From 250,000 to 25

Numbers alone highlight the dramatic career change I took at the end of 2013. The difference in employees between my first job at a global full service bank and Kepler Cannon is larger than the entire population of my hometown city – Rochester, NY! While I could continue to geek out with the numbers game, what is more interesting is contrasting the workplace environment of the two polar opposite companies.

Friday at a Bank

7:30 am

Junior employees are expected to be there before their bosses. You list all the unresponsive individuals and strategize your ‘nagging’ for the day.

9:00 am

First meeting. You scheduled it for the morning, because you know Friday afternoons at banks are as productive as elementary school children jazzed up on sugar.

11:00 am

Call four people who owe you follow-ups, data requests, etc. Get a hold of two. One person gives you what you need.

11:30 am

You’ve completed the minutes from the morning meeting and dished out the next steps to everyone. Time to figure our lunch plans – at this point you’re jonesing for some grub to kick the hangover from the team’s Thursday night happy hour.

12:30 pm

Only day in financial services where it’s acceptable to take a full hour lunch.

2:00 pm

At this point you have <0.1% chance of hearing back from anyone on any open requests. You just complete any small to-do’s on your list.

4:00 pm

Queue up Chariots of Fire medley, as the departure of employees for the weekend begins. However, only Managing Directors get to leave. As a junior employee, you’re stuck!

5:30 pm

It is now acceptable to leave since it’s only Associates and Analysts left at the office.

Friday at Kepler Cannon

5:50 am

You have 10 minutes to wake up and drink water so when you speak to your international client, you don’t sound like an 80 year old lifetime smoker.

7:00 am

Since its Friday, you get to work at the company office. You throw on jeans and a button down and get away without a clean shave.

9:00 am

You arrive at the office to find bagels, cream cheese, and fruit.  At Kepler, every Friday is “Fruit Friday”!

9:30 am

An industry executive is at the office to give a talk on leveraging social media outlets to promote your work and personal brand.

11:00 am

The partner on your project gives you feedback on your analysis. Time to crank out some new PowerPoint pages!

12:30 pm

“Family lunch” is the best part of the work week. Beyond enjoying a wonderful free lunch picked out by the Kepler Foodies, this is a great time to catch up with folks on how their projects are going, discuss ideas for firm development, and of course weekend plans.

2:00 pm

Your international client is gone for the day, it is time for firm development! You research a major asset management company for a sales meeting next week.

4:00 pm

Time for a temperature check on where you stand with client work and other firm responsibilities.

6:00 pm

It’s “Fitness Friday” – Kepler promotes consultants with sound minds and bodies. Head across the street to Rise by We (company sponsored, of course) for a boxing class.

These ‘day in the life’ comparisons are meant to provide a glimpse of what your life would be like working at a major financial services corporation versus a boutique consulting firm. If nothing else, this shows that the Wolf of Wall Street and House of Lies were a bit far-fetched in their respective portrayals of the financial and management consulting industries.