Associate Consultant, Boston
I am passionate about transforming a theoretical concept into a solution that can be implemented to achieve real results.
Throughout most of my college career, I was extremely interested in nonprofit and international development work; I hadn't given much thought to management consulting at all. I then had the opportunity to work on a project at Stanford with several MBA students who had consulting backgrounds. I was particularly impressed with the way they approached and framed problems, their analytical skill set and how they communicated their insights. I thought, "They have their act together."
I started looking into management consulting firms and was really impressed with Bain. I felt a connection with all the people I met and liked the culture. I was particularly intrigued that former Bain consultants founded the nonprofit consultancy, the Bridgespan Group. I learned that Bain still provides a lot of training and resources to Bridgespan, and I envisioned leveraging the skills learned at Bain as an associate consultant to eventually return to my passion in the social sector.
I am passionate about transforming a theoretical concept into a solution that can be implemented to achieve real results. I not only have seen this first-hand in all my case work, but also in innovative "extra 10%" activities. For example, when I first went to several of the leaders in the Boston office about an idea to combine my background in microfinance with the Bain toolkit, I received nothing but support. I rallied fellow Bainies to provide consulting support and capital for a pioneering microlending startup nonprofit called Kiva.org. We started investment competitions with the office and provided advice for this rapidly growing organization.
Similarly, Bain allowed a colleague and me to use its human resources to help develop and launch a microfinance site for children: Onehen.org. It is really rewarding to work at a place where passion for results extends to everything we do.
My favorite case
I recently completed a very interesting case for a major U.S. retailer. Our client was concerned that its core customer base was aging and that their purchasing habits would dramatically decrease as they got closer to retirement. This proved to be an incredibly fascinating case because the fact base we developed through Bain analytics actually altered the underlying assumptions that our client had been working under for quite some time. We were able to determine the lifetime value of customers in various age segments and recommend innovative solutions to attract and retain the next generation of customers.
My personal results story
I was part of a growth strategy case for a local pro-bono client, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston, during one of my first cases at Bain. I analyzed urban demographics to determine there was a need gap of 14,000 children without access to after-school services. This statistic became a rallying cry for the board of directors and resulted in a unanimously approved strategic growth plan for a new service model for the city's youth.
The new model, which served youth in schools and other existing structures (e.g. community centers, public housing) was six times more cost-effective and increased the number of youth that the organization could serve by 250%. Simultaneously, our team worked hand-in-hand with the directors of the traditional youth service facilities to develop and implement individualized plans, yielding an increased impact of over 50%.
A final thought
For those thinking about management consulting after college, my main advice is to be yourself, not just do and say what you think a firm wants to see on your résumé or hear during your interview. A consulting firm is looking for motivation, drive, passion and leadership potential, which can be found in someone doing grassroots work in a developing country or during a summer internship on Wall Street. There are many different paths that can all lead to a place like Bain.