– Anjali, a senior associate based in Dubai, shares her typical day.
6:45am: Wake up in my own apartment – I’m staffed in Dubai. I eat breakfast, work out, and rush downstairs to find a cab. Highway traffic builds up quickly so I try to leave early in the morning.
8:30am: Arrive at the client site. Check in with my engagement manager and discuss our plan for the day. We review what my manager calls a ‘victories of the week’ chart, which tracks the things we need to complete by Friday and schedule important meetings for the day, including a problem solving session to conduct a new analysis our client requested yesterday.
10:00am: Conduct a workshop with the client’s sales force to discuss their pain points and introduce the tools we recommend.
11:00am: Synthesize the workshop, writing out the key points on paper and sending them to our visual graphics specialists who will transform them into a document we can share back with the clients. I need to take this information with me when I meet with our McKinsey project leaders in a couple of hours, so it’s a fast turn-around.
Noon: Lunchtime. Three McKinsey directors and two partners meet us at the nearby Lebanese restaurant. We have an unusually large number of leaders on the team because this is the first time we’ve served this client.
1:00pm: Team problem solving time. Visual graphics has sent back my now-beautiful PowerPoint slides which help our team have a productive discussion about the sales workshop and its implications for our effectiveness program. We decide to make changes to the tools we’re introducing, so I will need to set up time to talk to some experts quickly because we are set to launch them next week.
3:00pm: Time for a weekly update with the CEO. He likes to meet with us frequently to stay abreast of our findings and progress. I again share the sales team’s feedback from our workshop. We spend time talking about delays with commission payouts (which are taking two months to release) and propose a few solutions that leave him smiling.
6:00pm: Coffee break. We all walk down to the local Starbucks to get our caffeine kick. It’s refreshing to sit outdoors in this mild Dubai winter. Then back to the team room to complete our remaining tasks, discuss our plan for tomorrow, and issue the data and expert interview requests.
8:30pm: Dinner. We’re taking our client’s newly appointed CEO to this great Japanese place. He discusses his vision for the company with us and says he feels more confident that his revenue target will be achieved now that we are working with his team. It’s exciting to be a part of something so meaningful – and really just all in a day’s work at McKinsey!