Bain was an obvious choice for me. I knew that I wanted to start my career in management consulting and Bain stood out from the competition.
Bain was an obvious choice for me. I knew that I wanted to start my career in management consulting and Bain stood out from the competition. It offered world-class training, had the flexibility that I was after regarding start dates and was the only place I interviewed where absolutely everybody talked about how much fun the job was - and they really meant it!
I was keen to take advantage of international transfer opportunities and Bain were willing to help me get there within my first 2 years. Bain encourages you to forge your own path and create your own results story. This kind of flexibility is just what I was after in an employer.
Before joining Bain I spent 3 months learning Spanish while working as a volunteer teacher in a town in Guatemala. I was keen to develop my new Spanish skills. I attended classes every week, practiced with Spanish transfers in the Sydney and Melbourne offices and now, after 2 years, I am lucky enough to be using my Spanish skills every day here in the Madrid office.
I am passionate about community engagement and social enterprise. One of the best opportunities I have had at Bain was while working on a pro-bono case to develop the business plan for the Centre for Social Impact, a brand new initiative jointly run by some of Australia's top universities. Bain helped develop the vision, values and mission, articulated the mandate, assisted in working out the finance requirements and helped set the Centre on its course for its first 5 years.
My favorite case
One of my favorite cases at Bain was working for one of Australia's leading transport and infrastructure companies in their train division. We were hired to help find opportunities to reduce operating costs, increase asset utilization and optimize pricing strategy.
I worked very closely with several clients to develop a fact base outlining the major opportunities for reducing operating costs. This involved several trips to different client sites around Australia to meet with clients, as well as some workshops with the train drivers. Together, we then sized and prioritized the opportunities. I then was involved in developing implementation plans, which included collaborating with the clients to get their buy-in and commitment.
Together, the clients and my team achieved outstanding results. We found opportunities to save millions of dollars for the company and improve operating efficiencies. What's more - it was awesome to meet the train drivers, learn about the aerodynamics of trains crossing the Nullabor Desert and discover more than I ever thought possible about fuel efficiency on trains.
My personal results story
I am proud to be an enthusiastic and involved member of the Women @ Bain group within the Australian practice. I have coordinated events for the Women where we discuss ideas and challenges regarding women in the workplace. I also spent time volunteering with Chief Executive Women, a group that equips organizations with the tools necessary to diagnose and tackle issues they may have with gender diversity. I regularly ran training sessions for a tool that Bain had developed and along the way learnt a lot and met some fantastic people from government, public companies and private firms.
My favorite thing at Bain has got to be the people, so the team environment is something that I am fascinated by. An initiative that I began in the Australian practice was to collect and share knowledge among the ACs about how different managers ran team meetings. In doing so, we were able to share the Best Demonstrated Practices with each other and with our teams. This gave everyone tons of ideas on how to structure updates to other team mates, how to share feedback regarding planning, resourcing, lifestyle etc. and how to inject a little bit of fun into every team meeting! Lots of these ideas were subsequently introduced into team meetings, so it seems we had a really positive impact.
A final thought
In general, I think it helps to be well-prepared for the interview by practicing a few case studies (go to the information sessions or look them up online). This way you will know a little bit about what to expect. In the interview - relax! The interviewer is there to help and guide you. They are not going to try to trick you and they do not want to intimidate or mislead you. Breathe. Take time to write things down and don't be afraid to ask questions.
When it comes to choosing where to work, my advice would be to think mostly about the people. Are the people that you have met along the way the kind of people that you could see yourself working with day-in-day-out? Do they share your sense of humor? Do you have things in common? Are they energized and motivated? Would they be an interesting guest at a dinner party? If the answers are yes, then that means it's a good fit for you.