Day in the Life of...Business Designer
Interested in what someone else does during their 9-5? Looking for a new job but want to know the specifics of what they actually do? Sometimes a description online just does not suffice. In this series, we take a deeper dive into our peers' day-to-day tasks - morning routines, lunch hour, end of day assignments - to better inform you in your career decisions. Today, check out the day in the life of a Business Designer in NYC!
Job title: Business Designer
Type of company: Innovation Consulting Firm
Yearly salary: $100,000
College major: Business
Summary of your job: My firm’s flavor of innovation consulting means helping clients re-invent their existing business or create new products & services to defend against disruptors in their industry. This manifests in a number of ways including re-designing the customer experience, creating a startup incubator to test new ideas with startups, or building and launching digital products ourselves. Every project is quite different, but at the end of the day, we design solutions that solve customer needs and push technological and business model boundaries, rather than focusing on purely incremental financial gains.
What is your morning routine…: This varies dramatically when I’m working in our studio in NYC versus when I’m traveling to the client site, but generally speaking I wake up around 7am, put on some music, and get ready for the day. Lately, my morning playlist has included a lot of Philip Glass and Chet Baker. After that, every morning begins with coffee – an iced soy latte with hazelnut or white mocha to be exact. Then, I pop in my AirPods and either take the L train into the studio or Uber from my hotel to the client site. I start my day by catching up on emails, reading my suggested articles in the Medium app, and Slacking people to follow up on whatever might’ve happened overnight.
What are you doing at 9AM? By 9am I’m usually prepping for our daily stand-up. I’m a really big fan of bullet journal-style lists, so I’ll cross off anything I finished the night prior and make a fresh list in my favorite Moleskine (dotted, never lined!). I’ve started to manage more resources recently, so I also outline the work I need to delegate to them.
What are you doing at 11AM? By 11am it’s go-time. We would’ve just finished stand-up, so I have a very clear view of what my teammates and I need to get done for the day. Depending on the type of project, this could mean updating customer journey maps or service blueprints, editing a financial model, prioritizing features along a product roadmap, or leading customer interviews.
What do you do for lunch? If I’m at the studio, I religiously walk to Sweetgreen to pick up a salad, often stopping for coffee #2 on the way. If I’m at the client site I’ll eat at their café…and oftentimes end up picking up fun snacks from their little market. I try not to work while I eat, and instead use the time to read an interesting article in the New Yorker or text my mom back.
What are you doing at 2PM? By 2pm, I’m checking back in with the team members that report to me, re-prioritizing workloads based on the latest from leadership. We re-adjust as needed and check for any blockers that might hold us back from where we want to be by the end of the day. I shoot off some emails and Slacks and make my final push of the day. When I’m at the client site, my Bose QC35’s are crucial to blocking out the noise from the rest of the team in our war room.
What are you doing at 5PM? Again, this changes when I’m at the client site or in the studio. At the client site, we generally work until at least 7pm, so it’s more of the same as above. At the studio, especially on Friday’s, sometimes there are light drinks and snacks put out for us, and I make sure to go hug any dogs that might be waddling around!
Do you usually work late? My hours are generally 9am-7pm. When we’re pushing toward a deadline it can become 8am-1am, but we try to keep that under control. When we do have a really tough week, leadership is good about taking it easier the next.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do? I’ve been very pleasantly surprised about what I ended up doing! I think innovation consulting is much more fun than anything they prepped us for in college. However, I would say that I definitely glamorized the amount of travel. It’s great to accumulate travel points and status, and I have gotten a lot of free weekend “flex” trips out of it, but I do miss my daily life in New York and have found myself craving a bit more of a local routine.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do? There are many things I love about my work. I love that I get to solve new, challenging issues every few months with some of the largest companies in the world, that we have permission to suggest clients reinvent themselves or create brand new ventures, and that I get to work in cross-functional teams with extremely intelligent designers and technologists.
A piece of advice for people entering this field: I would tell anyone interested in entering business design or product management to make friends with the designers and technologists at your school or job, take some basic design thinking/UX/IX courses, and learn some basic coding if you’re at all interested. The core of my job and success is being able to empathize not only with customers, but also with my teammates, so understanding the basic elements of agile app development, APIs, tech architecture, etc. will take you a very long way as a strategist in this field!
If you’re interested in this type of work, come to our workshop - “How to Design Digital Experiences Online” on September 5th | NYC, in partnership with Accenture Women in Digital. You’ll get the opportunity to hear from Accenture consultants, learn about companies who have designed digital experiences successfully, and work on an interactive activity. Hope to see you there! See tickets here.
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