My alarm goes off telling me to get up early and get a workout in. Way too optimistic I think as I hit snooze and go back to sleep.
I come to my senses and realise its Friday. After a quick shower, I race off to the station to catch a train to Barangaroo. A 25-minute train is a perfect opportunity to catch up on some YouTube videos and check emails from my phone.
I come into the office and launch into a conversation with the other consultants. Typically, we work on client site Monday to Thursday but always make an effort to work in the home office on Fridays so it’s a good opportunity to catch up with friends.
I grab a desk with views of the bay (we hot desk) and start to set up. After I have all the necessities for a productive day (coffee, a piece of fruit to snack on, cool water) I quickly scan my calendar, emails and notes to get myself back into the rhythm. Then the earphones go in and I get to work.
I start by cleaning up the inbox and shooting off any quick responses I can. Its recruiting season so I share my thoughts with HR on new ideas and marketing before diving into project work.
A 15-minute stand-up as the team aligns on goals and direction for the day. Here we tend to share our progress, objectives, thoughts and a few funny anecdotes before heading back to work.
The project manager fills us in on a call she had with the client on the previous day. Our client is happy with our recent results and has given us more data for further analysis. From the discussion, our manager has realised that we should spend more time validating our current recommendations before we begin to look at other areas. The manager asks me to put my work on hold and turn my attention to validating the data that these recommendations are based on.
Our project is focused on analysing different data sets from a leading Australian telecommunications operator and looking at how each of them can be used to improve operations.
As part of this project, we’ve developed a model that predicts how much revenue and cost each customer generates based. Based on our discussions with the client I’ve been asked to perform additional validations on the model by testing it on a new data set and checking that results make sense.
This is primarily a technical task so I fire up a python IDE, pull the latest iteration of our code base and start programming. The rest of my team is working on slides to communicate and explain the work we’ve been doing.
Generally, consultants at Oliver Wyman don’t play such a hands-on technical role. However, the nature of the industry is changing in that advanced data and analytical methods are increasingly necessary to solve the problems our clients face. So, because I was interested, I put my hand up for Python training locally as well as advanced stats training in Singapore and built up the skills to work on technically demanding projects like this one.
Is it too early for another coffee? Definitely but I’ve become somewhat addicted and enjoy them too much.
A friend taps me on the shoulder and lets me know they’re going for lunch.
Great! I’ve been hungry for breakfast!
I start running some code that will train and run a machine learning model (it will take around 30 minutes to finish) and head to the kitchen.
I heat up my meal and join my colleagues on our regular table. We’ll all be heading to Bali for our annual offsite next week, so the talk is on which office will win the Asia wide soccer comp, what costumes people will be wearing to the themed dinner and when our flights are. I also catch up with Hugh and Bella who are back from their project in Brisbane and are chatting about how they just made their flights home. They’re working on assessing the governance structure for a large mining company and fill me in on the details. I finish up eating – time for a game of foosball?
Back to the desk and back to work.
I chat with my team over Slack and get their feedback. It's good to get feedback from the more experienced members of the team who have done similar work in the past. They share some ideas and recommendations from their experiences and point out common pitfalls.
To communicate our results and recommendations to the client I put together some slides describing the methodology we’ve chosen, the assumptions we’ve made and the results our model has produced. It's important to communicate clearly so I ask the team for ideas on how to present these concepts in an easily understandable way. We end up grabbing a room that happens to be free and have an impromptu whiteboarding session where we brainstorm different ideas and ways of presenting the problem and our results. Two of the partners on the project join us in this whiteboarding session and add their thoughts from previous projects and from what they’ve seen work well in the past
The afternoon slump is here. I head to the kitchen for another coffee and shoot off a message to my team over Slack inviting them to go on an afternoon walk outside. They agree and we enjoy the warm weather along Barangaroo’s “Wulugul Walk”.
Back at my desk and I think about what I’d like to get done by EOD. My team has got back to me with some feedback on my slides which I incorporate into my work before circulating to the rest of the team.
Hungry and tempted at digging into the snack cupboard (Snickers are a weakness for me and I can see a jar of lolly snakes from my desk). Thankfully I brought a protein shake to work so I enjoy my healthy snack before getting back to work.
I shoot off some emails to a colleague on a lunch the two of us are organising to welcome in the new starters. We toy with the idea of chicken wings before deciding to go with pho at one of the nearby venues.
At 5 o’clock the Partners chase us to head to the kitchen and indulge in some drinks and food. Sometimes we work late nights, but we always make sure to stop early on Fridays and unwind for the week. This week its themed towards St. Patrick's day so I help set up decorations and props before the celebrations get underway.
Over the happy hour I catch up with Riley who is back from a project in Thailand and he fills me in on how he’s spent his weekends travelling the region on a motorbike.
The party is winding up and people are heading home. I say my goodbyes, help with cleaning up, lock my laptop away and make the spontaneous decision to head out for dinner with some other consultants (my class-mates that I started with). We make a point of hanging out once a month, so we can fill each other in on our projects and keep in touch even when some of us are off travelling for work. It’s been roughly a year since we all started so it’s fun to look back and reflect on all the exciting things we’ve done.
Train home and I squeeze in a few more YouTube videos.
I get home and chat with my girlfriend about weekend plans whilst Netflix plays in the background. I fall asleep peacefully knowing that an alarm won’t be waking me up in the morning.