What is it like being a Conversion Talent Consultant?


Zachary Owen Consultancy, Freelance, Career...

Finding a project that is the right fit for you is one of the biggest challenges according to Christophe van Engelen, one of Conversion Talent’s senior consultants,. He echoes the thoughts of many consultants working in UX. The fear that you may take up a project in a company that is resistant to the change that you propose, or simply that you encounter a manager who doesn’t truly understand what you are working towards.

Getting a good match between a consultant and a company is key to building a successful relationship that leaves all parties satisfied. Taking a human-centric approach has helped Conversion Talent to find the best possible placements for top talent like Christophe.

The belief in going above and beyond to create the best possible fit between clients and consultants is what has helped Conversion Talent to grow substantially over the past calendar year.

With this in mind, we sat down with Christophe to find out what convinced him to join the company and how his experience has been over the past year.

What made you pick Conversion Talent?

Finding the right mission is not easy for a consultant. In my previous job, my employer had little desire to embrace the strategic side of UX. Let’s say that they didn’t fully understand what they sell. In my view, sharing the same values and ambitions as the company that you are working for is essential.

Javier contacted me last year. We discussed my current employment situation and what my career objectives were. With that information taken into account, he offered me a tailor-made mission that fitted perfectly with the career path that I wanted to take.

The deep knowledge of my field of expertise, the receptiveness, as well as the impressive portfolio of clients convinced me that Conversion Talent was a great fit for me.

What the are main advantages of being a consultant at Conversion Talent?

Everything revolves around people. Conversion Talent recruits high-level profiles, so as a senior consultant, I continue to learn from others which is hugely valuable.

They are the only ones on the market who really understand what “Design Thinking” is and when Heidi explained the Conversion Talent value proposition to me, I was passionate and impressed.

On top of this, the transparency of my tariff negotiations was also an important distinguishing factor of being at the company.

What are the main fears people have about moving from permanent to this type of consultancy?

I think the people that are worried about moving into consultancy, have often been misinformed about the reality of this type of work.

We know that the world cannot promise us the same type of longterm professional stability that it has to previous generations. Relationships within the world of work  have fundamentally changed and therefore the model must be reinvented as the agile overtakes those who are resistant to change.

The signs are already there that the global economy has fundamentally changed with more than 50% of millennials choosing to go down the freelance route in the United States. It is therefore necessary to constantly challenge yourself and grow in this climate. To be freelance is to choose your own path.

We need to be passionate to stay motivated, I don’t think that spending 10 years in the same job surrounded by familiar colleagues is perceived as exciting by this generation. Consultancy provides me the opportunity to stay on top by working on different projects and building a richer, more complete skillset.

Having joined the company, what would be your main reason to recommend it to other professionals considering the switch? 

The first reason is the wealth of possibilities for digital transformation.

Where others sell UX, Conversion Talent are the only ones who understand that this term is a team game and not just a trade.

Based on past experience and your desire to evolve, Conversion Talent has a wealth of roles that will fit perfectly in a variety of different industries. They are disrupting the status quo of the industry, overtaking the traditional bigger agencies through the construction of a model that puts people at the core.

What is day to day life like at BNP Paribas Fortis (tasks, responsibilities)?

As a concept designer, my main task is to translate  the “value proposition” defined during the “service design” phase into a tangible concept.

It is the initial big picture, aiming to materialise how the product will address the defined user needs and how it will interact with the complex banking ecosystem and its different touch points.

I create a support mechanism for the project team and eliminate various interpretations. Although we put the user at the center of this all, the overall bank objectives are equally as important.

Here is the list of the tools I use :

  • Stakeholder map
  • Competitor insights
  • Customer analysis (personas/journey/mental map…)
  • Solution strategy (Concept Value Proposition)
  • Ecosystem & vision translation
  • Card Sorting techniques
  • Information Architecture (IA) & content goals
  • Service blueprint (Interaction Design)
  • High-Level wireframes
  • Concept User testing

How was it first going into work for a company like BNP Paribas Fortis? Did Conversion Talent give you all the information and support necessary to make a successful start?

I met Heidi who briefed me on the Conversion Talent structure, upcoming events and the existing strategy in place.

Javier knew exactly the framework and organisational chart of the department I was going to join. My colleagues on site were also very well organised, there were corresponding documents for all the questions I had as well such as:

  • How to install the printer :)
  • How to use VPN, …

On the billing side everything is clear and easy, I received a nice welcome message with an explanation and template for my time sheets. They answered my questions with exemplary speed and clarity.