I cleared customs in Sydney at the end of February and looked down at the Australian entry stamp in my passport. It shared a page with a South African exit stamp from December that I received when returning to the US after a nine-month externship in Swaziland. Now, exactly two months later, I was about to start a five-month transfer to the Bain Australian practice.
This moment made me realize how much I’ve been able to experience in my last two and a half years at Bain. After joining as an Associate Consultant in 2007, I spent a year and a half in Boston working on retail and financial services cases. Already, I was looking forward to becoming a Senior Associate Consultant, which would offer the opportunity to either spend six months in another Bain office, or go on externship to apply my consulting experience to a new field. I ended up spending nine months of 2009 in Swaziland, working for a non-profit called TechnoServe that provides business and technical assistance to farmers. I loved my time there and longed to return to the region.
Sooner than I expected, I was given the chance to explore a new part of the Southern Hemisphere. The Australian Bain practice needed ACs and SACs to staff new work, and I quickly raised my hand. Three days after being confirmed, I boarded a plane to Sydney.
View of the Sydney
Opera House from a
historic ship, taken
during an AC Harbour
cruise my first Friday in
town. The Sydney office
overlooks the Harbour,
and I am able to run to
the Opera House from
That pretty much brings me to now. My first couple of months in Australia were rather hectic, as the case I was brought here to work on was a diagnostic piece for a large client that had the potential to reshape the business in the next few years. After being away from Bain for a while, I was quickly brought back into the fast pace and results focus that ultimately made our work successful. We are now beginning to implement the strategies that were developed during the diagnostic phase of the work. I am primarily responsible for structuring the communications that will correspond with the program. Not only will the client need to talk with shareholders about the changes taking place within the company, but consistent dialogue across parts of the organization will make the work successful.
Petting kangaroos on
a trip up the coast from
Sydney to Byron Bay
over Easter weekend.
Despite the busy case schedule, I have had the chance to see a fair bit of Australia and get to know Sydney and Melbourne well. There are many transfers who come to Australia, so it is easy to find someone keen for an adventure every weekend. I visited Kangaroo Island my second weekend in town (and yes, there really are kangaroos hopping all over there!), road tripped up to Byron Bay over the Easter holiday, and made a trek up to Kakadu National Park at the end of last month.
When I’m in Sydney for the weekend, I fill my days with trips to the beach and the local markets, trying new water sports, and running from my apartment to the Royal Botanical Gardens and the famous Sydney Opera House. I love the feeling of spending enough time in a new place to feel like I really know it, which is what I’ve experienced here.
I am in Melbourne this week for work, so a group of us will be heading to dinner shortly—I am sure to have more to share next time!
Wine tasting in the Hunter Valley with a group of
transfers and Sydney-based friends.