Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

L.E.K. Consulting

Strategy Consulting
Primary Research
Secondary Research
Qualitative Analysis
Quantitative Analysis

Project Details

Emilie Guez
Dr Celine Mougenot
Analyst Intern
Company Website

My industry placement experience took place at L.E.K. Consulting, a global strategy consulting firm which holds 20 offices over the world. L.E.K provides strategic support to clients – corporate companies or private equity firms – in the form of reports drawn from rigorous analysis and in-depth research. My position within the company was ‘Analyst Intern’ and I was assigned to different missions throughout my 6-month time at L.E.K. I was mainly assigned to missions for private equity firms (i.e. Due Diligences reports), considered as L.E.K.’s domain of expertise. I contributed to the case solving through primary and secondary research and quantitative analysis.


Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

In due diligence reports missions, the goal is to assess the attractiveness of a company which a private equity firm is interested in or wants to sell its equity from. Generally, L.E.K. focuses on four main topics to crack the case: Market, Customer Profile, Competitive Environment and Performance of Target. Information for each category was collected from secondary (e.g. press, market reports, etc.) and primary research (e.g. calls, survey, etc.). In the conduction of my tasks, I applied my design engineering knowledge on market research, user research and competitive analysis gained from contextual enquiries from countless design projects. Indeed, market attractiveness assessment relates to the discover and define phases in the design process: Is there a demand for a solution to a specific problem?, in consulting terms: Is the market attractive ? Furthermore, the customer profile category is equivalent to the user research phase in design projects. Through interviews with customers and other research methods, we conduct a persona building according to the different types of end-users and draw a set of Key Purchasing Criteria. Finally, in the competitive environment category, these Key Purchasing Criteria are set as indicators to perform a benchmarking between our target company and its competitors. Overall, I have strengthened my in-depth research skills and feel more confident in conducting interviews.


Role and Contributions

In one of the missions I was assigned to, we were looking at the High-End Audio Equipment Industry (e.g. high-end speakers, amplifiers, etc.). To assess the attractiveness of this market, our goal was to understand the addressed market size (current owners of high-end audio equipment) and the addressable market size (potential owners of high-end audio equipment). For this mission, I was in charge of the conduction of a customer survey around this topic. This was a great responsibility since the survey output data represented an important amount of the information required for the solving of the case and accounted for a significant share of the case budget (e.g. around 10k€). I monitored the survey process top-down, from the writing of the different questions, the supervising of the survey coding (sub-contracted to a professional survey coder), the monitoring of the collected answers to the final quantitative analysis of the data. This task involved a lot of communication with my team members since, at each step, the survey was reviewed internally by the different missions’ managers and reiterated several times. Furthermore, I considerably contributed to the case-solving through the quantitative analysis of the survey data, which proved to be very informative and useful. However, I encountered several challenges during this task. Indeed, once the coding was finalized, we conducted a soft launch step: the survey is sent to potential respondents and stopped when 30 answers are collected. This is used as a test step before the full launch to verify that all questions are asked correctly. At this stage, when analyzing the soft launch responses, I noticed that a lot of respondents were lying to some questions in order to pass the survey screening (the stage beyond which respondents are paid). This was not an expected challenge at the beginning of the process, however I was able to overcome this by adding ‘test / trick questions’ and logic to the survey to screen out immediately all lying respondents. As a consequence, the answers collection process was slowed down. However, all answers were then very reliable which was greatly appreciated by my supervisors. Despite the various challenges, this task was achieved successfully as deadlines were met and the survey analysis contributed strongly to the case solving.



This placement was an enriching experience which enlightened me on strategy consulting, which had interested me for some time. I used this opportunity to discover a profession considered for my future career. Beyond contributing to my professional development, this experience informed me on the skills and knowledge I still lacked to work in this sector. I was able to draw a conclusion about my further studies, which I would like to carry out in the field of finance and business.