No two days as an associate at L.E.K. are ever truly the same. Coming up on the end of my first year, I just wrapped up my 14th case, and all of them have offered a view into vastly different industries across various sectors of business. As an associate, my main responsibility is owning the primary research campaign as well as analyzing secondary data sources. The day begins around 8:30, catching up on morning emails and reading a few of the top headlines online. After a morning meeting with my Consultant and other associates on the team, I get to work searching for various data sources and setting up interviews for the primary research campaign. An average case will have two to three, hour-long interviews each day where I get the opportunity to speak with experts in the industry I’m working in and pick their brain on various market drivers, trends, and the reputations of major players in the market. The insights that I gather from these interviews will eventually be used to build out assumptions in the market model and create a complete picture of the market.
After running through the morning interviews and distributing the key takeaways to my team, it is time for lunch. The associates in the office all have their favorite savory lunch spots and the handful of healthy salad options for when you’re feeling guilty about the weekend or the donut you couldn’t resist on your walk to work in the morning. Usually one can find a small group of people sitting nearby to grab some food with. Many associates will take their lunch to the cafeteria in the office to eat and catch up on everyone’s casework and upcoming weekend plans. After lunch the research continues and I may switch over to synthesizing my findings and crafting the story that my team will eventually present to our client.
On a typical case, particularly a private equity due diligence, the team may need to stay past dinner and will choose between everyone’s favorite locations to order takeout and eat together in the cafeteria. However, on Fridays the day winds down around 5 pm and all roads inevitably lead to Beer Cart. Every Friday in the office, a different partner hosts an event called Beer Cart, where we order a wide selection of 6-packs and everyone takes some time to end their week on a high note, sharing case experiences and talking about the upcoming weekend while enjoying a cold beer with coworkers. It’s a relaxing, laid back way to end a busy day as an associate at L.E.K.