Partner, Washington D.C.
BGLAD has been a particularly important part of my Bain experience.
I worked for another consulting firm for seven years prior to business school. The type of work I did was very operational - IT implementation, change management and projects that kept me buried deep within the trenches of our clients' operations. I rarely felt stretched intellectually and was exhausted by the years of travel required to be at the client site five days a week. I swore I would never go back to consulting after getting my MBA.
However, during business school I started to meet people who worked for a very different kind of consulting firm doing strategy work. I was moved by the idea of being challenged every day and working closely with a senior management team not simply to complete a necessary task, but help shape the entire direction of their company.
As I met people from Bain on campus, I was particularly impressed with how people could shape their own path within the firm. As you become more senior, you can continue to develop professionally by gaining expertise in different industries and take on internal leadership roles that help build our own business.
My passion for my work at Bain is 100% linked to building long-lasting client relationships and generating powerful results. At the end of each client engagement at Bain, I have walked away with two to three close relationships I have maintained to this day. Our association goes well beyond being a trusted advisor in their professional life to include friendships and knowledge about personal aspirations, family life and interests outside of work.
I regularly get phone calls from past clients just to check in. For example, I recently got a call from a client, and now good friend, from a major newspaper that Bain worked with over three years ago. She wanted me to be one of the first to know about a revolutionary initiative they were announcing to the public; she knew that I was such a believer in the company's potential success, and she was thrilled to share the news with me.
My favorite case
I am currently working on an extraordinarily complex and exciting case involving a large merger in the transportation industry. With two sets of infrastructures, systems and tangible assets along with tens of thousands of employees and tremendous uncertainty in both organizations, we are very much in a real world, fast-paced, problem-solving mode.
The word I most often use to describe this case is "kinetic" - not only because of the nature of the industry, but also because of all the different pieces of the puzzle that are in motion. Bain's experience with post-merger integration and managing multifaceted processes has been invaluable. Our team is bringing structure, project management and the core Bain toolkit and expertise to what could otherwise be a very chaotic situation. Additionally, one of the biggest strengths that we bring to the table is confidence and optimism that things will in fact turn out well and that the combined organization will be more efficient and effective than ever before.
My personal results story
Our ultimate bottom line is generating remarkable results for our clients. When those results include doubling, or even tripling the overall operating profit of the company over the course of the engagement, it is truly an amazing thing to be part of.
I had the opportunity to work with a client in the insurance industry whose management team simply wasn't getting access to the necessary details of the operation. (And in insurance, almost all the value comes in the details.) Our team succeeded in thoroughly analyzing all levels of the company, analogous to an "MRI": a 360-degree, 3-D image that hides nothing. Through this extensive work, we discovered numerous opportunities where the company wasn't maximizing potential profit pools. Once product offerings were created to address these gaps, the operating profit for the firm doubled from $30M to $60M and is expected to reach nearly $90M once the new initiatives are fully implemented.
A final thought
Bain has continually been an environment where I can be myself. Whether it is letting my goofy sense of humor out in a team meeting or with a client, or Bain's incredible support through the Bain Gay and Lesbian Association for Diversity (BGLAD), its unique culture is one of the key reasons why I have stayed at the firm as long as I have. BGLAD has been a particularly important part of my Bain experience. Through our annual global event that brings together Bainies from around the world or regular regional activities, I have found some of my closest friends and mentors through this incredible support network.