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November 28, 2011

How I Spend My Workday

Whether you’re a desk jockey or an on-the-go exec, you're probably at your job more than you are at home. So what are you doing there? We followed five women to see what their 9-to-5 is really like.

rina shah

Shah taking in the art inside the Capitol Rotunda.

Photo Credit: Melissa Golden

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Rina Shah, 28 Washington, D.C.
Occupation: President/founder of Rilax Strategies, Inc., a political consulting firm
Annual Income: $85,000
5:50 a.m. I wake up automatically — no alarm clock — and check my BlackBerry and then websites like Politico, Roll Call, and The Hill. One of my clients is Fred Karger, the first openly gay Republican campaigning for president. He lives on the West Coast and is a night owl, so I have to be available to him. I work out of my two-bedroom condo. There's a gym in my building, so I'll do 30 minutes on the treadmill in the morning.
10 a.m. Time to walk over to Capitol Hill to meet with other conservatives and schmooze with reporters. Since I work primarily with older men, I have to dress conservatively — knee-length skirts and blazers, though I always rock 4-inch heels.
1:30 p.m. Back home, answering e-mails or drafting an op-ed piece. Usually, I eat a frozen meal from Trader Joe's while watching MSNBC or Fox News. I'll continually check in with Twitter to keep tabs on what Congress is up to.
3:30 p.m. If the afternoon gets stressful, I'll throw on a bikini and hit the pool on my apartment rooftop for an hour. It's been said that D.C. is the Hollywood of ugly people. I beg to differ.
6:30 p.m. I usually head over to Capitol Lounge on Pennsylvania Avenue for a drink. It's a playground for young staffers who want to see and be seen. When I need to mix with real GOP power players, l go to the members-only Capitol Hill Club. They waived the initiation fee for me because I'm a member in good standing of the D.C. Young Republicans. You see people like Speaker of the House John Boehner there.
8:30 p.m. Dinners are opportunities to get back out there and network, so I'll usually snack on appetizers at fundraisers or arrange a fancy three-course dinner with a potential campaign donor. I'm rarely ever home before midnight.

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