Andrea D’Isola, an L.E.K. Associate Consultant based in London, is currently on a swap in our New York office. L.E.K. Consulting’s unique Swap Program provides L.E.K.ers with an opportunity to switch positions with a peer in another country for six months. Here he tells us about his experience on swap, why he decided to move to New York, and how swap has benefited his personal and professional development.
Tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to participate in L.E.K.’s swap program.
I’m from a small town in Northern Italy called Verona and studied in Venice and Milan before joining the London L.E.K. office as an Associate. I first heard about L.E.K.’s swap program during my recruitment process, and it really captured my attention. It sounded like an exciting and unique opportunity to work from a different country and experience a different culture while still being a part of the same company. Unfortunately, due to Covid, I had to wait a while to participate, but as soon as swap reopened, I put my name on the list!
How did you decide on New York?
New York was my first choice because I wanted to work in a city with the same level of excitement as London and experience a smooth transition. And New York is such an iconic place. There is always something happening in art and culture here, and there are always exciting things to do on the weekends or after work. I’ve been here in the winter period and got to spend Christmas here, and it was really fun seeing the city all lit up with the festivities. Now I’m eager to experience the sunnier New York spring days. I’m also looking forward to seeing more of the U.S. and taking a sabbatical after my swap ends to travel the California coast and visit Hawaii.
How has your experience been so far, and how has swap influenced your personal and professional life?
The New York office culture is similar to London’s, where everyone is friendly and welcoming. I was shocked that I can move to the other side of the world but then enter an office and find a very similar attitude and work environment where people are keen to meet you and help you out. It has been interesting adapting to different work styles and cultures and learning different ways of approaching problems. The swap so far has been very influential for my professional life as I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of training sessions and staffed on projects I normally would not have had exposure to in London.
What has been the biggest culture shock you’ve experienced on moving to the U.S.?
The sports culture! Coming from Europe, which is so massively dominated by football (soccer), I quickly understood no one was excited about the same sports as me in the office. Watching American football or basketball with colleagues was a completely new experience for me, and I had to learn the rules of what a quarterback does and learn that the “Nets” are actually the “Mets.” But it has been very fun learning about this and going to games with my colleagues and doing a deep dive into American culture during my time here.