A Day in the Life – First-year Consultant

Hi All! I am Laura, a first-year Consultant based in L.E.K.’s Boston office. I have been at the firm for almost one year – joining first as a Summer Consultant in L.E.K.’s San Francisco office and then transferring to the Boston office after graduating from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. In one year, I have worked on a total of five cases in the industrials and healthcare sectors, as well as working on L.E.K. company initiatives such as a client proposal on hand tools and developing internal thought leadership on beauty trends.

 

So, what is a day in the life at L.E.K. like for a Consultant? Well, just last week I found myself in Germany for a client site visit, so I’ll cherry-pick that one as one of the more exciting days and share that!

 

Last Wednesday, I was in Germany for a strategy case for a large industrial conglomerate focused on engineered components. As part of the project, the L.E.K. Partner and I flew over to Germany to visit one of our client’s subsidiaries, tour their plant, and conduct management interviews. *I would caveat this story with the notion that travel is not common at L.E.K. One of the reasons, I chose L.E.K. was that most of our work we do is in the office (which I found to be unique in the consulting industry). As a Consultant, I have had the opportunity to travel to Houston and Hartford for client meetings and workshops -- but 95+% of nights I am in Boston, which allows me to take care of my one-year-old Golden Retriever, Tucker (more on him later).

 

Back to Germany. Wednesday was the last of our three days in Germany. Like most days, I was up early, around 6am, to squeeze in a workout – getting to see the sights of the small city with a run along the canal. The partner and I met around 8am to debrief on the previous day and discuss next steps on (1) how to communicate our findings to the larger team – which included two other L.E.K. Partners, a senior manager, and two associates, and (2) outlining the work streams and analysis for us next client update.

 

Then off to the airport we went to start our journey back to Boston. Since I do not drive stick and the idea of driving on the autobahn slightly terrifies me, the Partner drove. We chatted about our upcoming summer plans, and it just so happened that both of us have sprint triathlons scheduled. Since I am tri newbie, he gave advice on the swim to bike transitions as I typed away on my computer to send out the BOD to the team (L.E.K. speak for “Beginning of Day” email). The BOD is one of the most important parts of the Consultant role. As a Consultant at L.E.K., you are the most senior person staffed on a project. You report into a Manager or Principal but they are double-staffed and have multiple projects to manager at a given time. You are responsible for managing the Associates – work planning, delegating analyses and tasks, ensuring their output is high-quality, providing guidance and coaching, and most importantly making sure they get out of the office at a responsible hour. An effective BOD is critical to ensure that end of day and end of week goals are communicated and that the team flags any roadblocks or delays early.

 

In true German form, we made our efficiently way through security and to our flight. I had a slightly MBA fan girl moment, as I was seated in front of Clayton Christensen, a household name in MBA classes when it comes to disruptive innovation. I treated the flight like a regular work day. I reviewed the work the team sent across the previous night and made comments for them to turn before we sent to the manager. I worked on my segment of the analysis as it related to understanding the competitive landscape and possible acquisition targets. When the Boston Associates came online, I (online) chatted through their questions and troubleshot the model that the experienced Associate was working on.

 

We landed mid-afternoon back in Boston. I came into the office to check-in on the team and ensure we were all tracking for reasonable hours. The Associates and I left at 6PM for a social committee event. L.E.K. has a healthy social budget managed by a committee made up of Managers, Consultants and Associates. This week’s event was an office-wide Barry’s Bootcamp session. Thirty of us headed over to the nearby studio to try it out. As it was my first-time at Barry’s, I got my butt kicked, but it was a great chance to see some of the other Associates and Consultants that I don’t see as often (just given that most of my days are spent with my immediate case team). After Barry’s wrapped up, I walked home to go greet Tucker after being gone for three days. Tucker is a handful and definitely a lot to balance as a first-year consultant but I manage with the help of doggy daycare and a supportive partner.

 

There you have it – a day in the life as a Consultant at L.E.K.!

 

If you are a female applicant at the MBA, PhD or undergrad level and interested in speaking to a current female employee, don’t hesitate to reach out to women@lek.com.

 

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