Meet our people
I think it's very important that we leverage our abilities and skills for social good as well as for business.
The decision to join Bain was very easy. I had completed an internship here several years before and had been fascinated by the culture and the people. There was an incredibly flat hierarchy whereby even as an intern, I was welcomed as a full member of my case team and worked side-by-side with the VP on the case.
Over the years, I've found Bain a really fun place to work and I think there are three reasons for this. First, Bain people don't take themselves too seriously. They each have a sense of humor and know how to enjoy working together as a team. Secondly, there's a work hard/play hard ethic that helps us take the time to recognize and celebrate our success. Finally, there are some great office events, including the Christmas and summer parties, and the office retreats. For eight years, I had the very enjoyable job of organizing these celebrations to reward everyone for all their efforts and hard work.
Within Bain - and apart from delivering results for our clients - I'm mainly passionate about the people. Therefore I dedicate a lot of effort to recruiting. I've also been a staffing officer for three years and have been acting on the performance feedback committees. Taking a step back, I think the most important thing at Bain, particularly from my perspective as office head, is the people-each and every person. It's critical that the leaders of our company create an environment where the employees feel that this really is the best place to work.
Outside Bain, my number one priority is my family. I'm really strict about carving out time for my wife and daughter. If I weren't able to do that, my job wouldn't be sustainable. Weekend work is simply not acceptable and indeed, when my daughter was born, I took four months off to be at home.
My favorite case
I recently worked on a case for a major German financial services company. Several years prior, they had acquired a fellow US company but the integration had been ineffective. So the client wanted to work with Bain to develop a new growth strategy for the US division. This case was particularly interesting as its success depended not only on providing high quality strategic advice, but also on ensuring that we had buy-in and alignment across the client's organization.
To that end, we placed considerable emphasis on creating far closer international cooperation within the client's company than they had experienced before. My specific role was to determine how the US strategy could fit with the overall company strategy, and to collaborate closely with my US colleagues to ensure alignment between the German headquarters and the US subsidiary.
My personal results story
I think it's very important that we leverage our abilities and skills for social good as well as for business. So I dedicate some of my time for a variety of social purposes. One focus area is the support of social entrepreneurs, because here I can leverage my consulting capabilities in an entrepreneurial environment. I'm currently serving on the Boards of the Homeless World Cup and GEXSI (Global Exchange for Social Investment) and coaching several other social entrepreneurs (e.g. Just for kids law, International Bridges of Justice).
A second focus area is education as I'm convinced that investing in the future of the next generation is critical. Given my background I focused on financial literacy by founding an initiative called LearnMoney and acting as Board member for the global initiative Child and Youth Finance. All these activities are personally enriching and very satisfying, when you see how my Bain-acquired capabilities can help to create social value.
My balance of professional success and community leadership was recognized by the World Economic Forum through my nomination as Young Global Leader in 2007. As a member of this group, I've become increasingly inspired to help tackle some of the major issues facing our current and future generations.
A final thought
The biggest surprise for me is that despite the growth of Bain over the last fifteen or so years, there's still the same fun, collaborative working environment and sense of camaraderie. As we continue to grow, this spirit is one of the key Bain attributes that I'll strive to maintain. And to those applying to Bain, I'd say do what you're passionate about, wherever that may lead you. If you're making a career choice based on reputation, money or anything else, without the passion, you will not reach your full potential.