I also had several female friends who had worked at Bain and spoke very highly of the excellent work/life balance.
After my MBA, I decided to join Bain & Company in the Middle East office. I was looking to continue my career in a top-tier consulting firm, and was particularly excited by the idea of becoming a member of Bain's relatively new office in the Middle East, one of the fastest growing consulting markets globally. I also had several female friends who had worked at Bain and spoke very highly of the work/life balance. Finally, I was interested in private equity work, and if that's something you want to do then there's just not a better place to do it.
A few years into the job, I can say I am truly impressed by the quality of the people, and by the positive and fun atmosphere that characterizes the office. The Middle East office has grown very fast over the past few years, with the working environment gaining in diversity and richness. The type of work has consistently remained very high, making this for me a truly rewarding professional experience.
Working in the Dubai, I am passionate about promoting women and dispelling the myth that the Middle East is an environment that isn't female friendly. I'm very keen to promote the impact women have here in the Dubai office and beyond; I'm currently working with a partner in Madrid to help drive the women's initiative across the region.
Outside of work, I am something of an adrenaline junkie and do everything from scuba-diving with sharks to sky-diving to running marathons. I enjoy trying to convince my team members to join me in some of my thrill-seeking adventures!
My favorite case
One of the most interesting projects I have been working on recently is a turnaround and growth strategy for one of the leading regional investment banks. Hit by the effects of the global financial crisis, the management had to rethink the business model and gear the Bank towards new avenues for growth. We embarked on a comprehensive strategy definition exercise, working closely with the Bank's management. Once the new strategy was defined, we kick-started implementation along the various business units. I became involved in the management and re-launch of some of the Bank's critical business lines and support department. This for me was a great experience because it allowed me to see both the strategic side as well as the concrete challenges faced by the business in its day-to-day functioning.
A final thought
For me, it is very important to work with people that I can look up to and that I know I can learn from. I would advise that you make your career choice based on what group of people you want to be around and to be associated with.