Oliver on Newton Onboarding


"The bar is set very high across the board.
As a smaller business, it’s flexible and
has high energy which is great."

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First things first, what brought you here?


I began my career as an engineering graduate, designing fuel injection systems for diesel engines. Although technically interesting, I found working in an R&D centre quite dry and wanted to get into a more people-oriented career.  Consulting seemed the ideal choice, so following a master’s degree in international business I joined a small London practice with a focus on the rail sector.  Subsequently, I joined Accenture and helped central government and utilities clients transform their operations, before starting my own firm, working internationally on a diverse range of assignments. Immediately before joining Newton, I was Head of Digital Transformation for Asia at HSBC, based in Hong Kong and overseeing business change for the whole of the Retail Banking and Wealth Management division of the bank.  I joined Newton because I was impressed by the dynamism of the company and evident impact being made, but also because I loved the concept of delivering real change that was guaranteed, in organisations that are of strategic importance to the UK. 


And your first impressions? 


Fabulous! It’s unique, full of genuinely pleasant and welcoming but also highly capable people. The bar is very high across the board. As a smaller business, it’s flexible and has high energy which is great. 


Can you talk us through the induction process?


The induction experience is very similar regardless of the level you come in at.  So, as an experienced hire, relatively far along in my career, I trained in Newton core methodology side by side with people who had only just graduated.  This was refreshing on the one hand and challenging on the other since it had been quite a while since I had been doing calculations and developing models.  After core training, inductees complete a site week, working at one of Newton’s clients, before starting a substantive engagement.  At some point thereafter, expectations and activities diverge, depending on the grade you come in at. 

Any other takeaways from the experience?


Newton Core training is central to the way the business operates.  It is important everyone has a good appreciation of it to operate effectively in Newton.   As a Director, this training equips you to understand not only the unique Newton approach but the detail of how our teams work.  The Newton approach is highly structured and extremely rigorous.


The big difference here is core training is rather like university style lectures, followed by assignments and presentations. As an experienced hire, you carry out a mixture of individual and group work side by side with people who have just graduated.  This work is analytical in nature, with numerous calculations and models followed by a series of presentations.  It is a bit like an intense assessment centre. A clear objective is bonding with people at all levels. 


And lastly, any tips?


Having an open mind is really important. You may find the intense focus on Newton core methodology unique at first.  You need to be willing to roll your sleeves up, get involved, muck in and make friends at all levels.  Above all, remember to have fun!