A day in the life of a consultant – Strategy Safari

I am embracing this exciting culture of leaving the confines of personal domain knowledge to build concrete roads to an undefined destination.


Wake up. Skim through social media to catch a glimpse of what’s up. Get ready for the big day ahead.


Head towards office. Go over the day’s plans and deliverables along the way.


Prepare for a series of meetings at an INGO for Project 1. Gather my thoughts and docs, and head out with my teammates. Exchange wild ideas about the impossible Project 2 along the way.


Reach the INGO office. We are here to interview directors and mid-level management for preparation of their strategy paper.


Start the first interview with the Director and Deputy Director of a functional department. Ask them routine questions as per lines of enquiry and jot down notes on my laptop. The conversation soon spirals out of structure as we dig in to unearth grass-roots level insights.


Sit with the Country Director. Learn about her perspectives while discussing suggestions from our end. Together we cover considerable ground while delving into the realm of unknown unknowns.


Interview with the Director of another department. The narrative is more quantifiable this time around. We go back and forth on figures, their sources and interpretations. Old hypotheses are confirmed and rejected in the face of new findings. I make notes to review certain documents later on.


We have lunch at the INGO’s canteen with the employees against the backdrop of their palpable esprit de corps.


Final round of meeting with a Deputy Director and two mid-level managers of a third department. We discuss a wide range of topics about the evolving development landscape. I continue to gather notes, and play a relaxed role in this conversation as I learn about domains unfamiliar to me.


We head out for our office and synthesize our takeaways from the meetings. At the office, I map out our learnings against requirements, then send off an email to the INGO with information requests and suggestions for scheduling subsequent meetings.


I sit with the team to share feedback on our findings of Project 3. Previously we had done extensive field-level research for this Government project headed by a major Development Organization. At the aftermath of data analysis, we discuss how to structure the report and sketch out the outline of our findings.


Prepare for an interview to be published on our annual Insights Series. I am to meet with the Senior Director of a major retail chain of Bangladesh. The interview is meant to serve as a window into the strategic mindset of a successful entrepreneur.


I send the article to my team for review. Then we sit together for the day end deliverable meeting. We discuss the progress. We plan for tomorrow. I take the meeting notes.


Reach the residence of the entrepreneur. Casually converse about her life and work experiences over tea and learn a lot about her strategic thinking throughout the process. Thank her for her granting the opportunity for an interview and leave for home.


Reach home. Reflect on all the experiences from the exciting day. Add components to my to-do list. Review deliverables for the next day and check my email. Proceed to watch the latest episode of a satirical web-series as I unwind before yet another dynamic day!