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A day in the life of a consultant at ttopstart

October 01 2016

To give you an idea of what working at ttopstart is like, we have provided a typical day of one of our consultants:

08:30 - 10:30

On a typical day, I get to the office around 08:30. The day starts with a chat with my colleagues, a first cup of coffee and then the emails that have been coming in since yesterday afternoon. Working with academics and business partners from all over Europe and abroad means that there are always matters to deal with. Within an hour, I have responded to all urgent messages and I am ready for our team meeting.

Meetings don't make up such a large part of our work, but they are important. Every Monday we have a meeting with the entire company and every Friday we meet with our team. Besides this, there are separate meetings for topics such as Communication and Business Development, and there are of course the training opportunities, as well as the bi-weekly meeting with your manager.

10:30 - 12:00

This part of the day is usually my most productive, so I try to spend it on setting up and developing my business plan. Part of the way we work is that we get a lot of leeway in how we spend our own time, and this is a time slot that I try to keep free as often as I can. The project is exciting and deals with the market opportunity for a cancer diagnostic - I have thought out the structure of the story that I want to tell and I am now starting to write everything out in more detail. However, I am still unsure of one or two things and I ask my colleagues to have a quick look at my work and ask them for their thoughts.

12:00 - 12:45

One of the good things of working at the office is our shared lunch. We make a point of always eating our lunch together with everyone who is present and since everyone is working from home one day a week, we may have between four and twelve people at the table. Lunch is a great moment to relax and to talk about anything but work. After we finish, some people go for a walk before getting back to work.

"It is always useful to meet someone in person and to be able to discuss their project face to face."

12:45 - 14:00

After lunch I still have fifteen minutes to collect my notes and documents for the Skype call that I will have at 13:00. I have been writing a market report for my client in Portugal and we have agreed to discuss some final points today over Skype. The meeting is efficient and we manage to finish everything well within the hour that we scheduled. I process my notes, so that I can start incorporating the suggested changes right away when I finish the report tomorrow.

14:00 - 15:30

For today I have agreed to see a client in Nijmegen to discuss his European grant proposal. I will bike to the station and take a train to Nijmegen, which allows me to run some errands on the train. I like the time on the train, because it gives me a lot of time to structure my thoughts - it's not the best place to write lengthy reports, but some of my best creative ideas come to me by just scribbling down some things while travelling. Before I notice I have already arrived.

15:30 - 17:30

At the client's I soon realise how useful it always is to meet someone in person and to be able to discuss their project face to face. Small problems get solved so much quicker and you can notice so much better what they think of your proposal. Together we are able to generate a lot of good ideas that I will incorporate into the pre-final version of the grant proposal. As we are writing this proposal with partners from all over Europe, I need to take the time to circulate a version to everyone and ask for their feedback. With the deadline coming up in a couple of weeks, these are always stressful times. However, with having a good planning and keeping a good overview of what needs to be done, I have learned to make this process as smooth as possible for both the client and myself. Upon saying goodbye, I feel that we both have full trust in a good outcome for our project.

17:30

I take a train home after my productive meeting. On my way back on the train I send the last emails of that day, check another document that my colleague has sent me for revision and then close my laptop.

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