Associate Consultant, Boston
In my favorite case we were able to maintain a sustainable lifestyle while producing game-changing results.
- PROJECT EXPERIENCE
- WEEK IN THE LIFE
- MY BLOG
Prior to starting my internship at Bain in the summer of 2009, I knew embarrassingly little about consulting or the business world at large. Encouraged to apply by a friend who was at Bain at the time, I submitted my application and, in a stroke of luck, landed the job. Even as I walked into the office on my first day, I was unsure what exactly it was Bain did and what exactly it was I would be doing. But during my summer I quickly learned how Bain works with clients to drive meaningful change within an organization and how the work I do fits into that. Bain brings a fresh perspective, deep cross-industry and cross-capability experience, and a set of sophisticated analytical tools to drive recommendations aimed at solving the most complex problems our clients face. And even as an intern, I was heavily involved in the data collection, analysis, and higher order thinking that affected key parts of our final answer. The work was challenging, interesting, and always new. But what struck me the most was how thoughtful, engaged, and supportive my coworkers were. Back on campus talking with others about their summer jobs made it clear that Bain was not only a special place, but also the place I wanted to launch my career.
At Bain, I devote most of my extra 10% time to recruiting at the undergraduate level. Consulting, and specifically consulting at Bain, is a fantastic opportunity for those interested in developing a broad and highly applicable skill set while gaining exposure to several different areas within the business world. At the same time, as with anything, consulting and Bain are not ideal for everyone. Having thought deeply about my own experience, I enjoy sharing my perspective in the hopes that it helps others through their own decision processes. And though deciding what to do after college can be stressful, it's also incredibly exciting and I love having the chance to be part of that excitement.
My favorite case
My favorite case to date was a due diligence on a target company involved in the pharmaceuticals space, on behalf of a private equity client. In the end, the perspective the team came up with was distinctly different from how we-and the client-had been thinking about the target and the space before the case, and had important ramifications for how the client thought about the investment. On top of that, management kept the team laser focused on the key drivers of the answer, so that we were able to maintain a sustainable lifestyle while producing game-changing results.
My personal results story
For my final case in the private equity group, I worked on a due diligence of a medical devices company. What seemed at first like a relatively straightforward industry quickly turned out to be mind-bogglingly complex. As soon as the team felt we were getting a handle on the industry, we would discover something that would throw our answer in flux. In addition, I had a hitherto unprecedented level of responsibility, managing the primary research process and leading more than 50 calls with experts in the industry within the space of two weeks. With the final update quickly approaching, as they are wont to do, I was understandably nervous. After the update the clients praised our work, placing it in the "top 5% of work" they had ever seen. Hearing that not only gave me a renewed confidence in my abilities as an associate consultant, it reified the fact that the work we do has a real, significant impact on our clients.
My perspective on diversity at Bain
At first glance, Bain is diverse in all the ways people typically think of diversity-in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, place of origin, etc. But what is truly remarkable is the deeper diversity that exists within the firm. Bainies have a broad range of passions, talents, and expertise. Whether it's founding the next Facebook or funding it, fighting for human rights or writing the next great American novel, there is a Bainie who wants to do it. And because of the type of person Bain attracts, they are passionate about doing so. I have grown tremendously just by interacting with my colleagues, who continuously push me to think about things in new and exciting ways.
A final thought
For four years I studied stories. Being a History and Literature concentrator, I worked to get inside a narrative, unpack it, analyze it, and reconstruct it. And while most don't consider that natural preparation for a career in consulting, I do. Here at Bain we are heavily invested in stories. We create them to explain to our clients why things happen the way they do-why some products take off and others don't, why some markets grow and others shrink, why some companies succeed and others fail. We share them, stories of personal and professional triumphs and setbacks, leveraging our past experiences to achieve our future goals. We tell them, stories of our firm and its history, so that our values and operating principles can be more than words on a page. So in a way I like to think that I still study stories, in the process of writing my own.