Day In The Life: Monica Dongre

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Name: Monica Dongre

Title: Senior Employment Counsel

Company: RTI International

Location: Raleigh, NC

5:30 am

Hit snooze on my alarm. There’s no such thing as enough sleep when you’re a parent. I’ll steal nine more minutes.

5:39 am

Accept that the morning has arrived and climb out of bed. Get dressed for my morning workout. It’s important for me to make time for movement each day, and the only time I can reliably exercise is first thing in the morning.

robuart /

6:01 am

I’m shocked to see that it took me 22 minutes to put on workout gear and head up one flight of stairs to my home gym. Fire up the Peloton app and pick a couple of classes to start my day.

6:35 am

Help my six-year-old pick out weather-appropriate attire (long pants, short sleeves) for his school day. Head down the hallway to get myself ready for a day at the office: I’m still out of practice with this routine after years of working at home, even though I’ve been going into the office a few times a week for about a year.

7:30 am

Finished getting myself ready for my day. Rush downstairs to pack a lunch and grab my coffee. Hugs from everyone, then out the door with my eight-year-old so he’s not late to his school fitness competition practice.

7:40 am

The battery on my electric vehicle (EV) is lower than I realized. I book a charging appointment at one of the free chargers at my office.

8:00 am

Plug in my EV and head into the office to start my workday. It’s a relatively quiet day: only six meetings, with an hour of quiet time before my first one starts!

mentalmind /

9:05 am

The meeting marathon begins. I meet with a new hire, attend a standing meeting with a colleague, and meet with an internal client to discuss some sticky issues.

12:00 pm

A break in meetings. I attend a virtual Employee Resource Group event. I love ERG events as a way of connecting with my colleagues around the world. It’s nice to be able to stay in touch with people virtually, and these informal connections are important to building trust and relationships across the organization, which helps me do my job better.

12:30 pm

I run into a member of our Corporate Events team on my way to heat up lunch in the microwave. She offers me a box of snacks that were left over from an office event this week. I take it for our team retreat next week.

12:40 pm

This slice of quiche isn’t going to be enough to sustain me for the afternoon. I head downstairs to make a salad in our on-site café.

1:00 pm

Texting with our household manager about afternoon logistics. My husband and I are both attorneys, and we rely upon a vast support network of family, friends, and others to help keep things running smoothly.

1:30 pm

Another meeting, followed by a series of “drive by” discussions with colleagues. While I’m thankful for the opportunity to work from home as often as necessary, I also enjoy my coworkers and am happy to see people in-person a few times each week. It’s nice to be able to flex my schedule to mix in-person interactions with quiet, meeting-light days of working from home.

4:00 pm

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Head home for the day. Scrounge up leftovers for dinner, feed the dogs, and head out to my kids’ school for an event and PTA meeting.

8:30 pm

Back home from school. Reading together as a family: a nightly tradition that the kids thankfully haven’t outgrown (yet).

9:30 pm

Climb into bed and read a few chapters of the book currently on my nightstand (They Called Us Exceptional, by Prachi Gupta) before turning in for the night.

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