May 14, 2009

Finalizing A Professional Deck

Filed under: Projects, School — Robert John Ed @ 4:39 pm

The Carlson Consulting Enterprise is a lot of work.  I mean that sincerely.  My first project for this group has been a macro trend analysis for a truly inspirational local nonprofit (actually, almost every project I’ve done so far in business school for RL has been nonprofit work!).  The process that goes into producing our final output, a 45 minute presentation, has been immense.  And I was gone for ten days, which tells you I was the weakest link on the team in terms of time on the project!  It has been an incredible learning experience and it’s really pulling together for me right now, the puzzle pieces are forming and the actual experience is starting to leave a footprint.

That’s a very good thing, but it makes you realize that almost everything worth doing takes a good amount of time and effort.  It’s easy to forget while in the midst of a project the long term return, which is likely the reason so many people don’t finish enough of the things they start.

To put this into perspective, our deck is roughly 25 pages long for the actual presentation.  The totality of our deck is about 180 individual slides, some qualitative, some quant, some in betweens, many many appendices and data representation.  At the end of a project you hand over process slides such as an issue tree, problem statement and tools for reproduction and all primary and secondary research.  I can see how the life of a consultant would prove difficult (besides the constant travel, which would be rough in itself), it’s a constant movement from project to project where you invest a great deal and then wash your hands.  That’s tough for me.  I like to take small things and help them grow, the idea of working for a start up or a smaller division of a large company has always aligned with my vision of building.  From the sounds of it, that will be similar to my role this summer (which I’m ECSTATIC about btw).

It’s funny how sometimes things just strike you.  Today in the midst of one of our last meetings as a group, I thought about how applicable this process and experience would be to me in the long term…despite it being a royal pain for how much work it was.  The realization of impact can be powerful.  That said, I’m very happy to be close to the finish line and moving back into the “real” world.  At some point I’ll detail the rollercoaster that is biz school and break down my affinity for real world work, but not today.  Not today.


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