Blog

3 hints for Excel excellence

Excel is the go-to tool for business calculations. Simple or complex, weeks of work or merely minutes, you’ll use Excel eventually. As with any tool, knowing a few tricks can transform the output from a clunky mess to a useful, beautiful creation.

  • Learn before you hack
  • Make it pretty
  • Document everything

These three hints apply to lots of life’s endeavors,
but let’s talk about how they apply to Excel.

Continue reading “3 hints for Excel excellence”

Get rid of fruit flies with 2 simple steps

…or, “how I consistently defeat fruit fly armies”

I came home from a weekend trip to Atlanta to find my apartment swarming with fruit flies. Luckily, I’ve done battle with these little bastards before… (I keep fresh fruit and don’t spend much time at home) By the next morning all the fruit flies were gone. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Build the trap
  2. Hide the prize

Continue reading “Get rid of fruit flies with 2 simple steps”

Convert images to data with Plot Digitizer

You’re scouring the internet for data to prove your point…
After hours of searching, you finally found it!
One problem – it’s a chart in a pdf…

Charts are better than nothing, but you really want to have the numbers in Excel or Matlab so you can do analysis and get big insights (or at least make a nicer-looking chart).

The answer is Plot Digitizer

Continue reading “Convert images to data with Plot Digitizer”

Brand & Conquer: Building Your Personal Brand (Forbes)

business_brandingCheck out this post from my “PhD’s guide to consulting jobs” that got picked up by Forbes!

The first thing I do when I hear about a person is Google them to see what they’ve done. The Google search results for someone’s name tells a story, and you have the power to control yours.
It’s your brand: claim it.

Continue reading “Brand & Conquer: Building Your Personal Brand (Forbes)”

6 must-know shortcuts for faster PowerPoint

I spend lots of time making PowerPoint slides. To get my life back, I learned to make them very quickly.

Shortcuts, macros, and toolbars all speed up the brainless parts of slide-making. Here’s the 5 that everyone should know and use… They’ll get you 80% of the way there with minimal effort. If you want more, just ask. I’ve got a million of these!

The Tao of keyboard shortucts

Before I tell you my secrets, I want to to appreciate them! Here is the basic philosophy for getting the most out of shortcuts:

They don’t work if you don’t use them – learning them without using them is a waste!
Learning them is an investment – and it pays huge dividends in time saved later on.
Don’t touch your mouse – think as it of a game, practice makes you faster.

Bonus: on-lookers will be impressed and terrified by your skills, and you’ll and save your wrists by becoming a key-ninja (mixed metaphor with the whole Tao thing, I know)

Continue reading “6 must-know shortcuts for faster PowerPoint”

Homemade muscles: quitting my gym for a better workout

I made a new-years resolution this year: quit going to the gym.

Instead, I brought the gym into my apartment and re-vamped my workout so that I can take it anywhere. I’ll outline a workout strategy to get a kickass workout in 15 minutes with or without gear.

Basically: Use your whole body, work where you sleep, and do it hard.

Continue reading “Homemade muscles: quitting my gym for a better workout”

Question-Data-Action: Structure your work-plan

As I’ve transformed into a consultant over the last year I’ve started structuring everything… The trick always finding the right structure. Here’s a great one!

I recently worked with a colleague who uses a work-planning structure that breaks big, wide-open questions into actionable next-steps. The Question-Data-Action framework is thorough, thought provoking, and easy to communicate with 4 simple steps:

  1. Define key questions
  2. Refine to sub-questions
  3. Determine what data is needed
  4. Identify actions to get the data

Each step gets you closer to an actionable workplan that will make your life easier and help you communicate timing and deliverables with clients and colleagues.

Continue reading “Question-Data-Action: Structure your work-plan”

A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs

In this three-part series I’ll give you a how-to for getting an interview, preparing for it, and dazzling the interviewers once you’re across the table. These are the main topics we’ll cover:


Continue reading “A PhD’s Guide Getting Consulting Jobs”

Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume

This is the first part of “A PhD’s Guide to Getting a Consulting Job,” because personal branding and resume building can help you the most! Having a great resume and a powerful personal brand is necessary to get in the door, and if you do it right, you may have the job before you even start talking.

First I’ll talk about how to build your brand, then I’ll share my tips on resume writing. Continue reading “Part 1: Branding Yourself and Making Making a “Wow” Resume”