Real Life of Management Consultants

One of the best sources of information about management consulting industry and careers is the individuals in them day-in and day-out.

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A Day in the Life of a Management Consultant from Campbell Alliance

Written by Jenni Crowley, PhD, a Senior Consultant with Campbell Alliance, a leading management consulting firm specializing in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Prior to joining the San Francisco office of Campbell Alliance, Jenni earned her PhD in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008.

An important question to ask when considering a career as a management consultant is: “what is a typical day in the life like?”? The job is fast-paced and ever-changing, so there is no “typical day”, but it’s important to understand the intensity of the job.? PhD students and post-docs work long hours, but the mental and physical stamina required in management consulting often create a “culture shock” to new PhD hires.

As stated above, there is no “typical day”, as the daily demands and needs of clients and senior management are based on current business needs, schedules, and your role on the project.? I’ve based the schedule below on a medium-intensity day when I was involved with three separate client projects.

6:00 AM:
???? Wake up and respond to overnight e-mails from clients and team
???? Download and save edited oncology market assessment PowerPoint presentation from senior manager for 10:00 AM client meeting
???? Shower and dress for client meetings (business casual with tailored jacket/blazer)

7:00 AM:
???? Travel to office
???? Scroll through iPod playlist for the perfect song to fit my mood of the morning, usually a dance track with catchy lyrics
???? Mentally prepare for a fast-paced day, focusing on today’s opportunities to 1) impress my clients and senior management and 2) continue to professionally develop my junior team members

7:30 AM:
???? Check voicemail on office extension and return calls, if needed
???? Consume caffeinated beverage and briefly socialize with office mates
? ?? Briefly meet with junior team members to answer questions and assure client-facing documents (e.g., PowerPoint presentation, Excel model) will be ready for today’s 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM meetings.

8:00 AM:
???? Meet with senior management to discuss scope and staffing for a new client project
???? Take careful notes regarding action items and next steps for this project and send these items in a e-mail to all attendees immediately following meeting

9:00 AM:
???? Work with administrative assistants to set up upcoming client meetings, assuring all logistics (e.g., meeting purpose, date/time, attendees, driving directions, room numbers, teleconference information) are finalized

9:30 AM:
???? Update PowerPoint presentation based on senior manager’s comments, review content, and print materials for 10:00 AM client meeting
???? Travel to client meeting

campbell alliance consulting company10:00 AM:
???? Meet with client team #1 to discuss preliminary research findings for market assessment of a new oncology product and plan next phase of project
???? Take careful notes regarding action items and next steps for this project and send these items in a e-mail to client immediately following meeting

11:30 AM:
???? Respond to e-mails and scroll through today’s healthcare industry headlines
???? Respond to junior team member questions regarding 1:00 PM client meeting
???? Travel back to office

12:00 PM:
???? Grab a quick lunch with team and discuss approach/ roles and responsibilities for 1:00 PM client meeting

12:30 PM:
???? Review PowerPoint presentation with junior team members, make modifications, review content, and print materials
???? Travel to client meeting

1:00 PM:
???? Present primary research from physician interviews to client team #2
???? Field questions/comments from client team #2
? ?? Assist junior team members with note-taking and capture action items/next steps

2:30 PM:
???? Call junior team member to assure Excel model and documents are ready for presentation to client team #3
???? Travel to next client meeting

3:00 PM:
???? Present and demonstrate Excel-based forecast model to client team #3
???? Field questions/comments from client team #3
???? Assist junior team members with note-taking and capture action items/next steps
???? Travel back to office and prepare for primary market research interview with physician

4:30 PM:
???? Interview physician via teleconference and take copious notes for use in data analysis

5:30 PM:
???? Conclude interview and jot down any last thoughts/comments for future reference
???? Send/respond to client and team member e-mails
???? Confirm tomorrow’s schedule and clarify any logistical questions

6:00 PM:
???? Meet with junior team members from client meeting #2 and #3 to discuss changes to documents and next steps
???? Divide tasks among team members and agree on deadlines

7:00 PM:
???? Travel home
???? Grab dinner and send/respond to e-mails

8:00 PM:
???? Update project documents and e-mail to team members, as appropriate

10:00 PM:
???? Prepare for tomorrow’s meetings/project deadlines
???? Send/respond to personal e-mails

11:00 PM:
???? Go to bed

Source: Bio Career Center

6 Responses to Real Life of Management Consultants

  1. Peer A. Swaray says:

    Good Day Ms. Crowley, Your routine is quite useful and informative. At my age,( retired), I still enjoy learning the things I could have many decades ago. Thank you so much..

  2. ron blankenhorn says:

    and we love every moment

  3. dave says:

    you’re lovely

  4. Johnny says:

    “Consume caffeinated beverage and briefly socialize with office mates”. Brilliant.

  5. Tamara says:

    Also, you mentioned travel to and from the Office – it looks like it takes approximately 30 minutes.
    Also, what are the travel requirements to see clients? Are most clients local or do you fly often to make site visits.
    What areas would you recommend to live for a reasonable commute to the airport and to the office.

  6. Tamara says:

    What about weekends? Are your weekends free?
    Also, what is the culture like?
    Is it collaborative?
    Are people generally prfessional and respectful to each other?

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