Life at Verco, Q&A's with Justin Okpe
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s actually like to work for Verco, Justin Okpe, Consultant within the Corporates team gives his honest insight into his Verco journey to date. This forms part of a series of 'Life at Verco' Q&A's with team members where you can find out everything career related whether it's about our culture or career progression.
Q: What’s the transition been like moving into Consulting?
A: "Consulting was more familiar than I expected it to be - probably because of how I worked in my previous role which was a central function deployed to different sites. We thought of it as a service to those at the site - the end user, the customer - providing the service for them, to make sure their input was noted. So indirectly it had put me in the mindset of consulting work already."
Q: What did you study at University?
A: "I did Chemical Engineering - and for me, it was about finance, physics, very little chemistry, and maths - and I'd like students of this discipline to realise that in any analytical job all these elements will be required in some way: how to solve problems - practical related problems, how to consider multiple variables before you give a recommendation - it's a skill needed in finance, consulting, project management, manufacturing, building. So students could reframe their experience about what careers are actually open to them with this degree subject. There are more options open to you than perhaps you realise."
Q: What’s the main difference between working in industry compared to a Consultancy?
A: "One big difference for me is the broadness of my experience at Verco - for example, I went to a dairy yesterday and in two weeks I'm going to a brewery. Doing the same services at both but the broadness of issues and implications can be huge and I'm seeing it first hand.
Another difference between industry and consulting is that in the former it's the same people you report into every time. Whereas in consulting , your stakeholders change depending on clients - and how and what they want and how they want it presented can be entirely different. What they want as an output is just as interesting a challenge as what you do when you go to site."
At Verco I get to go on site which gives me access to seeing and understanding new processes and the sheer scale of someone's business, then to be told it's a relatively small site for the industry. The dairy I visited yesterday produces 750,000 litres of milk every day - that's 0.75m 2-pint bottles!
It's the scale that intrigues me, but also the scope of the challenge. I've been interested in energy from the point of my degree and I'm passionate about things becoming more efficient and seeing the technology behind that. Efficiency or optimisation is an area you don't get to hear about much - those steps we can take right now, by reviewing how you're using the energy now. And at Verco we're all over it, building understanding with our clients at each site to show how it can work."
Q: What’s your biggest passion?
A: "Knowledge sharing is a massive passion of mine - how something that's successful in one industry can be implemented into another - and Verco is a true vehicle for doing that. Seeing how the combination of process optimisation, improved energy sourcing and knowledge sharing can change things for each business you go into, is immensely compelling. It's the work I want to be in. At times on site I think to myself, Yeah, when I was studying I knew I wanted to make this kind of impact but just didn't know this role existed. And now I'm doing it every day."
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