Through the lens – an intern’s view of RPS as a great place to do great work

27 Sep 2019

We catch up with RPS intern: MBA student Dhawal Mehta to find out how he would describe us, what it’s like working with our Group Leadership Team, and what he would do if he were CEO for a day…

So, the first question …what three words would you use to describe your first impression of RPS on your first day here? Just to put you on the spot!

‘Complex’, ‘candid’ and ‘cordial’.

Was the complexity daunting

It’s how RPS has evolved over the years and that’s what has made it how it is today. A lot of work is going on to make that complexity simpler and being a part of finding the solution was very interesting. Not daunting.

At the end of your internship what words would you use now? The same words?

‘Cordial’ remains the same [for] my experience throughout. I've interacted with people in this office and also in the US, Australia, and Norway, and attended the Group Leadership Team meeting. My interactions with the segment CEOs and functional heads were very pleasant.

Based on my experiences here ‘complex’ has changed to ‘unique’. And ‘candid’ has changed to ‘pragmatic’.– people are actually looking to solve problems rather than overlooking them.

How do you define ‘unique’ to describe RPS?

Well, unique comes from complexity in the sense that it offers a wide range of services in many sectors and geographies. I had a chance to research other consultancies and it was quite evident that this firm by its very nature is bound to be complex, but it gives it a unique taste in the way it offers a diversity of services to our diversity of clientele, which makes it unique.

Has this internship experience had any influence on your course decisions?

It was pretty much in line with what I want to do after my studies. Before I started here, I had a slightly hazy image of what I wanted to pursue. Having been here and the kind of work I've done here has helped me distinguish – I want to be in a dynamic and challenging environment. Everything here was new to me, which made it challenging and all the more interesting. So, it’s not that it has changed anything, rather strengthened my belief in what I want to do.

What one thing in your life, has had the most influence on your career path?

It was the first job that I got from a campus placement after my undergraduate …I went to the office and I couldn’t see myself working there because the place was dead silent and the environment was surprisingly dull. Everyone was on their laptops, no one talking or interacting with anyone else. This visual kind of raised a red flag that no, this is not where I see myself working. And it was in contrast to the [company] profile, which I had really liked, but it wasn't enough for me to take that role up. I decided to move to another organisation. Even if I love the profile, even if it pays well – culture and environment is something that really matters to me.

If you got to be RPS CEO for a day, what's the first thing you would do?

That's a challenging one. I would like to think about ways to engage more young talent in the organisation.

That's a good point. What things about RPS would you recommend to people looking for an internship or looking for work?

I really liked the culture in terms of how people interact with each other, how people work: the ownership of work given to me is very important. I really like to think independently and discuss, then have feedback and take things forward.

Judith (Cottrell – Group Strategy Director) has given me complete freedom to think here. And there were so many healthy “So what?” discussions as I call them. Challenging first statements that brought new ideas that you might not have thought of in the first instance. It gives you a chance to get constructive feedback, which is again very important to me.

I would say the culture and work ethics are important to RPS and I observed here that people take holidays seriously which is very healthy.

What have you worked on in your internship, and what has it been like working with Judith and the Group Leadership Team?

Judith and others have always given me the freedom to think. It’s always been that this is the task and it needs to be completed. And then it was for me to think about how I'm going to approach it, what I'm going to do and then discuss with her. Judith would then share her feedback and was never precious about what she had to say. I could always challenge her ideas and she was very open about that. I think that's very important for any person to grow, because that opens up our mind; she never made me restrict any ideas or thoughts.

How did you first learn about RPS?

The first instance was when this opportunity was rolled out by our [university] careers service. Before my interviews here I had done [a] fair amount of research on the organisation. But when I came here, I felt that that was just a small part of what this organisation is.

Anything further?

I cannot emphasise enough that the culture and the people here are great, I've had a really good time. I’ve had a fulfilling experience with the people I have worked with, and people I’ve just interacted with. People here are always keen to help others, and this is something which is very important to me.

That's great. Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Reflecting on Dhawal’s internship, Judith Cottrell, RPS Group Strategy Director explains “This has been a great experience. Dhawal has added value to the business and brought a different perspective at the same time as broadening his knowledge and experience. I wish him all the best for the future and look forward to continuing to work with Manchester Business School on future internships.”

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