I worked on a Bain Brussels Women Initiative, creating a platform for women to meet, setting up experience sharing between the women in the office and organizing events where we could connect to other professional women outside of Bain.
- PROJECT EXPERIENCE
- WEEK IN THE LIFE
- MY BLOG
I chose Bain for multiple reasons. First of all because I knew it would give me an opportunity to learn very fast in an international environment and work with brilliant people on wide variety of topics and industries, but that's what any strategy consulting company will offer. The reason I chose Bain specifically is because of the people I met. The passion with which Bainies talked about their job and their company, the drive to results and the company culture were what made me want to join the team.
So far, it has been all that I thought it would be and even more than I expected. Six years ago, I thought "I might just be joining for 2 years and we'll see what happens", but I ended up loving the job and the Bain spirit so much that I'm still here.
Also apart from the pure job content, I find Bain to have an amazing and flexible environment. Bain allowed me to take three-months leave of absence some years ago and has taken care of an appropriate project assignment during my pregnancy, allowing me the flexibility to fully "live" and enjoy this period and start my maternity leave in a relaxed way.
While at Bain, I have focused mainly on the aspects of Business (unit) strategy and revenue growth, ranging from acquisitions to sales improvement programs, marketing strategy and sales incentive systems.
I have developed a special interest in consumer behavior (why do we buy certain products or choose certain things, what makes a company or product a winner?), an area that is very much applicable to our everyday personal life.
Outside of Bain, I enjoy long walks or biking tours with my husband (and soon with our baby) and reading books.
My favorite case
My favorite case? This is a difficult question as we do such a wide variety of things, all interesting in their own way.
I'll choose a recent case where we helped the client redesign their sales incentive system in order to support the new strategy. It was a special case to me as it was a long-lasting client relationship where I connected really well with the people and was able to work with them over a longer period of time. We worked together quite intensively, having at least one 3-hour workshop per week and often more.
It was also the first case where I operated as the case manager, which put me in a new situation.
In terms of content, we managed not only to redesign the incentive system but also to validate it with all stakeholders and develop an implementation plan, including defining the IT requirements. We delivered great results "for" but especially "together with" the client, making it an experience never to forget.
My personal results story
My personal results story is something I'm achieving every day and where I'm continuously add things to. Throughout these six years at Bain, I've been able to deliver great results to clients on the most prominent business questions they had and I've also been able to contribute to the office and to my personal development along the way.
At the office, I worked on a Bain Brussels Women's Initiative, creating a platform for women to meet, setting up experience sharing between the women in the office and organizing events where we could connect to other professional women outside of Bain.
As for my personal development, the learning at Bain has never stopped. I could not have imagined six years ago that I would be this far today, especially in terms of leadership and management. On this topic, I have learned a lot from the continuous coaching of the Bain people I work with but also from clients and it has allowed me to be where I am today.
My perspective on diversity at Bain
When talking to people I often get the question whether or not it is not difficult to work as a woman at Bain, combining the job with a personal life and a family. My reply is always the same: Bain provides you with an opportunity to combine an interesting and challenging job with personal life and family.
First of all, it's an incredibly flexible environment where it's possible to take a leave of absence for a couple of months without having to be afraid that your job is taken by someone else. As we work in a project-based setting, it's easier to step out for a while then it would be in a line function.
Secondly, Bain invests a lot in developing a diverse workplace, among others supporting the professional development of women through the Women at Bain initiative, networking events and trainings. There is no room for discrimination of any kind at Bain which I appreciate very much.
Last but not least, it's true that we work quite a large number of hours. However, I have found that we do not work that much more than our clients who are in management positions. On top of that, Bain invests in monitoring working hours and improving work-life balance and employees can really use the provided flexibility to have a large impact on their work-life-balance and actively manage their life. For example: over the past years, I have personally succeeded in keeping my working hours within reasonable boundaries that work for me, i.e. stopping at a reasonable time in the evening and keeping weekends free.
A final thought
My advice to people that are considering Bain in their career decision would be take the opportunity to talk to people that work at Bain.
First of all, to figure out if the content of the job would be something you like to do. Secondly, to figure out if you feel a fit in terms of culture. You'll spend a lot of time with your colleagues so rather than choosing purely based on "rational" factors, you should also consider if you want to work with the people you meet on a daily basis.
Last but not least, to get a feel for the reality rather than the myth or war stories that are out there. Take the occasion of meeting people to ask about their personal view on the questions you have.