Twin brothers and L.E.K. Consulting Summer Associates Ethan and Austin Pentergraft tell us about their backgrounds, career goals and experience being ‘twinterns’ in the Los Angeles office.
Tell me about your backgrounds and journey to being summer associates at L.E.K.
Ethan: I’ve always been interested in business, inspired by my father, who is an entrepreneur. When I entered college at UCLA, I pursued a degree in business economics, still unsure of the specific path I wanted to take. It was through involvement in various business clubs on campus that I discovered consulting and learned about different firms in the industry. L.E.K. caught my attention, and I decided to apply for its summer associate program. Interestingly, my twin brother, Austin, also had an interest in business and consulting, and he independently applied for the same program. We ended up being selected as summer associates together at L.E.K.
Did you plan on coming to work here together?
Ethan: Yeah, you know, it’s funny — we don’t plan on doing a lot of things together, but it’s just how life happens. We didn’t plan on studying business together or to both go to UCLA, and we definitely did not plan on both being interns for L.E.K. It’s just how it always seems to end up happening.
Austin: Exactly. Happenstances like this pop up in our lives all the time — never planned, usually just a happy coincidence.
What are your expectations with this experience, and what are you hoping to take away?
Austin: Coming into the internship, my goal was to gain a deeper understanding of what the day-to-day life of a consultant is like. I know from speaking with full-time associates prior to recruiting for L.E.K. that the office does its best to treat you as a regular first-year associate from week one, an aspect that I found incredibly attractive and unique to the firm. Beyond workstream opportunity, I am hoping to mingle with the rest of the L.A. office and gain a diverse exposure to different types of industries throughout this summer.
Ethan: Like Austin, my main expectation for this internship is to gain a deep understanding of what it means to be a consultant. I hope to experience the fast-paced and challenging nature of consulting and learn how to navigate ambiguity effectively.
How has the experience been so far?
Ethan: I have been enjoying my time here. While it has been a short time since I started working in the office, I am already involved in a life sciences enablers project. As someone with a background in economics and not life sciences, the project has presented a steep learning curve. However, this has been an excellent opportunity for me to experience the rapid learning and broad exposure that consulting offers. The highlight of my experience so far has been my team. We have developed a strong bond and work closely together, both in the office and during social activities like team dinners.
Austin: I am also really enjoying the experience. I’ve already completed two due diligence projects, which exposed me to the fast-paced nature of the industry and allowed me to gain insight into how to be an efficient and a value-add teammate. Your team understands that you are new to a lot of this type of work and is incredibly proactive about pairing you with a case team member to help guide you and answer questions.
What do you think of the culture here at L.E.K.?
Austin: The culture here in the L.A. office is terrific. People do a wonderful job organizing more structured/formal social events such as trivia as well as more spontaneous get-togethers, like playing pickup basketball down the street. Both are great opportunities to connect and bond with my colleagues. This aspect of L.E.K.’s culture bleeds into the case teams too. My case teams have been incredibly supportive, helpful, and fun, which speaks volumes about the firm’s culture.
Ethan: Yes, the culture at L.E.K. has been great. While there have been a few social events, the culture extends beyond organized activities. What I particularly appreciate is the camaraderie within my team. We spend a lot of time together, collaborating, asking questions and enjoying breaks.
How do you see this experience aligning with your long-term career goals?
Ethan: I have been interested in consulting for quite some time, and this internship at L.E.K. aligns perfectly with my long-term career goals. I see myself pursuing a career in consulting, and this experience provides me with valuable insights into the industry. It allows me to explore different sectors and develop a better understanding of the consulting profession. If given the opportunity, I would be thrilled to return to L.E.K. in the future.
Austin: The experience has also validated and reaffirmed much of my original interest in pursuing a career in consulting. This program is an amazing opportunity and could be a steppingstone for me to achieve that goal and hopefully return next year as a full-time L.E.K. associate!