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A Day in the Life at Clarkston with Shatakshi

Shatakshi, a Consultant with Clarkston Consulting, shares her career experience and describes a day in the life at Clarkston.

Joining Clarkston
I joined Clarkston with the Bootcamp Class of 2018. At the firm, I specialize in Trade Promotion Management, Trade Technologies, and Training & Change Management in the Consumer Products industry.

A Day in the Life at Clarkston
Every Day is Different
My favorite part about working at Clarkston is that each day is different from the next. Before COVID, you’d find me at the airport on Mondays and Thursdays going to and from the client site with some meetings that work around travel time. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s lifestyle may sound more familiar to some – including status calls with the client core team and check-in calls with the Clarkston project team to see if anyone needs support or has extra bandwidth with their workstream. Aside from those, you’ll have meetings associated with your workstream throughout the week. Lastly, Fridays are usually filled with additional client work and internal calls. This includes meeting with your Partner Advisor to discuss your career at Clarkston, calls about building internal communities, engaging with internal networks and sitting in on learning sessions. These are all led by Clarkston stewards.

Building Relationships
One thing I learned quickly when I joined Clarkston is how much we value both our company and our client’s culture. Regardless of the project and client, I find us quickly assimilating into client culture. In fact, I’ve even heard our client say, “…sometimes I forget that you all ‘technically’ aren’t our employees, but it feels like you all are.” When working at Clarkston your team becomes your family regardless of how long the project is. It could be 2 weeks or 2 years, but you will feel at home. That’s what makes it fun for me to go to work every day.

After work, you can sometimes find yourself doing fun activities with your team. Clarkston loves spending time with each other, whether it be at happy hours or team dinners, to unwind for the day. When the Partner on the project comes into town, we almost always do a fun activity together; whether it’s dinner, trivia, bowling, or heading to a Barcade. But don’t worry, you will get “me” time too. Find a fun workout class in your client’s city, go for a walk, curl up with some ice cream and watch your favorite TV show/movie, FaceTime friends/family afar or meet up with friends and family in the area. Don’t forget that you have a life outside of work. For me, I found dance workshops in the area and even joined a few dance teams as an extracurricular.

Once COVID struck the travel immediately came to a stop – drastically changing our lifestyle with no city-hopping every week. That didn’t stop Clarkston from finding alternative ways to maintain company culture. Virtual happy hours, working sessions and workouts, to name a few, all became activities we do together to feel the same togetherness we did in person – and it really helps cope with the stress that COVID brings to us and our families. Our managers encourage us to get off screen to log off from our “work minds” since now our relaxation space and our office have become the same space. Taking vacation is encouraged, COVID or no COVID.

So, what is a day in the life like? Well it depends, I know – classic consultant answer, but do know that it’s a fun one.

Clarkston’s Approach to Maintaining a Work-Life Balance
Health + Wellness
Regardless of COVID, Clarkston sincerely encourages a healthy work-life balance and provides you the opportunity to do so. Clarkston has an internal group called StayWell, which encourages stewards to maintain a healthy lifestyle by providing pro-tips, fun classes, and challenges to keep us motivated. They do a great job of sharing healthy eating tips/locations at client site, has monthly challenges focusing on different components of what it means to be healthy (eating nutritious food, working out, mental health, etc.), and offers fun classes at the company meetings which happens twice a year. I got a chance to co-lead a Bollywood dance class with my peer at one of the company meetings and had a great time. There’s a reason why Clarkston was voted the healthiest consulting firm in 2019!

In addition to StayWell, Clarkston recognizes a conversation is also extremely valuable. Talking to your manager when planning your vacation or when you would like to work remotely during the week is a simple and important conversation. Your voice is heard.

Travel Rewards + Perks
Clarkston has a great rewards program which gives you a certain amount of dollars to make purchases that can ease the rigors of traveling. With this program, I’ve treated myself to new air pods and running shoes for working out, a better suitcase to pack more efficiently, and a work backpack.

Aside from client travel, our alternative travel program has given me the opportunity to explore both national and international destinations by either choosing to stay at my client’s city or travel to an alternative city over the weekend. This has helped me stay connected with my friends and families that don’t live in my hometown.

Internal Firm Initiatives
When you aren’t staffed on a billable project, a day in the life at Clarkston could entail getting involved in a plethora of internal activities at Clarkston. Many people use this time to reflect on their past projects to create case studies or write content pieces based on their subject matter area of expertise (your level of seniority does not matter, everyone is encouraged to write content!).

You can also engage in many internal communities at Clarkston. Examples include our Sales & Marketing, Supply Chain, Life Sciences, and Consumer Products communities. In doing so, you can help build sub-services within those organizations, such as Trade Promotion Management or Serialization. Many of our communities offer self-guided trainings and/or Learning Pods (formal internal group-based training) in which you can utilize your bench time to grow your skillset.

In addition to the communities, there are networks within Clarkston that help promote stewardship within the firm that you can get involved in. A couple to name are the Peer Network (for stewards that are young in their careers at Clarkston) and the PRIDE Network (a safe space for our LGBTQ+ stewards and allies).

You can also dedicate your time to emerging services at Clarkston. We are an agile firm looking for new ideas and opportunities to expand on. Utilize your bench time to spark this creativity and get a group together to make this idea come to life.

Another fun activity that our stewards engage in regardless of being on the bench or not is dedicating some time to our recruiting efforts. Scouting new talent, conducting interviews, and hosting information sessions/open houses are just a few of the many things you can do to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in our firm.