Friday is supposed to be a ‘down’ day for consultants. After a hard week on the road, Friday is supposed to be spent tending to your travel expenses, wrapping up loose ends from the week, and finalizing the plan for the week ahead…The emphasis here being placed on the ‘supposed to be’ part of that sentence.
Today finds me working feverishly to manage our project budget, submit a monthly revenue forecast to our internal account team, collect input from across our North American sustainability practice on new business development, and address a number of other internal reporting responsibilities. Since next week is the end of the month and many will be on vacation, everyone’s pushing to get their internal reports done today. I also participate in three calls with different groups from my client to review yesterday’s meeting and ensure everyone’s on the same page about what’s to come and the immediate tasks we have to complete. In short, there are plenty of things to keep me busy. A good day to end the week, but one that leaves my tank on ‘Empty’.
As I look back on these posts, I’ve highlighted some of the challenges of being a management consultant. The profession has its challenges, for sure. Long hours, travel, demanding clients, etc. But, as someone who had limited corporate experience starting out, being a management consultant, at Accenture, has been an AMAZING opportunity to learn how business gets done and participate in the process of transforming how businesses operate. It’s presented the opportunity to work with some really interesting people and organizations. And, because I’ve jumped from challenge to challenge, it’s offered the opportunity to gain a breadth of experience that I don’t think I could have gained in any other profession. I’ve tackled projects on supply chain carbon emissions, biodiversity conservation, the sustainability impacts of paper, sustainable consumption, and a variety of topics in renewable energy. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel to Rio, Beijing and, London, and even had the chance to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. All things that I couldn’t have imagined ten years ago, sitting in my office at Hope College.
And with that, I think I’ll conclude my Friday and my ‘week in the life’…it’s time for foreign journal study. A lovely concept, introduced to me by my Doctoral advisor. When he first invited me to ‘foreign journals’, I was expecting a rousing discussion of the latest ornithological research published in great European journals like The Ibis and Ardea (I’m sure you have your favorites, and I admit my bias, but ornithology has the best journal titles). Happily, I learned that these discussions were based primarily on names like Heineken, Guinness and McEwan. This afternoon may be a more intensive study of Belgian titles.
As I wrap up the week and head to the subway, thanks again to Michelle for putting this together and offering the opportunity to share my week.
Cheers everyone. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!