First Consulting Trip: Belgrade, Serbia

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I enjoy this image because the graffiti almost spells my name (AAYE…SHA!)

My first taste of consulting life was very uncharacteristic as I ended up spending months waiting for a project to commence that never came to fruition…and then another. While getting paid to do busy work preparing project in the office and otherwise attend to my daily life should be ideal, it was weary. Now I’m happy to report back that I have recently returned from my first consulting project and I can’t be happier for the choice that I have been given to be a part of this fantastic company and get an opportunity like no other to travel the world. This quick & dirty taste of a project lasted only 10,5 working days (8 in Belgrade and 2,5 days of prep in our Barcelona office) and made me truly realize what a learning opportunity I have on my hands. By the end of my first year I think I will be come a master of excel, more strategic and analytical, better trained for future careers on the client side, and most interestingly, very well-traveled. IMG_6269 Belgrade was an interesting city that still held some reminiscence of the its old life as Yugoslavia. Including an old office building which was bombed down, unable to be repaired due to budget difficulties, and plastered with giant billboard to cover the crumbling facade. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to snap a picture during travels. But I did get one of this interesting structure, that a guess is a bank? There is no shortage of 80’s music at ever turn as the country has not seemed to have evolved much in this respect. (This realization was even more poignant and hilarious when the client put on a 80’s Madonna city as we drove back to the office. hehe) I also missed the opportunity to capture the fields upon fields of sunflowers and corn that lined the country side we were driving through to get to our destination each day. Don’t let the sunny pictures fool you, too much rain made this impossible.

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Because it was a short follow-up to a previous project it was mostly work and no play, but we did get the opportunity to eat in some interesting locales. The first was this restaurant in Paracín (a small town to the south-east of Belgrade) with an amazing look out over the town of perfectly identical red roofs on every house. It was like looking out into a movie set. The market developer of this area formed a little crush on me and couldn’t stop staring and telling me I was beautiful in Serbia. His English was pretty poor, so sadly it was very difficult for him to communicate with him. He did add a little comedy into our meal when he asked us all if we had children, after show pictures of his own, and looking confusedly at me and telling the client we were dining with, “I don’t understand, she is very beautiful?” Thanks dude :/ IMG_6276Despite the mid-dinner down pour, we had an amazing time eating at a restaurant inside of this old fort. There was live music a four-piece, all female classical band that was played a bit too loudly to be background music (and probably a bit of a large cost than expected for the owners since we were one of 3 tables in this gigantic restaurant.) The food was just as large as the restaurant it self and I was reminded of an American portion control x 2. Serbians are definitely not into dieting! But it was delicious and the ambiance added a nice visual and auditory stimulus. Well that’s all for now. Next stop —> Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania for a 2,5 month completely unexpected adventure.

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