© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Management Consultant

Typical Day

Geeky McGeekerson's alarm goes off at 6:30, and never one to sleep longer than he must, he leaps out of his hotel bed, ready to start his day. He is in a hotel because that’s really where he lives. He has a home—a nice one, in fact. But he's almost "never" there. Geeky splits Sunday afternoon to get on a plane (business class) to fly to a client's locale, and after kissing his third wife good-bye, reminds her that he will be back in a quick four days. Sadly, he knows his hotel bell hop Bob, a former hedge fund manager, better than he does his better half.

Geeky checks his phone for messages (and checks for the time: Geeky is awake so he is on the clock and billing his time to a client), and replies to a few emails. He grabs a cab with comrades from the office who lead similar lives—six divorces among them—and zips to the client’s office. Once settled into the conference room, the three of them begin putting the final touches on their PowerPoint presentation. In it, they demonstrate which departments should be downsized and why, and which employees within those departments are most expendable. Sounds harsh but this ugly task is what the client hired them to do.

After that process has finished, it is time (client-billed time) to create a financial model for the optimal poundage of steel that Geeky's favorite lug-nut producer should buy each month. Geeky will spend an hour writing 500 lines of raw data input nodes so that he can find the asymptote. Geeky loves this stuff; to him, serving clients in this manner is more like doing puzzles than work. He is a great consultant. 

Before the 2:00 meeting, Geeky returns to lunch with the other members of his team (kind of like a pre-meeting meeting) to run through their rough script and shore up any problems with the presentation. The client meeting and presentation go smoothly. They win the business. Their group will be paid $8 million for about 22 weeks of work for nine people: Geeky will be the engagement manager; he will have two older but junior managers "managing" and then a half dozen few-years-out-of-biz-school Excel and Powerpoint jockeys doing most of the core work which is really just plugging numbers into pre-set models that Geeky's consulting firm has created and edited over decades.

In the cab back to the hotel, he calls another senior partner to inform her of the win; it is a big victory as this was a hotly contested deal. The firm will make $7 million in operating profits (before bonuses) and all are delighted. Geeky is The Man.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement