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A day in the life of…
Business Analyst at A.T. Kearney
Tim Symon studied Bachelor of Commerce (Economics, Finance) at the University of Melbourne in 2017, and is now a Business Analyst at A.T. Kearney.
My alarm goes off at 6.45am every morning which is about as late as possible for me to wake up and still make it to work on time. I have a quick breakfast and a coffee before I leave for my daily walk to the train station – I put a podcast in to make the walk a bit more interesting. On the train, I will typically browse The Age and the Australian Financial Review to see what is making news for the day.
I arrive at the client at some point between 8.30 and 9.00am, depending on the train. My client is an Australian utilities player and the work I am doing is focused on operating model transformation for the client. Each morning, my team have a quick internal meeting to discuss what work needs be done and what meetings we have. Following that, we have an entire project stand-up where all the consultants plus some key client contacts gather to discuss the project’s progress and any potential roadblocks.
Following the two daily meetings, most of us go for a coffee at a local cafe. It’s a good opportunity to get some fresh air and catch up with people from other streams of work. We’re all working in a big project room, seated around the boardroom table. Although we are all sitting together, I have very little idea of what is going on for each stream. Once we are back to the room, I focus on the slides I’m building as I want my manager to review them before a client meeting we have in the early afternoon. I put my headphones in to drown out the many conversations going on in the room and make some good progress. I’m trying to capture the client’s current state and have a question that no one in my team knows the answer to – I head up two floors to see a commercial analyst from the client who I know will have the answer. I show him what I’m working on and make sure that my slides are accurate. With the slides complete, I email them to my manager to review before our discussion.
I know the afternoon is going to be very busy, so I go for lunch quickly. I’ve been trying to bring my lunch to work as much as possible – I started the year off buying lunch every day and it was costing me $60 a week! I heat up my pasta and sit in the staff kitchen with one of my friends who is also working on the project. We go down for another coffee at the end of lunch because I know I’m not going to have an opportunity to go for a mid-afternoon one.
I’m back to the project room and my manager has two minor changes I need to make to the slides I sent him. It takes me five minutes and I send them back to him. My manager then sends out the entire slide deck to everyone going to the meeting at 1.30pm. I quickly flick through the other slides I wasn’t working on so that I have some context on what’s being discussed in the meeting.
We meet with the client in a separate room from the project room. My entire team is there as well as four stakeholders from the client. The purpose of this meeting is to share some of our recent analysis as well as get agreement from the client on the direction we take with potential suppliers. My manager is leading the meeting and does the majority of the talking – when my slides are being discussed, I add some additional comments and answer a few questions the client has about my analysis. Thankfully they are happy with the slide deck we present so we can move forward with the work we are doing.
This afternoon we have a Q&A session with a potential supplier. To gauge the market, we recently sent a document for them to respond to. The document is very detailed and as a consequence, we knew they would have some questions about what sort of responses we’re looking for. My role for the meeting is to capture detailed notes of what is discussed and any actions arising from the discussion. The beauty of this job is that you very quickly learn about industries you previously had no idea about. Before starting with this client, I knew very little about their industry, but I can tell I’m picking things up now - when the conversation becomes a bit technical, I know what they are talking about. The discussion is quite fast-paced, so I have to type pretty solidly for the entire two hours. The workshop ends positively, and I have some actions to complete this evening.
We debrief the workshop as a team and agree that it went well. There isn’t too much client work for me to do for the rest of the day, so I return to our home office as I plan on going for a run. Luckily, our offices are quite close to the Botanical Gardens, so I’m able to get some fresh air and do a quick lap of the Tan. It’s really nice to stretch the legs after sitting down for the majority of the day. Once I’m back from my run, the client has already sent through some of the data we require from the workshop. I review it and see that it’s going to take a bit of time to be cleansed and formatted before sharing with the potential supplier. I order some takeaway Japanese for dinner as I am feeling quite hungry following my run. I email the workshop notes through to the two team members, so they know the actions they are in charge of.
I am finally able to start properly working on the data which has already been sent through. Once I get a good sense of the dataset, I can cleanse the data that we don’t want to share with the potential suppliers. It’s a big dataset so it takes me longer than I first thought – after some formatting to make it presentable, I send it through to my manager with some comments about the dataset’s characteristics to give him an idea what we are sending.
I quickly run through my email to make sure no one is waiting on any further work from me – looks like I’m clear, so I can head home – I book an Uber and put my headphones back in. It takes me about 20 minutes to get home by car.
I try to read a little bit but I’m feeling pretty tired, so I opt for an early night and get some much-needed sleep!
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