Nouser spotlight – James Holland
Nouser spotlight – James Holland
A day in the life with James Holland, a graduate Consultant from Melbourne
I pull myself out of bed. Knowing I do not have any client-facing work in the day, I packed a casual T shirt instead of a dress shirt into the gym bag the night before. I sleepily make my way to the gym next to my apartment then onward to work.
I pick a desk and grab a bowl of cereal from the kitchen. I am currently on three projects, but looking at my upcoming deadlines, I choose to work on only two of those projects today. I know I am more productive in the mornings and late afternoon, so I try to schedule more intensive sprints of writing in those periods and use the early afternoon for lighter research, emails and professional development. Nous encourages staff to self-manage so there is often scope to decide how, when and where you work.
As the most urgent project, I get writing on a report for a national not-for-profit organisation, analysing legislation that impacts online child safety. My law degree equipped me with an understanding of statue and government; but unlike the law, which is more focused on addressing past conduct or mitigating risk, my writing is more focused on finding opportunities for policy innovation.
I touch base with my Project Manager for the child safety project. He gives me feedback on my writing style and conceptual approach. With his guidance, I am almost done with the 60-page report.
I go back to the kitchen and grab a snack. One of my favourite parts of the job is listening to my co-workers talk about their projects. A friend that I started with is doing a review of literature concerning the regional development of a former mining area and another is using R, a programming language, to analyse the gender balance of new apprentices in construction.
I receive a message from a Project Managers from a different engagement who is helping a university’s academic services department to define its culture after a transformation. I have no background in organisational psychology and leadership but I find the content interesting, so the resourcing manager has found opportunities for me to join projects in the space. I make a note to do some reading about an unfamiliar impact framework in the afternoon.
A friend collects me for a catch-up in the kitchen. We debrief the most recent episode of Drag Race and laugh about a terrible dad joke I made in induction.
I want to get further through the child safety project, so I move my computer to the quieter side of the office where I am less likely to be distracted.
I head to the kitchen to have lunch with other co-workers. I munch and chat with a couple other grads, some Managers, one Director and two Principals. We chat about boardgames, philosophical questions and the challenges of our current projects.
I rush off for a physio appointment near the office. I am concerned I injured my back in the morning, but I get the all-clear. Because I took an hour off for the appointment, I plan to stay for an hour longer tonight.
I join a meeting for the Nous Proud committee, the employee network for LGBTIQ+ Nousers. We provide direct support for LGBTIQ+ Nousers, promote LGBTIQ+ inclusive behaviours at Nous, support LGBTQI+ projects and support Nous externally as an LGBTIQ+ inclusive employer of choice. The committee is a great way to learn more about LGBTQI+ issues, work on LGBTQI+ issues and meet fantastic people. As a committee, we revisit an event we did for Wear It Purple Day, where we facilitated a conversation between three queer Nousers about their experiences as management consultants. The event was attended by Nousers at all levels of the organisation, including our CEO.
I do some quick reading into some conceptual approaches relating to culture with which I am unfamiliar. I know I am working on an organisational restructure of a queer not-for-profit in a couple months and I want to be up to speed. I also quickly glance over some relevant content for the upcoming session for the university project.
I have an internal meeting for an upcoming workshop with the university project client’s leadership team. My team discusses the workshop’s objectives and how we will allocate responsibilities prior to the workshop. My project manager gives me feedback from my last consultation about my presentation style. While we often have these meetings online, because we are all in the office my team happily scribble on the whiteboard.
I take 10 minutes to meditate before doing the last push of work. On the recommendation of other Nousers, I have started using meditation to maintain focus. I push to get a section of the child safety project completed before I go home.
I grab my laptop computer and head out of the office. On the way out the door, I microwave one of my meal-prepped dinners that I made for myself on the weekend. I eat it as I walk down Collins Street.
I just make it in time for the movie I am seeing at IMAX.
I walk into my apartment and start getting ready for bed. I pack my gym bag with the appropriate business clothes for the next day’s client meeting.
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