Olivia McAllister

After having completed an internship with White Space Strategy the year before, there was no hesitation in accepting their offer of a full-time position upon graduating. I was initially attracted to White Space because of their collaborative, open approach to strategy consulting, and the way in which the team work together creatively to solve complex problems for their clients. I felt excited at the prospect of being part of such a positive, encouraging team where I’d be given responsibility from day one. During the interview process the innovative ethos within the team became more apparent and I knew White Space would be the perfect place to gain unparalleled experience and skills in strategy consulting.

8:45 – I arrive at the office and check and reply to any emails I’ve received over the weekend. These can range from one of our MDs informing us of a successful proposal win, to our Office Manager organising a Bake-Off sweepstake – all equally important! I look over my diary and make a note of any meetings or panel calls I’m taking part in today and organise the rest of my time around them.

9:00 – All office staff attend the Monday morning meeting to make sure everyone is up to speed on our aims for the following week. Some exciting new proposals are discussed, one of which I’m involved in with some preliminary research.

9:20 – I have a call booked in with an industry expert from Germany. The call is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable insight into changing customer needs for a pro bono project that has just kicked-off. It’s exciting to chat to such passionate people on a daily basis, and is one of my favourite parts of my role as a BA at White Space.

10:20 – I prefer to write up my call notes immediately after I finish the call – it really helps me to consolidate the different issues discussed, ensuring I fully understand the points raised and how we can apply them to the white paper.

10:45 – Late morning, I spend some time on contact generation, which involves researching potentially interesting people and companies that we may approach for future projects.

12:00 – Today was Office Lunch – we ordered some food into the office and all ate together…great for escaping the rainy weather outside, and a perfect way to regroup and catch up on everyone’s weekend. Team lunches, as well as the Friday evening get-together in the bar and weekly yoga class, really strengthen the already superb office culture at White Space.

13:00 – Armed with a coffee and some homemade cake from the snack table, I check my LinkedIn and reply to any industry experts who have got back to me over the weekend. There’s been a strong response and I arrange three more calls for later in the week!

13:15 – I get started on some proposal work I’ve been assigned, which in these early stages is mainly desktop research that will support decisions of the senior management team later in the process. A particularly stimulating aspect of working at White Space is the chance to be involved in every stage of a project, from beginning to end. The in-depth training I received at the beginning of my internship means I know exactly how and where to start looking to get the most out of preliminary desktop research.

14:15 – I attend a meeting with the team of one of the projects I’m working on to discuss last week’s progress and to set out our plans for this week. The Project Team Leader met with our client on Friday for an update, so the meeting is a chance to point out any new information that we should be aware of going forward.

14:30 – I’m back on the phones this afternoon for another project, contacting key individuals to gain some understanding of a market our client wants to break into with a new proposition. There are lots of us working on this project, so the office is a buzz of phone calls which is great for spurring us all on to meet our targets.

16:00 – I meet with my pro bono Project Team Leader to chat about the call I had this morning and to tell him about any ideas that came up. We do some visual management work that helps clearly compare the key issues that have been the focus of our various industry expert calls so far.

16:30 – Tomorrow I’m taking part in an output presentation for a client we’ve just finished a project with, so I take the time to go over the topics I’ll be discussing with them, and to make sure I’m confident drawing on wider project findings to help support my slides. My Project Team Leader is on hand to help with presentation technique or any questions I may have around the content or analysis of points raised.

17:10 – My mentor and I have a mentoring session today, so we leave work early and grab a coffee together. Mentoring is a great opportunity to discuss any non-project specific questions or concerns I may have.