We spoke to Laura Brookhiser about her career journey and coming back to L.E.K. Consulting as a boomerang recruit — an industry term for a consultant who leaves the firm and later returns.
“When I started at L.E.K. in the fall of 2008, I came to consulting on a path that many others have traveled — I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, and consulting seemed like a low-risk first step. I would get exposure to a range of industries and develop a skillset that would hopefully be transferable to whatever job I actually wanted down the line. Little did I know that this would ultimately be the place that I would make my career.
“When I started as an Associate in the L.E.K. Boston office, I began as a generalist, and I got the exposure to a wide variety of sectors and industries that I was looking for. But more than that, I never found myself getting bored — I was always starting a new project, understanding a new client or learning a new type of analysis. There was always something to sink your teeth into in a meaningful way. Each time I mastered a new skillset, I was immediately presented with new challenges and growth opportunities. As a result of this hard work and a set of incredible mentors, I worked my way up to consultant after 3.5 years.
“After I was promoted, I started to think about the trajectory of my career. Many of my peers had pursued MBAs or were enjoying opportunities in other sectors. Would I stay at one job for my whole life (as my father had done), or would I bounce from place to place as many of my friends seemed to? I had always been interested in social impact, and eventually made the decision to pursue my MBA while also exploring other opportunities that aligned with my interests. I earned my business degree from Stanford, as well as a master’s in education. Following this experience, I indulged my passion for the humanities while sticking to my consulting roots, accepting a position at a nonprofit consulting firm. There, I enjoyed an enriching experience helping nonprofit clients with strategy and management needs. It was extremely rewarding to amplify their impact and ensure they’d be able to keep doing great work for years to come.
“Part of me assumed that once I left L.E.K., the relationships I’d had there would dwindle, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. During my four years in nonprofit consulting, many of my L.E.K. mentors kept in close touch — reaching out to get lunch or meet for a drink when they were traveling to the West Coast. So, when it came time to leave my nonprofit role, I knew exactly where I was going — and that was back to L.E.K.
“Coming back to L.E.K. was an easy decision. I missed the pace of the work, the resources the firm provided and the network of mentors I’d cultivated. Moreover, in my hiatus from L.E.K., many of the people I’d worked most closely with had become leaders in the firm — whether it be office head, sector lead or spearheading other critical initiatives. I was inspired by their progress and imagined there would be ample opportunity for me to grow professionally while shaping the future of the organization. All these factors contributed to my “boomerang” back to L.E.K.
“Now, as a Principal in the Consumer practice, I enjoy managing multiple projects at once while learning how to cultivate new clients and business for the firm. Similar to when I started at L.E.K. over 10 years ago, I am never bored and always take on new challenges and responsibilities. I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had over the course of my career so far, and I’m looking forward to what comes next.”
We’d like to thank Laura for sharing her story. Interested in taking the next step? See how to apply to L.E.K.