Hi, my name is Elena. I'm a consultant in the Munich office, and I joined Bain in March 2017.
Prior to Bain, I did a PhD in bioengineering at Imperial College London. I'd wanted to go into consulting for a while because I was really attracted to the variety of projects you get to join. One of the reasons I chose Bain was the strong team culture here, and the other one was the commitment to put the client first and to create value for the client.
I found my way to Bain through a workshop that was specifically targeted to students of the natural sciences. That was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know Bain and also find out whether I could see myself in the role of a consultant.
For the first week and a half after joining, I did training along with the other new hires. After that, because of my non-business background, I got to attend ADAPT training—short for Advanced Degree Accelerated Prep Training. There we got an introduction to business basics and financial statements, which really made me feel more prepared going into my first case. Just as important, we got to know the other new hires and also non-business team members who had been with the company for a while.
"My first case was in the industrial goods and services sector, which was great fun."
Coming from a research background, it was nice to have an idea of the product the company we were working for was selling. You could touch something. I think that was quite helpful. Now I'm working for a sports retailer, which is also very exciting because I like sports and it's easy to identify with the client.
If you're a science PhD student thinking about consulting, what's really great is that you will keep the problem-solving aspect of your research work. In terms of interview preparation, my No. 1 tip is to attend workshops, get to know the company and imagine yourself being a consultant. Also, try to find people within your network who are consultants and talk to them about their experiences and insights.