A secondment at L.E.K. is a unique opportunity for professionals to immerse themselves in a temporary assignment with a client company, gaining invaluable experience and skills. Arjun Kandola, a London Associate Consultant, recently embarked on a secondment, providing us with insights into his journey and its impact on his career development.

Tell us a bit about yourself, career journey, and how you got to be at L.E.K.
I graduated from University College London in 2019 with an integrated master's in biochemistry and bioinformatics. After exploring careers in venture capital for a few years, I decided to join L.E.K. Consulting in their London office to enhance my hard skills in a more structured and formal environment. I've now been with the firm for just over two years, and the experience has been invaluable for my professional and personal development.

What do you describe a secondment as, and why did you decide to go on one?
A secondment is an opportunity for L.E.K. consultants to explore careers outside strategy consulting in a de-risked manner. It allows for short-term exploration without fully committing to a new career path. And as it's a secondment to one of our clients, there is typically a friendly face on the other side of it. I decided to go on a secondment to gain exposure to late-stage investing, which was different from my experience in early-stage venture capital.

What kind of work did you do there?
My secondment was at an investment firm that focused on growth and private equity investments. The fund deployed capital between £20-200 million and focused on technology, services, healthcare, and food/ingredients sectors. While I was there, I focused on origination work. This involved identifying potential investment opportunities by researching markets, speaking to experts, and evaluating trends to determine their attractiveness for investment.

What did you take away from this experience that is valuable for your position at L.E.K?
This experience gave me a better understanding of what private equity clients value in due diligence reports, which I've integrated into my work at L.E.K. It also helped me contextualize L.E.K.'s role in the overall private equity process. The experience also made me appreciate aspects of L.E.K.'s culture even more. Team sizes in private equity are naturally smaller in nature, so it was nice to come back and work within a full L.E.K. case team again.

What advice do you have for anyone thinking of also doing a secondment?
I would encourage anyone interested in a secondment to communicate it openly with their support structure at L.E.K. Secondments often arise opportunistically, so being vocal about your interest is key. Treat the interview process seriously, as secondment opportunities can be more competitive than you think.

Overall, what was your favorite part about your secondment?
My favorite part was getting exposure to the entirety of the client firm. They were welcoming and allowed me to explore different parts of their business, which made the experience enriching. Additionally, I enjoyed the social aspects, like going karting and attending events with my colleagues. Even though I was only there for three months, the whole company was very welcoming. It was a great experience that I'll never forget and I'm thankful to both L.E.K. and the firm I seconded to for allowing me such an opportunity.