August 25, 2014 by texasbbacareerservices
BBA Alumni Experience: Business Consultant with Alvarez & Marsal
Hafsa Munshi, UT Austin – McCombs Alumni
Major: Business Honors, Finance
Grad Year: May 2012
I’m usually slow to move on Monday mornings, so I wake up early to get a jumpstart on the week. I am fortunate enough to be working at a local client 20 minutes away from home—avoiding a long commute, car rentals, or the Monday morning airport frenzy. I am out the door by 7AM and make my drive to work. Of course, I also stop for my daily dose of Starbucks. The baristas have now memorized my regular order.
I get settled at my client site by 8 AM. I setup my laptop in the conference room the client has reserved for our project team. We are working on implementing a financial consolidation tool for a global distributor that will help the multitude of operating companies and corporate management understand their businesses better. This morning, we are conducting a training session for the tool’s pilot users. The entire team was “all-hands-on-deck” to help the project managers ensure that the session goes smoothly. I also spend some time this morning catching up on emails and planning my week. I enjoy having the flexibility of managing my own schedule.
We have our weekly morning team meeting to discuss our “game plan” for the week. This is a great time to understand what everyone is working on and how my work fits into the overall project. The project manager sets the overall prioritization of tasks for the week and makes sure this is in line with the team’s expectations. We also discuss any specific issues we might need help with from the rest of the team.
At 11 AM, I walk over to the next building for our client’s quarterly town hall meeting. I take this opportunity to learn about the client, its growth strategy, financial results, and major developments. After the CEO gives his update, I listen to the rest of the executive team answer questions from the floor.
I love getting out for lunch as it provides a nice break from work in the middle of the day. Today I have a feedback lunch scheduled with my performance manager. Since she is working at a different client site, I meet her towards the center of town. We spend some time catching-up and discuss how my current project is going and progress on my yearly goals. She gives me feedback and advice for how I can end the year on a successful note.
After lunch, I start preparing for my next meeting. We are meeting with the finance team to discuss changes to the management reports. I think about the report mock-ups we have developed. How can I display the data in a meaningful format? What else might they need that wasn’t specifically mentioned? At the meeting, we discuss how the reports need to look so that they will be useful to executive management. I jot down my thoughts and any action items
Next, I meet with our subcontractor that is working on the technical development of the tool. I run down though my running list of bug fixes and enhancements that need to be completed by today. Together, we figure out how we can best use the tool to enhance the end-product for our client. I move to the lounge outside the conference room for a change of scenery. I want to make sure I address any outstanding urgent items and tie up any loose ends before I head out at 6 PM.
After I leave work, I head straight to the gym for my evening workout. Our team formed a workout challenge using our FitBit, and I want to make sure I don’t get last in this week’s challenge! I work up an appetite and meet friends for dinner at the new Torchy’s Tacos in town. It’s nice to be able to still eat at native Austin restaurants. I then head home and unwind from my busy day!
If you’re looking for a place to jumpstart your career, where the workdays are anything but “typical”, Alvarez & Marsal may be the fit for you.