Clarissa studied a Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Arts at Monash University graduating in 2020 and joined our Technology Consulting Graduate Program in 2021, and is now a Consultant.
I conditioned myself into becoming a morning person over lockdown, so I wake up at 7am most days. I have an instant coffee while mentally organising my schedule – between two client sites to visit, emails to send every which way and a draft deliverable to complete, I'll have my work cut out for me today. I listen to podcasts on my commute to the first client site.
I have a checkpoint meeting with my contract renewal team. We're deep in contract negotiations at the moment, so there's always plenty to discuss. I provide updates on my outstanding action items, such as drafting the negotiation outcomes report and updating the gap/issues lists. As one of the most junior members of the team, my colleagues are happy to answer any questions I have about the organisation, the contract renewal process or history between the parties.
I progress some of my ongoing, non-urgent tasks. As part of a Mid Term Review of one of the client's vendors, I am preparing a review of their invoice substantiation reports, which the vendor presents to the client each month for transparency of BAU charges. I analyse month-to-month trends in ticket numbers, identify any anomalies and summarise the commentary. It's a challenging task due to the sheer volume of data to digest, but it gives great insight to the operational arm of the organisation.
I have lunch with some of my colleagues, rather romantically swivelling around in our chairs to eat lunch at our desks together. Once we've commiserated about little hours there are in the day, we share weekend plans and watchlists. I cop an earful for only having just started Game of Thrones since House of the Dragon premiered, although the benefit of hindsight means I know to stop at Season 7.
Conveniently, my second client site is down the street from the first, so I take the opportunity to get some fresh air and walk over there. My team are training the client on how to operate their newly-built project reporting dashboards. As part of the presentation, my director asks me to talk through a short section of the process, including how reporting data is collated, analysed and transformed into consumable charts. Public speaking intimidates me greatly, but I hope that these small windows of opportunity to practice my skills makes it easier.
After the client meeting, I finalise the dashboard's Standard Operating Procedures to reflect any bug fixes my manager has completed. I am responsible for not only ensuring accuracy of the technical steps but also maintaining user-friendliness of the document, which involves reviewing the language for clarity and adding the appropriate screenshots. My objective is to write instructions so clear and simple that an end user who knows very little about Power Query – someone like myself! – will find the dashboard easy to use. It's quite rewarding to take ownership of such a key deliverable within this project.
It's time to call it a day so I take the bus home. Most of my weeknights are reserved for sports so I can never squeeze in time to cook. As a result, dinner is avocado and scrambled eggs on a toasted bagel – or as my housemate calls it, "really living that uni student lifestyle". Tonight I head to the bouldering gym with my friends, where we throw ourselves at the walls for a few hours until we're exhausted.
After getting home, I shower, pack tomorrow's lunch and call my family in Melbourne, which I try to do at least once a week. My mum prefers video calling over WhatsApp; she says it's because she misses my face, but for the majority of the call she props her phone up on the couch, camera facing the screen, so that I can watch whatever my family is watching alongside them. I ignore the bad audio feedback and video lag for a chance to feel like I'm right there with them. I miss my family dearly, but I know that without their support I wouldn't be here.