OW vs. LEK

Considering these two options, and I'm leaning LEK, but given how highly everyone thinks of OW on this forum, wanted to make sure I'm not missing anything...

pay/location: both same city, OW may be slightly more, but not a deciding factor for me

WLB: I know LEK is a sweatshop and I didn't know too much about OW for WLB, but through the recruiting process, I also got major sweatshop vibes

culture: I felt more of a connection with my LEK interviewers than my OW interviewers. In fact, I had a difficult time connecting with practically all my OW interviewers, so I'm a bit worried about this. Would love extra input here. 

projects: I'm interested in healthcare/LS and I know what LEK does in the space, but curious to hear more about healthcare work at OW (type and scope) 

"prestige"/exit-opps: it seems like people think of OW very highly on this forum, curious about exit opps between the two, especially in life sciences space (startups, investing, big pharma, etc.)

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Comments (6)

  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
Sep 30, 2021 - 12:19pm

If you are interested in LS & exiting to LS, LEK is a great move and a well respected name in the space - don't believe OW has a huge name in the space. Especially since you connected with the interviewers a lot more, and both places will work you hard, I think the choice is a lot clearer

  • Associate 1 in IB - ECM
Sep 30, 2021 - 7:12pm

Anecdotally know 3 Oliver Wyman people who have gone onto great exits: (1) UMM PE, (2) HSW MBA, (3) MM HF (although CO -> HF is highly rare and individual attended ivy UG fwiw). 

LEK is great in Europe, but I know OW is seen as equal or slightly below MBB for financial services. Although if LS then probably LEK. 

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Sep 30, 2021 - 8:06pm

Healthcare at OW much more focused on payer/provider than life sciences. OW generally better buyside exits but LEK more buyside exits. I thought the culture at OW was phenomenal and still keep in touch with friends there, just went with them to Europe to party for a week and we haven't worked at OW in years. Hours are pretty good at OW, I maybe once or twice worked weekends and I did a ton of DDs, still went to the gym, saw friends, etc. I'm extremely biased but I also had offers at LEK and OW and am very glad I chose OW. I also had a great exit.

Quick edit / clarification: I'm not recommending one or the other, I'm just giving you my perspective which I've acknowledged is biased but the reflections are genuine / sincere and meant to be helpful to you.

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  • Prospect in Consulting
Sep 30, 2021 - 10:50pm

Hey- current OW here. Agree with a lot of the above. I am having a really good time at the firm, find the work to be relatively interesting, and think I will have good exit options in the future. I would generally try to plug OW but the one thing that stood out to me is your interest in healthcare. I think this may be a deciding factor.

If you mean life sciences (e.g., biotech), LEK is the clear winner as they are a top name in the space and we do no work in the space. 

If you mean hospital systems/insurance, OW healthcare is amazing. Incredible culture, top clients, and interesting projects. Don't think LEK does as much here (though not sure)

So if getting healthcare experience is v important to you, the choice will become obvious based on what you mean by healthcare.

If you, say, have a general interest in healthcare but still want the generalist experience, I would support the above comments and generally plug OW as I have had a really good time (not going to comment on LEK as I have no reference)

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 8, 2021 - 9:15pm

I may have spoken to soon. We bought Huron this week. Definitely makes things a bit more interesting. I think most of what I said stands but now it seems as if you would also have the opportunity to do the LS work to some degree. So now its more, OW as a generalist firm w/ some LS work or LEK with the focus on LS.

Sep 30, 2021 - 11:28pm

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