My alarm goes off - I consider slipping back into another 10 minutes of sleep, but reason gets the best of me and I decide to get up.
I start my typical morning routine – shower (some Drake in the background), get dressed (blue suit today), have breakfast (a bowl of Just Right…so good) and out the door to the train station.
I love this time of the day – I have 30 minutes to myself to listen to a podcast on the train before getting to the office.
As consultants, we usually work Monday-Thursday at the client’s office, with Fridays back at our home office. Given today is a Wednesday, I arrive at my client’s office in the Melbourne CBD.
Our client is a large financial services player and we’re currently helping it with a customer service strategy. We have a boardroom booked out for our project team, which is a mix of Kearney and client staff. I say hi to everyone, get set up at my work station and start looking over some emails.
We kick off with an agile daily standup to plan the team’s priorities for the day. This is always a great opportunity to speak up in front of the project leadership and demonstrate effective management of my workload. I try to keep my update short, sharp and to the point (so as not to incur the wrath of the scrum master).
Later this afternoon, we have a key workshop with a range of client stakeholders from across the business. Most of our team discussion is centred on the best way to structure the meeting and prepare the supporting material.
In addition to this, I’m also working on a pack exploring the client’s channel strategy. Given that the afternoon will be quite busy, I stick in my headphones, hunker down and concentrate on progressing some slides for the channel strategy pack.
Coffee time. The whole team ambles down to our favourite local café. I’ve recently introduced one of the Sydney-based consultants to the concept of a “Magic” coffee, and we have missed a day of coffee since.
This is a great chance to connect with the other juniors on the project. With consultants coming from all over the world (I’ve worked with people from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the US, India, Ukraine, Italy, Russia…you name it), I love getting to know people and learning about their journey to consulting.
I ignore the barista's sly remark about “Magic Mike”, grab my coffee and head back to the office.
Things are starting to heat up. I have a number of meetings lined up with clients in order to progress the pack I’m working on. I spend the next hour bouncing between conference rooms along with the Kearney Associate on my workstream.
I really enjoy these client sessions. It gives me an opportunity to understand the tangible issues affecting our clients and to develop genuine human connections. I have a list of questions prepared and take notes mid-meeting (a skill I’m still trying to improve).
Once the client meetings are finished, the Associate and I head back to the team room to distil insights from what we’ve learned. I grab a whiteboard marker and sketch out how I’m thinking about the problem. We discuss the implications and ideate on the next steps to progress towards an answer.
This is another great part of the job. I love using creativity and logic to try and solve ambiguous problems. Despite being a junior, I’m always encouraged to speak up in these sessions and advance an opinion. This can often be scary with senior leadership in the room, but it gives you a chance to demonstrate a good grasp of the problem and add immediate value.
I check the scores of the latest NBA game. The Lakers are up, and so is my fantasy team. Good times.
Lunchtime. I dream about a poke bowl but alas, I made a responsible decision and brought my own lunch. Chicken breast, sweet potato, brussel sprouts…#cleaneating. I start questioning all of my life choices to that point.
I’m back in the team room. All focus is on the upcoming workshop this afternoon. We have another team huddle and decide that everyone will be split into smaller “break out” groups. We align on which Kearney and client people will be in each group and I start thinking about how I will run the presentation within my own group.
There are still a few slides that need to be made, so I divide the work with another junior and get cracking.
The workshop begins. It’s a little bit intimidating having so many client stakeholders in the room. We break into our groups, and I’m surprised to find I know most of the clients already after having worked with them on my other workstream. I help one of the partners moderate the session, collating ideas from each of the stakeholders on sticky notes up on the wall. The energy is high and by the time the session ends, we have some great content to use for the remainder of the project.
We have a team debrief session after the workshop. I then spend some time refining my notes from the session, following which I send an update email summarising the key points to the rest of the team.
Gym time. The team is typically really accommodating when it comes to activities outside of work. I head down to the Grand Hyatt (the firm provides memberships there) and get a solid session in.
After getting home and having some dinner, I jump back online to see if anything urgent has come through. There are a few emails amongst the broader team discussing the progress made that day. I spend a bit of time thinking about the implications of this on my own work. I check in with the team one final time, but nothing else needed for tonight.
I meditate for 15 mins, before jumping into bed and onto Tik Tok for a bit (yes, I’m over 18 and no, I’m not embarrassed).
I’m very excited for some sleep and to see what lies ahead tomorrow!