What L.E.K. Consulting Gave Me

I was first exposed to L.E.K. my freshman year of college; I stumbled my way into a career fair and headed straight for the table with the most free items. You guessed it, L.E.K. was my first stop.

That year, my haul from L.E.K. included:

  • a pen
  • a water bottle
  • a tumbler

I thought that was the end of it, but secretly hoped that L.E.K. would keep giving, and I was certainly please when they did. Three years later, my haul includes:

  • a pen
  • water bottles x 2
  • tumblers x 2
  • Starbucks gift cards x 2
  • a briefcase
  • a mug

But I set my expectations far too low. In addition to a closet full of items, L.E.K. provided me with things I couldn’t have dreamed of three years ago, including, but certainly not limited to:

  • A group of friends, across the nation and the world
  • A set of mentors, there to guide me through L.E.K., my personal life, and the challenges I’ll face at this job and those that may come next
  • A week long trip to Cape Cod, with 40 of the brightest minds I’ve come across
  • A set of questions that challenge my basic assumptions, and push my analytical questions
  • The confidence to talk to CEOs, VPs and PhD-level engineers, despite having mere weeks of experience
  • The ability to confidently explain how an industrial gas valve works

I could go on, but I would never truly be able to finish this list. As I spend more time in the office, I find myself learning and experiencing things that weren’t even on my radar just weeks ago, let alone months or years.

I came into the firm with high expectations. I spent months preparing for interviews, speaking to people in the office and making sure I was making the right choice for my happiness, health and professional career. While I certainly would recommend L.E.K. to anyone interested in the management consulting industry, I caution those applying to do their due diligence (pun intended) on both themselves, and the firms they apply to.

Consulting, especially at L.E.K., requires someone to be comfortable with fast-paced and high-level work, while balancing a deep knowledge of industry nuances and details. When I started, I was alarmed by how little I knew regarding the case’s subject matter.

I was intimidated by the level of detail needed to properly think about, let alone advise upon our growth-strategy cases. The bar is high and the ramp up needs to be quick. But I was in good hands, my team—through direct mentoring and their resources—helped me scale the learning curve quickly and allowed me to start directing work streams, interviews and analysis.

While the internship has by no means been easy, it proves the adage, “nothing in life worth having comes easy (sic)” Joining L.E.K. means that you’re willing to work hard, that you’re willing to be stumped for a long time, and that you’re willing to grill a CEO. But now I know that it also means you’re willing to mentor your peers, you’re willing to debate with your managers and you’re willing to smile at any challenge.

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