Emma photo

Emma

Manager, London

It is amazing to work for a company where you truly enjoy spending time with your colleagues, so much so that they become lifelong friends, people that you invite to your wedding and go on holiday with. double-quote-close

Why Bain?

I was drawn to Bain due to the variety of the work and the opportunity to learn about business. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I left university and felt that a couple of years of consulting would set me up well for whatever I decided to do in the future. 

However, many more than a couple of years later, I am still at Bain for the same reasons that I joined. You never get bored, as every project is different—be it a different client, industry, topic or team—and you are constantly learning at a somewhat alarming pace!

My passion

I have always loved visiting other countries and have tried to cram in as much travelling as I could, greedily taking a gap year both before and after university. However, I was concerned that my big trip days were behind me when I started my career. I needn’t have worried, as taking a leave of absence is quite common at Bain. Last year, I took six months off to get married and travel with my husband. We had a brilliant time and came back to work refreshed and ready for more!

My favorite case

About a year after joining Bain, I went to our Johannesburg office to do a three-month case for a platinum mining company. The team was asked to identify any potential operational improvements within the company’s processing division. My role was to map out the processes at their various smelter sites and identify any potential savings by comparing costs between sites and against competitors. This involved spending a lot of time in a hard hat, wandering around the sites trying to understand the different steps in the process—quite a change from the mainly desk-based work I had been doing in London up until that point! 

The case was particularly satisfying as a lot of the clients that we were interacting with had never worked with consultants before. It was very clear to see that our work was adding significant value. Even a simple flow chart of the process going on in their smelters was something they had never seen before. Plus, there was the added bonus that we occasionally had to stay on a nearby game reserve if we had an early meeting and might therefore come across a giraffe or zebra on the way to work in the morning!

My personal results story

When I was a new manager, I worked on a project for a utilities company that wanted to reduce their bad debt charge. After an initial diagnostic phase where we identified and prioritised the biggest reduction opportunities, the client asked us to stick around to help them deliver the improvements. 

We helped them design and monitor an ambitious programme consisting of 12 initiatives that would turn around historic increases in bad debt charge and deliver a 16% reduction (in the face of 8% forecast turnover growth). Waiting for the results every month was extremely nerve-wracking, but also incredibly satisfying when we saw the bad debt value consistently fall each time. This was a clear sign that we were delivering results there, which made all of the hard work worthwhile.

A final thought

When I applied to Bain, I had heard that the people were great and it was renowned for having a friendly, supportive and fun culture. However, I don’t think I quite understood how valuable that would be at the time. It is amazing to work for a company where you truly enjoy spending time with your colleagues, so much so that they become lifelong friends, people that you invite to your wedding and go on holiday with. It is only through speaking to friends outside of Bain that you realise how rare that is.