Life as an analyst at a boutique consultancy, by Bahar Atay

10 June 2019

Bahar Atay describes her experience as an analyst at Plural Strategy.

bahar atay photograph plural strategy


Problem-solving in a creative way: that’s what attracted me to consultancy. I started to enjoy it during my bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, so I did a consulting internship at a large company. But I was one of many, and the tasks we did were quite limited. It was harder to achieve a goal, too.

At Plural, I’m surprised at the level of responsibility I have just five months in – and that I’m doing something different every week. I also really like the fact that the company is small (though it’s growing fast). The people are very warm and friendly. Plus, we have a young team. I sometimes think it’s like a more formal version of university!


From Ankara to analyst, via the UN

I’m from Turkey so I did my bachelor’s degree in the capital, Ankara, graduating in 2017.  I then completed a one-year master’s degree in management at London Business School and followed that with a three-month internship with the United Nations in Geneva. I helped to redesign a database for emergency response situations – it was an interesting experience.

When I was looking for jobs, I spent time on LinkedIn, exploring where people who’d done the same master’s as me were working. Someone from the same course at Imperial College was working here as an analyst. So, I got in touch. He wrote back straight away and was very friendly and helpful. I took that as a good sign of what the company was like.


Living up to expectations

My first impressions were right: the culture is very open, warm and collegial. We work hard, but we have fun too – inside the office as well as out. And if you do a run of late nights on an occasional intense project, you sometimes get awarded with a day off for your hard work.

I’d say I work on more projects than I expected, because they can be quite short. That means lots of variety. I also have more responsibility and exposure to senior people and clients here than I would in a bigger company. In my first project, all the internal meetings were with one of our partners, and I attended to a client meeting after just two months. It’s very international, too, which helped me to adapt.


Analysing an analyst’s job

My tasks include everything from organising and managing interview programmes to carrying out analysis, preparing slides and doing desk research. Simultaneously, we have a continuous process of problem solving, challenging our hypotheses and brainstorming.

I’m currently working on a project in Australia. It’s exciting to be on a global project as the dynamics of each country are different. It requires a good understanding of each geography, which we gain very quickly.

No two days are the same at Plural. Last Thursday, for example, as usual I arrived at work around 9.30am. I was due to start on a new project in the food industry (part of events), so I read the proposal. I then had a briefing with my project manager, and we agreed that I would manage the interview programme of the project. I spent the majority of the day preparing the discussion guides for our freelance interviewers to use with exhibitors and visitors.

At noon, the team as usual took an hour to have lunch together. And we went for drinks after work which occasionally happens on Thursdays and Fridays.


Thinking of applying to Plural?

If you want to gain consulting experience, you can do it here very fast. While I’m happy being an analyst for now, senior associates here started off as one too. So there is a clear path for growth. Plus, it’s a friendly and flexible environment.


Want to know more? Browse our career section for more details here.