Life of a Consultant Series

A Day in the Life of a Catalyze Consultant by Sedef Iskit

17 December 2019

Our Catalyze “Life of a Catalyze Consultant” Series continues with this piece from our own Sedef Iskit, Phd as she gives us a little snippet of how she balances her days between plannings, project deadlines and the fun that takes place in our offices.

As a consultant at Catalyze, I have a pretty regular life that can be described as “nine-to-five”. Unless of course there is a big deadline, or I have a looong to-do list before going on vacation.

Considering that one or the other seems to be happening every couple of months, these relatively frequent periods can add a lot of excitement to my days. Of course, through planning and collaboration, we all learn to perfect the art of keeping these moments as “exciting and fun times” rather than “pure chaos and total panic”.

We work with very strict project deadlines, because the deadline is set by the funding agency and applies to hundreds, if not thousands, of proposers. Thus, there is absolutely no scenario where anybody has a good enough reason to move the deadline.

So, we make a detailed plan with intermediary deadlines, deliverables, and milestones. In order to make sure everything goes according to schedule, we actively communicate with each other. If necessary, we re-prioritize tasks or involve additional people. In the end, one way or another, it always works out.

One of the things I learned very fast when I started working at Catalyze, my first non-academic job in a company, was the value of flexible, but comprehensive, planning. Plan as if everything will go just like you think it will, but make sure there will be a way to finish the project on time even if everything happens differently from how you planned.

Because life is full of surprises. You may start the day thinking “I know exactly what I will be doing today”. Then the phone rings and everything changes. But that is exactly what makes it so exciting to work as a consultant at Catalyze.

Why would one phone call change everything, you ask? Keep reading our monthly “Life of a Consultant” blog. I am sure you will find many answers to this question as the articles roll in!


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