Hi All! I am Nicole, a second-year Associate based in the Boston office. In the past year and a half at L.E.K., I have focused mostly on our Industrials and Healthcare practices. Some of my favorite cases have been a pipeline restructuring for a midsized biopharma company, a loyalty strategy project for a major U.S. airline, and a commercial due diligence on a paper straw manufacturer (right around the time when Starbucks announced they were phasing out plastic straws!). I plan to remain as a generalist for a little while because I prefer working across multiple industries with different managers and sector teams.

Outside of my case experiences, what I love most about L.E.K. is the people, and especially the mentorship relationships that form all across the firm, which the Women’s Network (WN) does a tremendous job in facilitating. Although the firm does a great job of establishing a formal mentorship program through the Career Development Coach (CDC) program, the bond you get to form with the Women’s Network leaders serves a great resource in addressing the issues that female associates face at the firm. Both programs are complementary and work hand in hand in supporting me and all the women here at L.E.K.

There are many examples of how the Women’s Network mentorship groups have helped support me during my time here. One example that comes to mind: one day when I was clearly having a difficult time at work, a female manager pulled me aside and asked to get coffee. First of all, I was so surprised that she even noticed that I was having a tough week and that she took the time out of her busy day to genuinely see how she could help. I had never been on a case with her—the only encounters I had with her were through the WN events!

During our coffee chat, she shared some challenges she faced as an associate, which helped me put things into perspective. I was able to open up to her and told her how I have found it difficult to speak up during meetings and was actively working on my communication skills. She not only showed a great level of empathy but also gave me practical, helpful tips on how to work on those challenges. After the coffee chat, I felt so supported in knowing that there is someone looking out for me. That was just one of the examples of how the WN leaders make time in their busy, busy schedules to make sure female L.E.K.ers feel supported at work.