Day in the Life of a Young Consultant | Janae Isaacs

Janae Isaacs

Business Analyst, Efficio

In my third year of university, a professor asked a classmate to name their dream company. His response, “McKinsey”, sparked a lively class-wide conversation around management consulting and problem-solving across multiple industries. I was enthralled to learn positions like this were real and attainable.

Just weeks after that conversation, we were plunged into a global pandemic, and I was forced to move home to continue school remotely.

While my study concentrations of sustainability and entrepreneurship felt just right for me, I had relatively no clue what career I wanted to pursue after university. Over Zoom calls, my advisor suggested urban planning, but my heart wasn’t in it – I couldn’t corner myself into such a niche career when I was enamored by the world at large. Luckily, I didn’t have to.

By the end of the remote semester, I was six credits away from my degree, so I took two online courses during the summer of 2020 and obtained my degree almost a full year early. I couldn’t stop thinking about what consulting could mean for someone like me.

Efficio—the world’s largest procurement consultancy—hooked me and hired me! I was keen to learn about sourcing suppliers, a relevant skill for any future entrepreneurial pursuits. The name Efficio was also enticing, given my passion for sustainability. I began as a Business Analyst at Efficio in October 2020 … through a laptop screen.

My first project was non-traditional—the first of its kind at the company and a great fit for me. The focus was purely on diversity and inclusion. Social sustainability was something I studied as a part of my degree, so fortunately I had fairly substantial textbook knowledge on the subject. Within a few short months, I honed my consulting skills under Efficio’s extensive training programme and an expert project team — I learned to analyse spend data and present my findings to clients. But above all, I was able to guide a client on effectively reporting and improving their diversity and inclusion strategy. I never imagined I could learn so much, so quickly, in just one chapter of my life, let alone in one occupation.

My next project was focused on cost savings through content elimination, tactical negotiations, and pricing models… more new concepts to me – with an entirely different kind of client, in a vastly different industry. I was eager to learn anything and everything I could on Zoom calls with clients and during intrateam meetings on Teams.

After almost a year at Efficio, I still haven’t touched a traditional sourcing project. It just proves there is so much more to learn, and so many more facets of consulting than just the type of consulting you do. Gaining expertise in multiple industries without having to switch careers—that’s still unreal to me, and I see limitless potential.

I’ve still never experienced a day in the office, met any of my co-workers in person, or completed a Monday-to-Thursday travel cycle to a client site. However, with confidence, I know I’m on the right path. At Efficio, the people are bright, the company culture is electric, and the work is boundless. Consulting at Efficio is where I belong!

To anyone considering consulting: if you love to learn, it just might be the job for you.