legacy brand promise of “People Matter”. I’m reminded daily of what we can accomplish as a team and in building trusted relationships. This job at times can be difficult and what makes it fun is having good team relationships, understanding people, and having candid, transparent conversations. If you have good working relationships with your team members, you can overcome anything, and it makes the working environment that much better for yourself and everyone else.

Q: Tell us about your favorite client project
CA: It would be a two-year S/4HANA implementation for a demanding client in energy services. It showed us that we can grow from adversity if we work as a team. Despite the difficulties, the project team came together to not only deliver but have fun doing it. We had food at our status meetings and celebrated Diwali together!

To learn more about career opportunities at Capgemini complete this interest form and visit us at https://www.capgemini.com/careers.
If you enjoyed this article, Join HBCU CONNECT today for similar content and opportunities via email!
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