18 May 2023

Day in the life series: Sully, Partnerships Associate/Consultant

By Sulamaan Rahim

Sunset in Birmingham, by Sully

Hello hello! I’m Sully and I’m a Consultant and Partnerships Associate here at Oxford Insights. I have a bit of a dual role: right now my days are split between being a researcher on a project for the UK government and lots of internal business development here at OI. I’m based in Birmingham, which means I can get down to London pretty easily to see everyone in person for social events and in-person working.

My day usually starts at 7.30am, when I’ll tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen to pour myself a smoothie (we’ve been fresh out of ambition lately). I start work around 8am getting to grips with emails and other admin, while occasionally scrolling through Twitter in the margins. I also try and pick a music vibe for the day, but I can absolutely never decide, so it’s usually a bizarre mix of classic musical theatre (Sondheim), iconic pop girlies, and 90s rap. Though, this last week I’ve had the Eurovision classics on repeat (stream Tattoo now).

I’ll then start in earnest on my various tasks for the day. In the morning, I tend to work on internal OI work. This involves managing the tender process around new opportunities for which we can apply. This means I’ll be planning the shape of a potential new project in terms of methodology and timeline, drafting potential budgets, and liaising with Kirsty and Horlane about who might be available to be on the project. Alongside this, I might also have a quick scan of frameworks and tendering platforms to identify new opportunities as well.

Around midday, I’ll head to the gym and probably spend about an hour and a half lifting heavy things and then putting them down again. Sometimes I will also do cardio, but I hate it. I’m sure everyone can tell in the afternoons if I’ve done cardio at lunch because I’m probably very grumpy. I’ll then have lunch and idle around some more on Twitter before starting my afternoon tasks.

My afternoons are usually focused on my project work. This currently involves conducting lots of interviews with experts for a UK government project that I’m on. Alongside this, I’ll also review policy documents and read around the subject to ensure that the frameworks that underpin our work all make sense and are robust. Right now, we’re also beginning to write up a final report of all of our findings, so I’m thinking about how we ought to structure it to best illustrate all the work we’ve done and highlight the most important insights we’ve generated.

I usually finish up around 6pm (because I take a 2hr gym/lunch break) and then make dinner, maybe bake, and then visit my aunts who live super near to me.

I really cannot stress how lovely a place Oxford Insights is to work. I have so much flexibility around how I structure my day and can work in ways that really suit me. Everyone is also so kind, helpful, and smart: people are always willing to hop on a call and help with any questions you have. Getting to work with people whom I also enjoy hanging out with outside of work is such a privilege—even if I don’t get down to London as much as I’d like!


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