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A Day in the Life. Episode 7: Financial Consultant, Lewis

Financial consultant Lewis Songaila is next up in GrantTree’s a Day in the Life series. After braving the rain in shorts, Lewis attended a tech event in Brick Lane, processed some claims and dived headfirst into our office summer party!

July 18th

Today I decided to be brave.

Not only am I taking over the company Instagram account (an area that I am not competent in), but I also decided to wear shorts. As the rain pelts my umbrella on the way to the tube station, I can’t help but feel this was a bad choice.

But I have faith in the weather forecast and as I sit down on the humid, stuffy carriage looking on at the suited and booted commuters, I know I’ve done the right thing. I often meet my girlfriend at the tube station and today is no different. We catch the 7:58 train and off we go into the big smoke.

Heading to the big smoke
Heading to the big smoke

There are no rules regarding start or finish times at GrantTree. I’m usually in the office by 9:00 to begin the working day, but sometimes I prefer to start the day from home and catch up on emails before heading in and skipping the rush. That’s the beauty of the fully flexible remote-working policy at GrantTree, it enables everyone to work where they’re most productive. Work at your peak, get the best out of yourself.

I arrive at the office at 8:47. The rain is starting to subside, and the sun is starting to shine through. My somewhat odd choice of attire is starting to pay dividends!

Once I choose my desk for the day, and fill up a glass of water, it’s time to fire up the laptop. Usually, a number of emails come in while I’m on the tube and this helps me to organise my day.

I scan down and see there’s exciting news waiting for me. HMRC has sent us the R&D Tax Relief for one of our clients. I swiftly jump on the phone to the client to share the good news, and to exchange a few jokes about splashing the cash on an Audi R8.

I’m attending Unbound at the Old Truman Brewery at 11, but I have a client call at 2 pm which I need to prepare for first. I spend most of the morning getting ready for the call. When I’m happy that I’m fully prepared, I start walking down to Brick Lane for the event.

I try to attend as many events as possible. I think it’s important in my position to have a good understanding of the tech landscape. But I also go because I love learning about new technologies and innovation.

Unbound 2019
Unbound 2019!

I’m attending Unbound with two of my colleagues – Cecilia (pictured) and Ariel, our new member of the partnerships team.

There’s lots going on, here – stalls, demonstrations, presentations. There’s even one of those softball blowy machines where you stand in a sealed tube and have to catch as many balls as possible in an attempt to win a Playstation. I caught one. Cecilia caught six. Needless to say, I didn’t win that one!

Aside from the games and the competitions, there are so many truly intriguing companies that have been working on some amazing innovations. Some are at the idea stage, presented in a slide show. Others are already profitable.

Being able to speak to entrepreneurs and learn about new technology is definitely my favourite part of my job at GrantTree, and the main reason I accepted the position. 10 months on, it has not disappointed. I have spoken to more entrepreneurs and learnt about more new technology than in the previous 25 years combined!

After a couple of hours at Unbound, I have to head back to the office. The call goes well. I retrieve everything I need from the client and answer all their questions. After calls I always do a quick follow up to ensure the next actions are clear and that there is no dead time during the process.

Finally, I can have my lunch! It’s not a glamorous one, sadly. But I do enjoy my bag of Monster Munch that comes with the meal deal. And the smoothie. The whole thing is almost healthy!

After lunch I have a meeting scheduled with Ariel to introduce her to the financial side of R&D claims. We decide to postpone it, though, to give Ariel more time to enjoy Unbound, and to give me time to reply to emails and progress a few client claims.

The emails have been coming in thick and fast over the short lunch break, so I get right to it. I need to do a few pieces of admin, so I decide to sit in our café area where it’s a little quieter. I have never been one to listen to music while I work – I prefer silence. This is where working from home/flexibly really helps me to be more productive. I go where it’s quietest – that’s where I’m most effective.

I also have an added incentive to work quickly today. It’s our summer party!

Company parties are always great fun at GrantTree, and I don’t expect this one to be any different. With this in mind, I make sure that my work for the day is done before the cabs arrive to take us to Bethnal Green (yes, we’re that edgy!).

I’d love to guide you through exactly what happened at the summer party and describe every hour in detail. But I don’t think that’s a good idea.

There’s an open bar and a karaoke room. I think that’s all you need to know…

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