In this interview, meet two ALTEN consultants who are also Site Leaders at one of our main clients in the automotive industry: Cécile, project manager for the Life Sciences division, and Alexandre, experienced consultant for the Engineering division. Discover the position of Site Leader through their point-of-view!
Can you tell us about your career path?
Cécile: I studied and began my career in Marketing, but after a few years, I started working in IT, as a project manager on digital projects. After several years working as a consultant for ALTEN in Paris and in an e-commerce start-up, I joined ALTEN Belgium in March 2020. I’m currently a consultant project manager in a Data Protection team.
Alexandre: I started at ALTEN in 2017 after graduating with a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I had my first mission in the banking sector for a few months, and I then joined the client I’m still currently working for.
How did you end up in this position?
Cécile: After one year within our client, my business Manager at ALTEN suggested me to apply for the Site Leader position for the Head Office. I decided to shoot my shot because I wanted to be more involved in ALTEN and meet and support the other consultants!
What are the specificities of the position of Site Leader?
Alexandre: Site leader is an activity you do on top of your mission at the client’s. You welcome new consultants, organise events, and act as the first point of contact for the consultants. You become the link between them and ALTEN. The objective is to try to create a community of consultants at the client’s office, that can rely on each other on various topics.
Cécile: Basically, the site leader is the main point of contact for ALTEN consultants, for any questions related to the company. Our role is to welcome newcomers and make them feel just as much a part of the ALTEN team, as the customer team. We also ensure that consultants are reminded of ALTEN’s general communications (HR, events…), and share with the ALTEN managers any news or new projects that could be interesting for the Business.
What are the main skills you need to have to be a good site leader?
Alexandre: The way I see it, the most important is to be sociable and easily accessible. People need to be comfortable asking you things, and you need to be reachable. Some experience in organising events is a bonus!
Why do you think this position is essential in specific projects?
Cécile: I think this position is essential to build a community and make consultants feel supported by ALTEN, even if they don’t interact a lot with the company. Sometimes, especially while working for big clients, I think it can be easy to forget that you are a consultant and part of another company, and not part of the client’s.
Alexandre: The first few days on a new mission can be quite intense. You get a lot of information about the project, learn a lot about how things work at the client’s, hear names to remember… It takes some adaptation time. It is nice to know that some people can support you in some areas. Also, when you are on a mission for a client, it is easy to lose contact with ALTEN, as we are most of the time at the client’s and not interacting a lot with the back office.
What are the main challenges you face as a site leader?
Cécile: In the Head office, the main challenge I faced was involving and motivating the consultants to participate in events. Even after the lockdowns, we all still work a lot from home and come to the office once or twice a week, so it wasn’t easy to find suitable days when most consultants would be at the office.
How would you describe this role in a few words? Would you recommend it?
Alexandre: The goal of a site leader is to facilitate the integration of new consultants at the client’s and create a community of consultants that know and help each other. I would definitely recommend it! It is a good experience and a great way to get more involved within ALTEN!
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