Stanford GSB | Mr. Navy Officer
GMAT 770, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. Public Finance
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Ms. Ambitious Hippie
GRE 329, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr. Milk Before Cereals
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3 (16/20 Portuguese scale)
Stanford GSB | Mr. Systems Change
GMAT 730, GPA 4
Harvard | Mr. Sales To Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 3.49
INSEAD | Ms. Hope & Goodwill
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
INSEAD | Mr. Airline Captain
GMAT 740, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Ms. Almost Ballerina
GRE 332, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Startup
GRE 327, GPA 3.35
Darden | Mr. Engineer Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Tuck | Mr. Consulting To Tech
GMAT 750, GPA 3.2
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBB to PM
GRE 338, GPA 4.0
IU Kelley | Ms. Biracial Single Mommy
, GPA 2.5/3.67 Grad
Darden | Ms. Unicorn Healthcare Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. MBA Class of 2023
GMAT 725, GPA 3.5
Chicago Booth | Mr. Guy From Taiwan
GRE 326, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Mr. Energy Reform
GMAT 700, GPA 3.14 of 4
Ross | Mr. Verbal Engineer
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Packaging Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.47
Kellogg | Mr. Danish Raised, US Based
GMAT 710, GPA 10.6 out of 12
Wharton | Mr. Sr. Systems Engineer
GRE 1280, GPA 3.3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Semiconductor Guy
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Harvard | Mr. Polyglot
GMAT 740, GPA 3.65
Duke Fuqua | Mr. Enlisted Undergrad
GRE 315, GPA 3.75
Stanford GSB | Mr. Rocket Scientist Lawyer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.65 Cumulative
Darden | Mr. Stock Up
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3

LEK Expects To Hire 30 MBAs This Year

As fears of a double-dip recession rise, L.E.K. Consulting says it still expects to recruit as many MBAs this year—roughly 30 from top U.S. schools alone for its domestic offices–as it did last. But it is already looking less likely that the 2011-2012 recruiting season will see an increase in hires.

”This past year we were in an up mode. We were hiring for growth. We are anticipating that our number of hires will be similar this year. But it’s still being determined,” Chief Talent Officer Kristine Hyde told Poets&Quants in an interview. “We’re keeping an eye on that.”

A major MBA and PhD recruiter, L.E.K. had 100 new consulting hires start at the strategic consulting firm’s U.S. operations  on Monday for a two-week orientation. Roughly a third of 70 consulting recruits were freshly minted MBAs chosen from the firm’s highly selective on-campus recruiting program.

Earlier this month, the firm recently launched a new marketing campaign to kick off the fall recruiting season. It began a regularly updated blog, The Advisor, to provide practical answers to questions on consulting as well as profile employees and the roles they are playing at the firm. “We are hoping to provide some background and education on what a career in management consulting is like and what it would be like to work at L.E.K..”

In the U.S., L.E.K. says it has recruiting relationships with 11 core business schools: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Tuck, MIT Sloan, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, Columbia, Fuqua, UC-Berkeley’s Haas School and UCLA’s Anderson School. The firm also hires from other U. S. business schools on a more ad hoc basis.

Typical for most consulting firms, MBA candidates have to jump numerous hurdles to get an offer from L.E.K.. Recruits usually face two interviews on campus and then three more interviews in a final round if invited back to L.E.K.’s offices. “In rough numbers,” says Hyde, “one out of every ten to 12 we interview will get an offer. It’s pretty selective and competitive.”

Ticking off a list of attributes LEK seeks in MBA candidates, Hyde adds, “We look for strong business acumen and solid analytic skills, individuals who have the right perspective in terms of being team players, people who are very inquisitive, curious and self-motivated.”

L.E.K., which was launched some 28 years ago in the U.K. by a group of Bain consultants, boasts just under 1,000 employees worldwide who largely focus on four key industry sectors: life sciences, health care, retail, and aviation. The firm is just starting to do emerging industries.

L.E.K. hires MBAs to work as generalists in the firm. “While we don’t currently hire directly into our sectors, we are interested in people who have backgrounds in the sector areas. But if you have an aviation background, it doesn’t mean you will work only on aviation. We give our MBAs a breadth of experience. The exception to that is on the PhD side where we hire specifically for life sciences. We’ll bring in about 15 PhDs a year (in the U.S.) as life sciences specialists.

“One of the things we try to do is to promote the opportunities for international exposure at L.E.K. either through normal project work or a swap program so you can swap jobs with a peer for six months in another location. The international opportunities have become more interesting to folks, but very often people don’t want to move their entire lives abroad.”

Hyde has been on the recruiting side of the business for the past 20 years. “I haven’t seen a drastic change in the quality of the candidates,” she says. “It was always good and it continues to be good. I am always impressed with the MBA talent I meet. The profile has changed a little bit. In the early 1990s, when I first started out, investment banking and consulting were the hot areas. There has been a lot more diversification of the opportunities MBAs are now interested in. There’s a lot more interest in entrepreneurship now and with the economic changes, the interest in investment banking has shifted, too.”

Asked to name the most challenging part of her job, she says simply: “Fighting for the top talent. Everybody wants the same folks. We certainly continue to see that L.E.K. is continuing to grow, and we’re constantly looking for more top talent. I think the opportunities for MBAs have become a lot more diverse so we are all competing for a smaller pool.”

While Hyde helps to coordinate MBA recruiting across all the U.S. offices, the international offices tend to recruit from their local top schools. L.E.K.’s London office, for example, cultivates the relationships with London Business School and INSEAD.


About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.