by Alessia Saggio

As many of you may know, I’ve been working at B12 Consulting in Louvain-la-neuve since the end of September, and my project is about to come to an end. I still have two weeks to refine and close everything, but after spending two months and a half here, in the company of my very nice colleagues, I feel like I can give you an exhaustive report about my feelings and impressions on my work and the consulting work in general. So here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • to deal with Anaconda and Python libraries for the treatment and analysis of huge files;
  • the world of clustering algorithms and how to apply them to real datasets;
  • neural networks and unsupervised deep learning, how to use it and how to interpret the output (b.t.w. this is really interesting, I will maybe dedicate a post on it in the future).

But I’ve also learned:

  • how a consulting works: lots of clients to satisfy and fixed deadlines. This could cause the work to be frenetic, but it’s also a way to get yourself encouraged and speed up the work;
  • to keep the confidentiality. This is one of the landmarks in the consulting world: in the interest of the client (but also of the Consulting) you are not allowed to name the client or explain people what you are doing in detail;
  • the values of a consulting. The clients interests are always ahead of yours; and if you feel that something in your project is not going well, you are obliged to dissent;
  • a bit of French;
  • to deal with clients: have the first meeting with them, receive the data they provide you, understand their needs and start working; as soon as you have some results, schedule a first meeting to present them to the clients, listen and understand their feedback, continue your work, schedule a second meeting to show them your new results… and so on, until both the client and you (and your boss!) are satisfied with that and the project is close.

But overall, these months proved that being a physicist doesn’t necessarily mean doing research about physics. You can do plenty of unrelated things that require all the skills that a physicist has acquired during his studies and training. In other words… being a physicist is kind of cool! 😉