Madeline van Noorden

03 October 2022
Topics in this article
  • Graduates
  • Life at Proxima

It’s been fantastic to be welcomed into the wonderful community at Proxima. From day one, I felt set up for success to kick-start my journey in the world of procurement.

I had no idea what to expect from my first job fresh out of university. What stood out to me about Proxima was the emphasis on creating an environment where people can be openly curious and share learnings, the value of collaboration, and the friendly culture. Proxima has proved to me that these values hold in practice and my expectations have already been exceeded. I have found that the culture at Proxima really is something to shout about!

My interest in consultancy has stemmed from wanting to develop a range of skills to jump-start my career. I specialized in Pure Mathematics in University, which inspired me to pursue a career that would allow me to tackle real-world problems with tangible benefits while using analytical and communication skills. This led me to explore the world of procurement consultancy. Before joining Proxima, I did not have much knowledge of the procurement industry, but Proxima’s Analyst Program meant that I didn’t need to be an expert. Instead, I needed to demonstrate a curiosity and enthusiasm to learn, as well as the desire to ensure businesses are operating as effectively and profitably as possible. 

Being part of a consultancy that’s going through such a strong period of growth has been hugely exciting, and I’ve really enjoyed working on client engagements with high-profile businesses, as well as experience the comfort of a well-established company. However, the ‘start-up’ culture of Proxima has remained, and I’ve found there is still a lot of room for passionate consultants to realize their potential and seize the opportunity to define their own career paths.

Early days

The first week at Proxima is all about meeting your colleagues. Within my first few days, I met my fellow analysts, my Career Manager, and my buddy. My buddy was completing the same analyst program, but a few months ahead of me, providing a safe space for all my questions, no matter how trivial, and providing me tips and insights about life at Proxima.

One of the things that makes Proxima so special is the people, not purely in terms of their skill, but their attitude to sharing learning and development advice with others. In my first week in the office, I got stuck on a case study and asked the person nearest to me if they could help me help solve an issue on Excel. I explained the problem to them and, after talking through some ideas with me, I found out that colleague was the Financial Director, proving that people at Proxima always try to give each other a hand, even if the issue is not their area of expertise or part of their day-to-day work.

Proxima community

The analyst and consultant community is something very special within Proxima. I didn’t want to join a company where it felt like a ‘rat race’ to the top, so I feel lucky that within Proxima there’s always an understanding of shared success, and someone will always answer your questions. In my first week, I met with people from across the whole Proxima community to understand their role and how everyone plays a part in Proxima’s success and driving growth.

Despite starting my role at Proxima virtually, I felt the warmth and friendliness of my colleagues through a screen. I had introductions with members of the leadership team and the CEO, where half the session was purely dedicated time for them to hear and answer any questions from us. They provided insight to Proxima, and the vision moving forward, as well as advice to new joiners on how we can add value. A flat culture where employees’ contributions are valued regardless of job title is something I really love about Proxima and I was pleased to hear Proxima has 24-hour support lines and flexible working that promote a strong work-life balance, so the health and wellbeing of individuals is a priority.

Career Manager

My career manager acts as a guide and mentor within Proxima and from the start she focused on training and setting me up for success. She took the time to get to know me and remains curious about how I can continue to develop and get the most out of my career. I have weekly check-ins where I can speak openly about what I’m working on and my career goals. My Career Manager works with me to understand and test my skills to help develop my own personalized objectives. This relationship will last for at least the first two years and it’s reassuring to have this stability and consistent support.

Internal projects

A special aspect of working at Proxima is the abundance of internal projects you can get involved in. What allows me to truly thrive at Proxima is being able to use my own initiative and shape the direction of internal projects. In the early weeks, my focus was on case studies and internal projects. Over the past few months, I have created my own internal collateral that will be shared around the business and used in client projects. It feels amazing to be able to contribute in such a tangible way to the company and to have that contribution recognized and encouraged by senior colleagues.  Proxima is also committed to investing in its people through programs such as the X Fund scheme, where you can apply for monetary support to undertake further training or development courses related to your field.

Company day

I recently attended my first ever company conference, which included the leadership team sharing their vision for the future of and growth of Proxima, with plenty of room for questions at the end. This presentation only made up a fraction of the day, with the rest of the day dedicated to team building, networking, and fun. I was blown away by the diversity of Proxima’s people, with the key point of similarity being the collegiate and friendly attitude typical of Proxima.

The future

The next few months will hold my one-year anniversary at Proxima, and I will have my annual conversation as a development and career checkpoint, working on a variety of projects with a range of clients, and I will soon become a buddy myself to a new joiner! I feel proud to be part of a growing company where I feel genuinely valued, supported, and allowed to thrive.

If you’re interested in hearing more on Proxima’s Graduate Program, find out more on our Careers page.

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