Wes Going is a rising MBA2 and interning at L.E.K. Consulting this summer. He is specializing in Finance and Strategy and is a member of the Management Consulting Association, Military Veterans Club, and the Stern Management & Strategy Club.
NYU Stern’s “Summer Internship Series” sheds light into Sternies’ internship experiences. Posts are written by rising MBA2s who are currently working at their summer internship.
In the past, I usually spent my summers on-board a destroyer overseas. This summer, I am working as a Summer Consultant in L.E.K. Consulting’s New York office. As I reflect on the past year, having left the Navy, completed my first year of business school and now working at my internship, it’s exciting to look back on the opportunities I’ve had while at Stern.
As someone applying to business school after spending my entire post-undergrad life in the military, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write for my admissions essay ‘life plan,’ much less what the different potential post-MBA career opportunities were. To research, I leveraged current and alumni networks, in particular the Vets Clubs, and was intrigued by strategy consulting. The opportunity to have high-level impact on businesses within ambiguous, dynamic, team-based environments sounded similar to the situations I faced in the Navy. I also didn’t, and still don’t, know ‘what I want to do when I grow up,’ so being able to postpone that decision while continuing to develop a broader business understanding across industries beyond business school was also appealing.
After starting school I needed to figure out what consulting really was, if I still wanted to pursue it, and ultimately how to land an internship. Having limited experience with consulting and the case interview, I leveraged four resources at Stern to get up to speed. The first was the coursework, which gave me a foundational understanding of business. In particular, this spring I experienced consulting hands-on through the Stern Consulting Corps, an experiential learning course, through which I worked on a five year growth strategy for a global luxury scotch brand. Secondly, I heavily participated in the activities of the Management Consulting Association (MCA). With the weekly Casing Bootcamps, weekly meetings with my MBA2 MCA mentor, and casing workshops taught by experienced consulting professionals, I gained confidence in my casing skills. Third, with the support of the Stern community, both current students and alumni, I practiced and tailored my casing skills over the first semester of school. Finally, the formal events set up by the Office of Career Development (OCD), from programs like IGNITE to the corporate events with consulting firms, I gained an understanding of the different types of consulting firms out there and which ones fit me best.
Leveraging these resources, I was offered an internship this summer with L.E.K. Consulting. As a Summer Consultant, I’ve enjoyed analyzing market features and growth strategies for a company in an industry in which I have limited experience. Daily, I find myself learning from, and challenged by, my team and the leaders at the firm to continue expanding my business understanding. My initial research of consulting has also proven to be true, both in terms of the opportunities to create real impact and in the length of some work days. Yet, I’ve also found work-life balance to be strongly emphasized, from spending a week in Cape Cod for internship orientation to having in-office massages on Fridays. Specifically at L.E.K., I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to lead an associate on my own dedicated work stream, and my wife and I appreciate L.E.K.’s minimal travel structure, both of which are not common in consulting.
As I look back on the past year, it’s crazy to think what getting an MBA has made possible. Leaving the military without an MBA, I wouldn’t have had the same opportunities in consulting, and probably wouldn’t have known such opportunities existed. Looking forward, I’m excited for what I’ll learn the rest of the summer and in my second year at Stern.