With this being the end of my first project on the job, it seems like the right time to reflect on the work I have completed thus far, and the ways which it has helped my team and the client. The most effective way to look at this is first through the lens of the perspectives I brought to the team that positively shaped the engagement, and the aspects of my experience that I hope to draw on going into the rest of the summer.
This case gave me a great degree of ownership of a specific workstream on the project which was certainly a unique and unlikely experience for an intern. While I certainly had help and supervisors guiding me at each step, having ownership and being looked to as an expert on a fairly large aspect of a project was a unique experience which not only gave me confidence, but expedited my learning. With this also came quite a bit of responsibility to inform the team and case management of the content of my analyses, and forced me to speak to my work in a way that was high-level and actionable to the client. Distilling such a large amount of information into the most important pieces, and determining how to present the analysis and what recommendations to make was certainly a difficult process, but I found that I was able to work hand in hand with my team to ensure that the content of my work was actionable to them. This was largely enabled by a positive support system, but also in the confidence I had in my analyses due to previous consulting work, and my ability to communicate which has certainly been sharpened during my time in college.
Going forward, I found that my greatest takeaways and areas for improvement came in ensuring that the work I was completing was both “80/20.” The idea of “80/20” stems from the Pareto principle and was co-opted by Bain. Within the company, it is the idea that 80% of the value comes in 20% of the available information and analyses. Thus, in order to get a work product that is accurate and timely, it is important to find those 20% of information and analyses which can be gathered and conducted. As I was learning this style of working, I found that it was easy to get bogged down in the vast amount of information available to me and the multitude of analyses I could conduct. In getting bogged down in the details, I held up the progression of my work and, by extension, the work of the team. Going forward I realize the importance of staying as high level as possible and arriving at an “answer first” before potentially going too deep into something I shouldn’t.