Manager, Los Angeles
Since I arrived at Bain, I have been an active member of Blacks at Bain (BABS).
My journey to Bain has been somewhat non-traditional in that my career began working for eight years in industry - four years in corporate and investment banking and another four years in a corporate strategy group within a large financial services firm. While I was successful in these roles, I knew I wasn't being pushed to reach my full potential. Additionally, I was ready to step out of my comfort zone to learn about new industries and solve different types of business problems.
In speaking with friends at Bain and other consulting firms, I saw an opportunity to take on a new challenge and further develop in areas that I saw as my professional weaknesses. I knew I would get great training and hands-on experience in project and team management, analytics and managing the process of solving complex business issues from beginning to end.
Within management consulting, I specifically chose Bain because it felt like the right fit from a cultural perspective. Bain was open to my non-MBA background and valued my real-world business experience.
I am happiest in my job when my team is using its collective brain power and experience to solve complex client problems and "crack the case." It never ceases to amaze me what a group of smart and committed people can come up with huddled in a team room for just a few hours. Working with Bain's high-caliber people is truly a highlight of the job. On the client side, I am passionate about seeing our recommendations translate into action and tangible results in such a short period of time.
Also, Bain's work-hard, play-hard mentality suits me well. I share a lot of hobbies with my colleagues. We put our all into our work, but then it wouldn't be unlikely to see us out surfing, working out or dancing at a club outside of work together too.
I have many passions that I try to pursue as much as I can, such as volunteering with educational and tutoring organizations, traveling and riding my motorcycle throughout southern California.
My favorite case
My last case started out as a straight-forward, two-month engagement to determine a shared services strategy for a global 50 client. During the process, we identified outsourcing our client's finance and accounting functions as a good fit. Our recommendation then led to follow-on work whereby Bain was involved in every aspect of the implementation - from the due diligence of potential vendors to signing the contracts.
This was exciting for me, as I took a very hands-on role throughout the process, even traveling to India and Eastern Europe to personally meet the management team and learn about the operations of several vendor candidates. It was also interesting to get a very real perspective on how powerful outsourcing non-core functions of a business can be to a company's economics. There was clear value in having Bain part of our client's team.
My personal results story
In addition to helping clients grow their businesses, each person at Bain has the opportunity to help grow our own business internally. Since I arrived at Bain, I have been an active member of Blacks at Bain (BABS) and have recently taken on a leadership role in the L.A. office as one of BABS' senior members.
I not only play a role in recruiting new hires to the office, but also actively work internally to mentor and advise junior BABS members on their career path and professional development. It is exciting to see the results of our efforts; since I joined the L.A. office, diversity among consultants and managers has grown tremendously. There are now clear role models in the office who can provide guidance to more junior consultants striving to become a Bain manager or partner.
A final thought
The training and experience you gain working in management consulting will position you well to pursue anything you want in the years beyond your time here - from starting an entrepreneurial venture to working for a Fortune 500 firm. Many of the top firms offer similar opportunities for client work and training; the key differentiators are people and culture. During the application process, it is important to be yourself and meet as many people as possible to determine if Bain is the right fit for you.