Management Consultant: A Day in the Life

It's 8 a.m. and you're airborne, off to visit a new client, a large medical center.

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It's 8 a.m. and you're airborne, off to visit a new client, a large medical center. Your project is to develop a plan for improving the center's supply chain, with heavy emphasis on continuity—ensuring that immediately after a natural disaster or terrorist attack, supplies will keep coming. On the plane, you review notes that the project leader gave you about the client: its background, needs, wants, and financial resources. You then call up a database of your firm's info on supply chain management. When you first meet with the client, you're pedaling hard: As a 20-something with no experience in their business, you're trying to seem as confident, knowledgeable, and open-minded as possible. You meet with people all day, returning to your hotel at 7 p.m. You start cranking out a piece of the proposal and work until 11, since the client is expecting something in the morning.