Hi everyone! I'm excited to be starting up a Bain blog and to have the opportunity to share a little more about my journey to and at Bain as you think about your own career goals and aspirations.
To give you a little background about myself, I entered business school having worked in two very different industries - I was a cancer researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and then was a Graphic Designer and Marketing Manager for PUMA North America. I had no idea what type of career I wanted to pursue when I started business school, and thus had some serious soul searching to do.
Why consulting? Before I even started thinking about what company I wanted to work for, I really had to figure out what industry I wanted to work in. One thing I knew about myself is that I have tons of different interests - I had declared chemistry, economics, math, and mechanical engineering as majors before finally getting my undergrad degree in biology; since graduating I had worked in science, design, marketing and sports, and I had even turned down acceptances to medical school because the career path was to narrow for me. As I talked to both my peers and recruiting teams about their experiences, I quickly realized that the only career that would allow me to continue my passion for diverse knowledge was consulting. I was excited about the opportunity to work in numerous fields and functions, and to learn from so many different experts. However, the thing that really confirmed consulting was the right fit for me was discovering how much training I would get on the job. There would be formalized, regular, week-long intensive training sessions. There would be more informal, in-the-office, group training sessions. There would be formal mentors, informal mentors, project managers and colleagues who would all be invested in pushing me and helping me grow in my career. There was no other industry that offered this; and as someone who wasn't sure what she wanted except to learn a lot, I knew consulting was the perfect fit for me.
Why Bain? Once I made the decision to go into consulting, I had to figure out the firm that was right for me. I decided I wanted to be at one of the bigger firms because it would give me exposure to the most diverse set of cases and because the infrastructure for trainings and learnings would already be strong. As I started researching the firms, I realized they each were very, very different. I made sure I put in the time to meet with lots of people at each firm and to learn all that I could about their daily work lives, what they liked and didn't like, and what they thought made their firm distinctive.
In the end it was completely clear to me that Bain was my perfect fit. I loved all the people I met and felt instantly comfortable around them. In fact, some of the people who I remain close to today are people I met in the early phases of the recruiting process. I felt like each of them were at recruiting events not because they had to be, but because they wanted to put in the effort to make sure the best people joined the firm. I was also impressed by how proud everyone I met was of the results they were able to achieve for their clients. Each project wasn't just another task to complete, but often included partnerships and friendships that were personally rewarding to all involved. Finally, I loved the culture I heard about at Bain and wanted to be part of it. I believe that Bain really "puts their money where their mouth is" and happily funds case team events, office parties, service days, summer meetings/retreats, class outings and other events to build an office culture that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. These attributes are the reason that "Bainies" in my section were so proud of their company, and I wanted to be part of it. In fact, I was so sure of it that I told my 2nd round interviewer that if he offered me the job I would accept it on the spot (probably not the best move so don't try it at home!).
Luckily it all worked out and I got an opportunity to be a Summer Associate with Bain in 2008. More on that experience to come in the next post ...