Life · Travel

A week in the life of a consultant

Once again, blogging on the road! This time on my way back home. This week was a super intense one with my work team in Hartford. I spent Monday-Thursday up there, and every day was filled with a variety of shenanigans.

This was my first time travelling for work (even though I work in consulting! I’ve been on various remote and local projects within my first year), so I was pretty excited for this trip and feel like I was able to get a good sense of what travelling as a consultant was like. Although there was no “typical” day, I wanted to share how things went down this week for the most part. By no means am I a super seasoned work-travel expert, so please know that this is just my own experience/opinions, and don’t reflect every firm and all consulting lifestyles!

6:30am: Wake up + personal time

Since each day was a ball of unpredictability, I used the early AM to sneak in my down time. Luckily, I’m an extreme morning person, so I started off the mornings working out on the treadmill in the hotel gym. Marathon base-building couldn’t be put on hold!

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I even got some light siteseeing in before work one day. Took a walk in Bushell Park 🙂

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Also passed by the capitol. Hartford is actually a really nice town. Very beautiful, historic buildings with still a hip downtown scene – I can see myself living there down the road!

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8:30am: breakfast + head to the office 

After my morning of me time and getting ready, it was time to roll into my firm’s Hartford office. Depending on how much time I had in the morning, I would either take time and sit down for breakfast at my hotel, or just grab something quick at Au Bon Pain (which was conveniently in the building!)

Peanut butter toast with bananas – my favorite breakfast!

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9am-12pm individual work + meetings

I shared a room with my team all week, and the mornings were usually filled with more independent work: catching up on emails, working on our individual portions of the final work-product. We would also all touch base on what was ahead for the day. It was so nice to all be together in one office for once. We’ve all been working on this project for a few weeks now, and this week we all flew/drove/rode into Hartford to be together for our “Hartford hell week.” Everything led up to a final client presentation on Thursday.

12pm-1pm working lunch

Hands down the best part of travelling for work was THE FOOD. Every bite and sip that went into my mouth was expensed to our client, and boy did I love not having to pay for a single thing this week. One consultant on my team lives in Hartford and knew all the best spots.

Lunches were usually picked up and eaten in our team room as working lunches. A few of us would put our laptops down and take a break and chat. I’m so lucky to have had an amazing, fun, supportive team for this project. We came from all over – NYC, Philly, Hartford – and clicked instantly. It made spending every minute of the week together not just bearable, but ENJOYABLE.

1pm-4pm the adrenaline stretch 

I call this the adrenaline stretch because that’s really what it was. These few hours of the day were by far the most crazy, stressful, but fulfilling. After lunch, we usually had afternoon deadlines with the client and/or our team partners, and it was definitely a hustle to get things done and sent out!

Furthermore, as the most junior person on the team, I was in charge of owning the final work product, and I had to hound down and follow up on people’s portions so that I could get everything together. It was madness!!! My heart would be racing and palms sweating as I sent almost every single thing at the very last minute of the deadline; it really was what I imagined consulting would be like. Thank god I had an awesome, approachable consultant right by my side who I asked millions of stupid questions to and who calmed me down.

4pm-4:15pm coffee break

Our team took a break in the late afternoon each day at Starbucks. It was much needed after tons of energy exhausted earlier in the day. I used the opportunity to try all the fun holiday drinks on the menu :p

4:15pm-8pm reviews and edits

The evenings would calm down a bit, as we wait for the partners to come back from meetings and finish their own review of our work. Little by little, edits and questions would come in, and me and the other consultants would work together to address them. This was the hardest part of the day because my brain was pretty fried. I wasn’t really use to working in an office so late (I try and draw the line around 6pm personally), but I knew we were all together working towards the final presentation, and I needed to be a team player!

8pm-10pm dinner

Finally, when the partners had no more questions, we all headed out together for dinner and drinks on the town! We tried all the best spots in town – Max, Republic, Feng, Dish, and more!! It was so fun to be able to order anything we wanted.

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This was one of my favorite parts of the day as we really bonded together as a team. There were especially some seriously amazing, badass women on my team that I really got close with. I even talked to one about travelling together next year!

I will say, travelling as a consultant is probably an introvert’s nightmare. Spending 24/7 with the same people…you really have to have a high tolerance for being around people, and even further, the same people! Luckily, I’m an extrovert and soaked in all the face time with my fantastic team.

10:30pm lights out

I didn’t even bother to try and stay up too much passed dinner. I was pooped!! The second I reached the hotel I just crashed each night. This allowed me to actually get a good amount of sleep each day and feel refreshed, wake up and run, and achieve some #balance.

Overall, a fantastic week on the road. I’m so happy to have been part of this journey with some wonderful people. Have some fun shenanigans planned this weekend, but also so looking forward to downtown in my apartment and catching up on life here in NYC.

Have a great weekend!! 🙂

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