24 hours with Anna

A typical day on the road:

Hi, I’m Anna, an Implementation consultant based in Chicago. I earned my undergraduate degree in communications and my MBA from Clarkson University, then found my way to McKinsey by way of Crane Co, then IBM, and finally Accenture. When I participate in recruiting activities for the firm, candidates always ask me what it’s like on a day-to-day basis. While no two days are the same, here’s an example of a typical day from last week.

Anna mountain biking in Sedona
Anna mountain biking in Sedona

6:00 AM

I’m a morning person and like to wake up early. The first thing I do is check my email to make sure nothing major has popped up overnight since I’m part of a global team. Usually, there’s nothing that can’t wait until I get into the office or client site, so after skimming my email, I open my audible app and download The New York Times Digest. While I listen to the headlines at 1.25X speed, I do my brief 1-2-3 daily exercise routine: 10 push-ups, 20 squats, and 30 crunches, then get ready for the day. I usually make it to the sports updates before heading out the door.

Anna's mug from Women in Ops Day
Anna's mug from Women in Ops Day

7:00 AM

My current engagement team typically meets between 7:15-7:45am in the hotel lobby to carpool to our clients’ office. I treat myself to a whole milk latte and fruit for breakfast while we assemble.

8:00 AM

My first meeting is an internal handoff from my colleague in our Knowledge Center in Gurgaon. We are working on data cleansing and clustering to build a network optimization model. He brings me up to speed on the progress he’s made consolidating customers, locations, and products, including assumptions and decisions he has made. I make a list of items to verify with the client so he can continue in his analysis.

After we check in, I turn my attention to my calendar. I scan the day and week ahead, set up meetings, block off and move around personal time, etc. Next, I check my to do list and re-prioritize a few things before diving in.

Mid-morning snacks
Mid-morning snacks

10:00 AM

By mid-morning I’ve finished my latte, and I get up for a brief walk to stretch my legs and wash my coffee mug. As I walk, I have a snack to hold me over until lunch. Lately my favorites have been Peter Rabbit Strawberry & Banana puree (yes – the stuff two-year-olds eat) and Trail Butter’s dark chocolate and coffee nut butter blend. Snacks are a vital part of any team room experience.

12:00 PM

One of our team norms is to avoid skipping lunch or eating it late, especially since the cafeteria closes at 1pm. I’m happy to see there’s a pasta station today, and I get a sautee of penne, veggies, and sausage, coated in a mix of alfredo and marinara sauces. We usually sit in the cafeteria and eat together. It’s a nice way to get to know each other beyond the work. Sometimes clients join us, too. Talk wanders over weekend plans/activities, hobbies, and public health.

2:00 PM

My full team of clients and colleagues check in as we do once or twice a week. We provide an update on previous action items, highlight risks and discuss mitigation plans, and assign actions to keep progressing. I share an update on our data cleansing activities, and while I’m explaining recent assumptions and decisions, we realize there has been a misunderstanding on scope. A decision is made to include several additional product lines to the optimization model. This means I’ll need to work with the data scientists to pull additional master and transactional data for the model. Luckily, we caught this early on and should be able to include the additional data without any issues.

6:00 PM

The team wraps up at the office and heads out to a team dinner at a local restaurant. A few of us have recently been skiing, and talk turns to techniques to master skiing in hip deep powder. I am a beginner and didn’t realize hip deep powder was actually a thing. Having struggled to keep my balance in shin deep powder, I’m excited to apply my new knowledge: lean back unless you’re turning.

8:00 PM

Back in my hotel room, I open Spotify and shuffle one of my favorite playlists for evening work: Japanese Lofi HipHop. It helps me to focus and relax. I write up a hand off note to my colleage in Gurgaon, who will be coming online in a few hours. If there are updates to share, I’ll set up a call for us to talk live, but today an email will work. Next, I spend a few minutes looking at what’s coming tomorrow, my objectives for the week and the next month, and make an initial list of priorities for the next day.

9:00 PM

Time to start winding down. I open Duo on my phone and spend 20 minutes on Spanish lessons, extending my daily streak to 63 days! Next, I read a bit of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, which sparked my interest after visiting the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam a few weeks ago.

Duo app
Duo app

10:00 PM

My goal is to be asleep between 10-11pm. If I must work late due to a big deliverable, I may end up going to sleep closer to midnight, but if the opportunity to sleep is there, I’ll take it. My day concludes with a 10-minute meditation to slow my mind, and I peacefully drift asleep.

Never miss another post

Receive new stories once a week directly in your inbox