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My Summer Consultant Internship at L.E.K. New York

As my internship as a Summer Consultant at L.E.K Consulting’s New York City office draws to a close, I’m able to reflect on all that I’ve learned during what has been a fun and fast-paced summer internship experience.

We began with a week of training at Wentworth by the Sea Resort in New Castle, New Hampshire, where all of the Summer Consultants (MBAs) and Summer Associates (undergrads) from the North America practice gathered for a week of training. In addition to the training activities, we enjoyed a number of social events including a clam bake in York, Maine and cocktails by the pool overlooking the marina. These occasions helped build relationships with Summer Consultants from our other North American offices, many of whom I will remain in contact with.

I was extremely impressed by the level of training we received and the knowledge I gained during this short week! L.E.K. has a well-established training program known as “PD,” or Professional Development. The courses we took ranged from leadership and coaching to creating effective work plans and managing a team of associates. The level of solid management experience a Consultant gains at L.E.K. fosters the leadership skills required to really drive the project team. Consultants typically manage several associates of varying levels on the case team, serving as liaisons between the team and our client counterparts.

Following the training week, we returned to our home offices and began our assignments with a welcome breakfast with the entire office staff.  Because the New York office is relatively small (~30 people), I was able to meet most of the local personnel at this breakfast and already felt like a part of the team!  I was introduced to my case team, composed of three MDs (two of whom are located in our San Francisco office), a Manager, a Consultant, an Associate Consultant, an Associate, a Summer Associate and myself.  Our project was with a healthcare insurance provider, which was very exciting for me given my past work experience in the healthcare industry and my interest in future work in that sector. My duties on the project consisted of creating a detailed staffing model for the various departments of the functional area we served.  It was challenging and engaging work, and I enjoyed the opportunity to analyze the problem, lay out the analysis and see my work and ideas come to fruition with our presentations to the client. 

About four weeks into the internship, I was staffed on a new project as my manager wanted to ensure I would be exposed to the initiation of a case.  This engagement was for a biotech company taking an exciting new drug to market.  Our team consisted of two partners in the Boston office, a Consultant, a Life Sciences Specialist, a Summer Associate and myself. The Life Sciences Specialists at L.E.K. are PhDs who are incredible to work with due to their depth of knowledge and focus on specific life sciences disciplines. During this four-week case, we completed a market sizing and segmentation of the prospective patient base and created a detailed revenue forecast as well as an NPV analysis for the drug’s potential. This project was particularly exciting to me because it was a very high-level strategy project with many unknowns that we had to clarify with our research efforts. We also interviewed over 25 physicians to elicit their opinions on the disease being researched as well as the drug’s potential. Interviewing the physicians and using this knowledge to drive the assumptions in our model was particularly rewarding to me.

The summer experience culminated in a final dinner with the intern class at an upscale restaurant in Midtown, a very fitting venue that enabled us to reflect as a group on our internships.  I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to learn so much in just a few weeks at L.E.K., and I am grateful for the entire experience. I was thrilled to discover how collegial and supportive the entire staff is, and I loved the culture at this smaller office. As I head back to Columbia Business School for the second year of the MBA program, I look forward to sharing my experiences with my classmates as well as learning about their own internships.

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