During my first year at business school, every time I met a former L.E.K. Associate, I was impressed by their analytical insight, business acumen and teamwork mentality. I knew that I wanted to develop these skills, so I set out to join L.E.K. as a Summer MBA Consultant.
Up to that point, I had minimal exposure to consulting through business school projects. I came from an education and healthcare background - I had previously served as a Fulbright scholar in Bangka, Indonesia and attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout my clinical training, I was curious about how macro trends in the larger healthcare landscape would have downstream effects on my individual patients. I sought to deepen my understanding of my prior work through exposure to tough health care business problems. This led me to embark on my MBA at Wharton and ultimately, to join L.E.K. for hands-on consulting experience. I’ll share with you how the experience has exceeded my expectations and what skills I applied from business school throughout my summer internship.
During recruiting, I found it challenging to understand the nuances of what truly made each firm different. However, after several weeks at L.E.K., I appreciated the core elements that what makes this company stand out as a collaborative, forward-thinking place to work.
Network of visionary women
- One of my favorite mantras at Wharton is “empowered women empower women,” and I was excited to see it carried over to my experience at L.E.K. I met several wonderful women at every level throughout my summer experience through various forums such as the company-wide outing to a Red Sox game and many informal introductions at Friday Beer Cart.
- Additionally, I heard from two Boston Managing Directors, Eileen Coveney in Life Sciences and Carol Wingard in Industrials, about their own upward trajectory in the firm. It was inspiring to hear about their own careers, and comforting to know that there were outstanding role models to look up to at the firm.
Small office feel
- Because of L.E.K.’s local staffing model, I had frequent interactions with my case team, co-interns, and the other staff throughout the summer. If I had a question about the project, I was able to pop over to my manager’s desk and have an in-person conversation with him. If I wanted to grab coffee with a former Wharton alumni now at L.E.K., we would take a sunshine break and catch up.
- The local staffing model allowed me to not only develop close relationships with my co-workers but also understand the types of people that work at L.E.K. outside of my case teams.
- While at L.E.K., I had the opportunity to work on both long-term strategy and short-term due diligence cases. The skills I learned from these projects were extremely different, and as a result, I became more facile in my ability to tackle new problems.
- There are several industries represented at L.E.K. From industrials to life sciences to retail; I was excited to see the large amount of diversity in project topics and clients.
- From associates all the way up to managing directors, L.E.K. emphasized frequent interactions in both formal and informal settings. I was able to get to know the managing directors on my case teams in addition to the managing director who served as my Career Development Coach on both professional and personal levels. Additionally, I learned more about the transition from business school to L.E.K. through lunches and coffee hangouts with my summer buddy, a first-year post-MBA consultant at the firm. Finally, I received actionable, direct feedback from my manager weekly. This allowed me to maximize my strengths and improve upon my areas of development in real time throughout the summer.
- In addition to formal touchpoints, there were also many social events that facilitated my ability to get to know people throughout the firm. My favorite event was the summer intern sailing event because I learned about how different everyone’s trajectories were leading up to L.E.K. - all while eating a plate of sushi on the water!
Skills from business school
During the course of my summer, I was able to leverage skills I had learned in both the classroom and through extracurriculars at Wharton. The most frequently used components of my business school toolkit were teamwork, leadership, and my network.
- On any type of case team, L.E.K. employees interface with each other constantly to ensure that synergistic insights are being added to the overall project. While at Wharton, I had worked on several different teams, and I learned how important it was to understand each person’s evolving role in a project. This requires frequent communication, flexibility, and knowledge sharing. I applied these skills when working with my case teams so that we could successfully reach our goals.
- Summer MBA Consultants at L.E.K. have the opportunity to manage associates and associate consultants. I tapped into the leadership skills I developed while serving on extracurricular boards and tackling tasks in my Wharton management classes in order to help lead my case team despite being new to the firm. This involved taking the time to develop one-on-one relationships with each of my associates, in order to better understand how we could work best together to ensure high quality work was being produced.
Leveraging my network
- A few times in my case work I found it difficult to answer a question through the available primary and secondary sources. I turned to my Wharton network of professors and peers who had in-depth expertise in the space and was provided with information and resources that ultimately affected a significant piece of our deliverable. I was excited to see how willing my business school network was to share knowledge and how much of an impact it had in my professional work.
Despite my indirect path to L.E.K., I believe that my prior experiences and curiosity to learn have allowed me to have an impactful experience working at the firm. I have been inspired by the strong women’s network, rigor and work ethic applied to daily tasks, and frequent in-person conversations with my co-workers. My work at L.E.K. has provided me with both business skills that are widely applicable and a network of smart, driven, and empowering individuals.