Julie photo

Julie

Partner, Chicago

From the beginning of my career there were managers and partners who made an investment in my future at the firm. double-quote-close

Why Bain?

I check-in with myself to ensure that I am still satisfied along three primary criteria: Do I continue to learn and make an impact to my clients, my teams, and my overall environment? Do I wake up energized and excited to go to work? Is my career providing the level of flexibility I need to balance my work with my family life? Bain has continued to deliver in all three areas. With each new opportunity that is presented to me-whether leading North American recruiting or building a relationship with a new client-I challenge myself and grow as a person. Additionally, while achieving work-life balance is never a piece of cake, Bain has been incredibly supportive of my working on an 80% allocation for the past decade, which has allowed me to fulfill my roles as both a mother and as a trusted advisor to my clients and teams.

My passion

The support that I feel at Bain reminds me of my sports teams in college-there is a level of commitment that we have to each other that truly lives up to our motto: "A Bainie never lets another Bainie fail." What I've found from my AC years through today is that formal and informal mentorship is a key piece to creating that support network and retaining talent. From the beginning of my career there were managers and partners who made an investment in my future at the firm and helped me feel a personal connection to Bain. That experience has made me extremely passionate about mentoring, coaching, and playing a large role in the professional development of consultants in my office and around the Bain system. Whether someone is facing a challenge during a stressful promotion window or balancing work with being a mom for the first time, I can share the lessons I've learned over the course of my career. No one should feel like they are alone in facing the challenges that come with a demanding job in client services. My door is always open to offer support and advice to help make my colleagues and mentees successful.

My favorite case

For 15 months, I worked on a unique case working with a joint venture between an academic medical school and a for-profit hospital system in New Orleans. The hospital was struggling with profitability and market share and then was further devastated when hit by Hurricane Katrina. Not only did the hospital have to rebuild its physical structure, it had to rebuild its human capital infrastructure as well when many nurses, doctors, administrators, and other hospital staff chose not to return to New Orleans after the storm. I really enjoyed working on this case for several reasons: I am passionate about healthcare and could bring my industry expertise to the table; there was a very present human element to the case and Bain could help bridge the various parties involved to rebuild trust among them; and our team was part of the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after one of the most devastating natural disasters the U.S. has ever faced. Our team worked incredibly hard in a tough environment, but ultimately the joint venture was able to be saved. It was very rewarding to help turnaround the organization in a city that desperately needed its businesses and residents to thrive.

My personal results story

Bain had performed the diligence work that led to a private equity group's purchase of a home security company believed to have untapped potential. Ten days before the deal closed, another Bain team was deployed to develop a strategy that would begin with the new ownership Day 1. The company was in worse shape than we initially thought: it was losing approximately $1M each week in cash flow, had numerous vendors providing the same services throughout the organization, and had a de-motivated sales force. Bain was innovative about its approach. We not only worked with the new owners to establish a new leadership team across all functions (CEO, CFO, Head of HR, Operations, Marketing, Legal, IT, etc.), we also created a shadow leadership team that put a member of the Bain case team with each new position. Together, our goal was to be cash flow positive within 90 days and be in a stable position to turnaround and grow the business in 18 months.  We immediately implemented initiatives ranging from a new incentive-based sales force to a dashboard to measure customer satisfaction. We also worked hard to "rally the troops" with team building activities to ensure the existing staff felt like they were part of the turnaround. Our success was remarkable. We were cash flow positive in 6 weeks and had operating profits in 3 months. By month 6, the private equity buyer was able to sell the firm for $1B in cash, $600M more than it paid.

A final thought

Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. It is critical to ask yourself what you are ultimately looking for in a career. I believe there are certain things in life that bring us intrinsic joy; your job can be part of that happiness, not separate from it. It isn't to say that every work week will be amazing - all jobs have their ups and downs. However, if you can pause on a regular basis (once a week is too often, once a year is too seldom) and feel like you are still moving in the right direction, then you are probably on a good path and will be able to not just sustain your career but thrive at it.