My day physically varies depending on if I am onsite or working in my home office, but as a business consultant for CTG's Diversified Industrials practice, every day requires me to gather information, analyze it, and determine how it will best support my clients in solving problems. For all intents and purposes, I am a translator for my clients. My task is to take the information that is second nature to my clients, then analyze and translate that information into the business strategy required to accomplish their project goals.
On the days that I work onsite, primarily with Refining clients, I arrive at the plant between 6 and 7 a.m. to clear security. For sites where I don’t hold an access badge, security calls my client to escort me through the plant. My client base spans the country, so I spend about 50 percent of the time on the road commuting from my home in Idaho to Washington (state), Indiana, California, Texas, Ohio, Alabama, and even Mississippi. Refineries aren’t always in the nicest places, but I always enjoy being in the plant.
When I am onsite, my clients prioritize our work above their normal daily duties, giving me their focus so they can make the most of the time we have together. Since a lot of consulting involves structured problem solving and plan development or execution, I spend most of my day on information gathering through interviews or meetings. Before I arrive, I always prepare talking points, objectives, a schedule, and agenda to drive what we need to accomplish, making sure I have access to the people with whom we need to work. Preparation really is critical to being effective on the road. I work to communicate effectively with the people I interview so they show up prepared, knowing what we need to discuss, and that I know what I’m listening for as we talk through their piece of the puzzle.
In between meetings, I take some time out for other clients. Sometimes it’s a balancing act between providing my clients with the same focus they’re giving me, but also keeping the momentum going on initiatives at other sites. I normally try to keep “other client” time to before or after core hours or handle it during lunch.
When the day wraps up, I head back to the hotel (usually after stopping at a Panera Bread if I can find one in the area) for a workout, preferably outside if the weather cooperates, so that I can decompress from the day. Since I have to either talk or listen all day, I relish the quiet time where I can let the dots start to connect from all that I’ve learned. After a full week spent on the road, it can feel like information overload, so I’m always grateful to do analysis from my home office, where I can sort through details and form them into something that helps my client get their desired result.
I like working for CTG because my job requires a diverse set of skills to deliver effectively, and my CTG teammates have always risen to the challenge. We have a ton of depth as a company, and a great structure with our methodology site, to help us set a standard in quality delivery. In the 16 years that I’ve worked at CTG, I can honestly say no two days, just like no two projects, have ever been the same.