Consultants on the benefits of joining Nous as a graduate

22 March 2021 Consultancy.com.au 5 min. read
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Nous Group has announced two upcoming intakes of graduates. As the firm looks to onboard the organisation’s future leaders, previous graduate consultants outline the opportunities working with the consultancy provides at the start of someone’s professional life.

With a team of some 400 consultants Nous Group is Australia’s largest home-grown management consultancy. The firm has 11 offices in Australia, the UK and Canada, and partners with leaders to shape world class businesses, effective governments and empowered communities. As the firm looks to further boost its future-shaping potential, the consultancy has announced a planned intake of graduates in July 2021, and February 2022.

Tim Orton, Founder and Managing Director of the firm, explained, “Graduates are critical to Nous Group. A lot of our work requires a perspective that young people, graduates will bring. We need smart, energetic, highly capable people to help deliver the work for clients. Graduates are the future leaders of the organisation.”

Ashleigh Dunstan, Iris Rattley, Ken Moore, Joy Horng, Tim Orton - Nous Group

The consulting industry is already a top port of call for university students each year, with firms targeted by graduates looking to quickly boost their practical skill-set, or to continue their learning as they seek to broaden their industrial knowledge or specialise in a particular line of work. In order to set themselves apart from competitors, and appeal to the purpose-driven work-ethics of Millennial and Generation Z applicants, consulting firms have also emphasised their role as change-makers in recent years.

Nous in particular excels in this aspect. Remembering what initially drew her to the firm’s graduate scheme, Ashleigh Dunstan, now a Consultant with the firm, explained, “When I first Googled Nous, the first thing that came up on the website was the question, ‘What change do you want to make to people’s lives for the better?’ So the opportunity to work in a really fast paced consulting environment, but then also be able to change people’s lives was really exciting and inspiring to me.”

Upon arriving at the firm, Dunstan was soon given the opportunity to see the firm live up to that early promise. Working with a team member who since became the firm’s Chief Data Officer, Dunston was placed on a project to help predict outcomes for young people in Australia, and help reduce the number of people in the country’s youth justice system as a result.

“I was working on a high impact project, with a super-high-profile expert, building skills that I’d never learned before, and now what’s really exciting is that work come to fruition,” Dunston added.

Top employer

As a result of this attitude to helping new staff grow fast, Nous is renowned across Australia as a leading employer of young professionals. Just days before Nous announced this round of applications for its graduate positions, the consultancy was named one of Australia’s Top 100 Graduate Employers by GradAustralia. Nous placed 36th on the 2021 list, which uses popularity and quality to assess graduate employers in Australia, while it also placed in the top 10 for Australian businesses with between 100 and 999 employees in the Great Place to Work Awards.

Iris Rattley, who is now a Director with Nous, noted, “From the very beginning you’re given so much opportunity to really own pieces of work; to lead aspects of facilitation, client management… There’s always so much opportunity, and the minute you feel like you’ve mastered something, you’re given another stretch, and so you’re constantly growing.”

The firm has also proven adept at helping its staff cope with the sustained Covid-19 pandemic. During 2020, the firm’s HR team delivered continuous advice and support to staff as they pivoted to remote work and delivery while progressing strategic priorities – something which saw it handed an HR Innovation Excellence Award.

Remarking on the supportive environment, Ken Moore, a Consultant at Nous, said, “This is a place that is going to set the bar for the rest of your career. I’m so happy with the systems that are in place, and to have this as your first work experience, you’re going to be able to take this on to anything else that you do… If I had to describe Nous in three words, it would be ‘great career choice.’”

When it comes to advice for graduates applying for roles with Nous, there was a resounding agreement between the firm’s current consultants that applicants should “be themselves.” Authenticity and passion are key to a successful application, and candidates should not be afraid to talk about “those nerdy hobbies you have,” or “social justice issues that you think only you care about,” because ultimately someone else at Nous will likely share that passion.

Speaking to prospective applicants, Consultant Joy Horng concluded, “People said if you get Nous as your first job you’re likely to get spoiled by their culture, and I agree. Nous really respects you as a human being, and so if you really want to apply here, be genuine, because people really want to know you as a person.”