It is Wednesday and we are half done with the work week – woohoo! Today I thought I’d write a more personal piece, because I recently had my one year work anniversary : ) I actually spent the entire day at the airport, and I will explain more about it, so read on!
I work for a consulting firm as a data scientist. Basically, my job is to analyze data and present models and findings to the client. But what does it mean to work for a consulting firm? To be honest, I still find it quite complicated to explain to people, but I will do my best!
The first thing to note is that when you ask a consultant what it’s like to be a consultant, the answer is pretty much always “it depends,” and as annoying as that answer is, it is very true. I will only talk about my experience, but depending in the firm, the client, the project, and your skills, your experience will be different.
I have been on several different projects at different clients since I started a little over a year ago. I have also been on the bench, which means that I am not on a client-facing project and am doing internal work. What I like most about consulting is that I am able to experience different industries and analyze different types of data. Every client is different, so there is always a learning curve at the beginning, but it’s the challenge that makes it fun. Companies often hire a consulting firm because they only need the skillset for a certain period of time or the consulting firm has a lot more experience in doing something that they need help with. On a previous traveling project, I was there for three months to do an analysis and that was all they needed me for, because they did not have employees with my skillset.
My current client is in Washington DC, which is why I am here Monday to Thursday, and back in New York City (or elsewhere) on the weekends. Since I fly to DC every week, I have the choice to either go back home to NYC on the weekends or go somewhere else. Your ability to travel will depend on the budget for the project, but for me, as long as the flight cost is less than the flight cost to go back to NYC, I can pretty much fly anywhere I want to. And that is a surprisingly amount of places, because a round trip ticket between DC and NYC is not cheap. When I go back to NYC, I work from home on Friday and catch up with friends in the city. When I travel elsewhere, I work from a café on Friday and start my weekend getaway in the evening. That is why I am able to travel so often! Click here to see my travel diaries.
I have also worked on projects remotely, which means I work from home. Click here to read the blog post about my work from home morning routine. When I work on a remote project, I do all my work through conference calls and my laptop. I do not enjoy these as much, because there is less interaction with the client, and most of the time they do not even know what I look like. I definitely enjoy having meetings in person, plus there is a chance that I can travel!
There are upsides and downside of traveling. The downside is that I spend a lot of time at airports and commuting to and from airports. On my work anniversary, my flight was cancelled then delayed then cancelled then delayed, which is why I spent the entire day at the airport. Now onto the upsides!
Since I travel so much, I have accumulated a good amount of miles and hotel points. I pretty much always fly Delta and stay at a Starwood hotel. One of the first things I learned at work is to stick with one airline and one hotel chain to maximize the benefits. Delta and Starwood hotels have a partnership, Starwood and Marriot are under the same company now, and Starwood is also linked with Uber. I believe Delta is also linked with AirBnB. Basically, since the companies I use are all linked together, it makes my miles and points accounts very happy : )
Traveling every week is a lot of fun, but it is also very tiring. People often ask me – have you seen the White House yet? How do you like DC? I have not seen the White House yet and I have not explored any part of DC either. When I travel for work, it really is for work. I go to work early in the morning, stay at the client site for the entire day and often stay until after 9pm or until my brain is fried, go back to the hotel, sleep, and then same thing the next day. I plan on staying here for a weekend in the fall to finally explore the city!
Of course I included an outfit in this post! I will be doing a workwear OOTW soon.
Trouve pink top (also available in blue)
Express black pants (on sale! available in four colors, I am 5’5” wearing petite)
I hope that I did a decent job explaining what it is like to be a consultant. This post was written solely based on my experience and I know that everyone’s experience is different. After writing this post, it made me want to write a more detailed post about “Day in the Life of a Consultant”. Comment below if I should (update: click here for my post about Day in the Life of a Consultant)! I hope you enjoyed today’s more personal post, and thank you so much for stopping by : )