Our ‘A Day in the Life’ series highlights alumni in various fields and positions, offering a glimpse of what life after graduation is like. This post comes to us from M&T alumna Sidnee, currently working at a private equity firm in New York.
Please briefly describe what industry you’re in and what your particular position entails.
The Frankel Group is a life science consulting firm. We work for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. I chose this combination because it allowed me to use both sides of my undergraduate degree. Let’s say the client question is something like “Should I buy this product?” Then the analysis would involve a logical scientific review of the data for the product (the engineering side) as well as a financial NPV analysis to determine if the price is right (the Wharton side). More recently, I have transitioned into a more firm managerial role where I focus on running the firm rather than answering client questions like the above.
What time did you get up this morning before work?
5:30am. I have a long commute into NYC!
What time did you start working, and what time were you done for the day?
I start around 8am and am done around 6 or 7pm … on average consultants work about 60 hours/week.
What were some of the projects you worked on today?
I’m currently analyzing the 1Q13 performance of the Frankel Group and will then give strategic guidance to the firm partners regarding where changes can be made to optimize full year performance.
Who specifically did you interact with today, besides coworkers (clients, interns, researchers, executives, founders, etc.)?
I manage a number of market research vendors, since we conduct our own primary research with physicians related to the projects we do. So for example, if we want to determine if our client should buy a product, we would talk with physicians regarding what they think about that product and how they would use it.
Are you currently traveling or about to travel for work?
I do not travel much for my job. Maybe once or twice a month for a day trip that involves meetings. But rarely over night.
What was your favorite part of the work day?
Meeting a new Frankel staff member. He just joined and I will be training him for the next week!
What are some of the challenges within your position that you particularly enjoy?
Many people think of consulting as a transient career … ‘I’ll stay 2 years, learn a lot, and then move on’. I’ve been in consulting since I graduated from Penn in 1996 (17 years!). The only reason I have stayed this long is because I never stopped learning and loving what I do. There are client challenges every day, and each one brings a unique learning experience. I love that!
How did you end up in your current position or school?
After Penn graduation, I went to work for a much larger consulting firm. I found that I liked consulting, just not “big consulting”. I found the Frankel Group completely by accident. It was the best accident of my life!
How did M&T help prepare you for where you are today?
Being M&T required a great deal of planning, organization, and time management. We take more classes and have to balance more interests within the same amount of time as others. Those same skills are applied every day in a consulting career. There are deadlines and client demands, as well as the need to balance your own personal and professional endeavors. It was great practice and training for “real life”.
What advice do you have for those who might be interested in pursuing a similar path?
My advice is always to PLAN EARLY. By senior year, you are going to (a) have senioritis and (b) be looking for a full time job. So you will want to take a “normal” class load in that year, as well as take more “fun” rather than requisite classes. That requires you to load up on prerequisites and classes in earlier years. But believe me … it will be worth it!!
Sidnee is a Principal and Director of Operations for The Frankel Group, and is based out of New York. She graduated from Penn and M&T in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from Penn Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School with a concentration in Finance. Sidnee also holds an MBA from NYU Stern. In her spare time she enjoys photography and traveling to warm sandy beaches!