My interest in Bain began while I was at business school. I was actually working with a private equity fund that used Bain a lot for their diligence work and to help their portfolio companies after they acquire them. Quite a number of the people who worked in that fund had worked at Bain before. I loved working with those people—they were smart with a clear nose for value—and the amazing respect they had for Bain and the work that Bain does was very attractive. When I talked to them more about their experiences at Bain, I realized it would be a great place for the next step in my career after business school.
"One of my roles in the Boston office is as the school team manager on the Tuck Recruiting Team."
Since I've been at Bain, I've worked in a number of industries, including Healthcare, Financial Services and Private Equity, but I now spend almost all of my time on consumer products cases. As I got into consumer products, I found it really enjoyable, and I've developed a couple of deep client relationships in the space.
The fact that Bain is a mission-driven organization really energizes me. This wasn't intuitive when I heard it for the first time, but it's about developing people and client success stories. Over time, I've found that's a real phenomenon, and it feels great to do it. On the client side, we're working with senior executives, rising stars and the next generation of leadership in what are often the defining moments in their careers.
When people think about consulting, they might imagine that having a unique perspective and point of view are the most important things. As the youngest of six kids, making myself heard at the dinner table was something I learned from an early age, so I came to Bain very able to express my point of view! What I've learned, though, especially as my career has progressed, is that listening is key to being effective in this job. Understanding where people are coming from, what's important to them, how they're thinking about things, and not making assumptions can help you build trust with your clients—and ultimately get them to a better place, with an answer that's right for their organization.
I spend a lot of time up in Hanover on campus, and students will ask me, "What's the right way to approach recruiting? How should I be thinking about this?" A challenge that people have is being overwhelmed on campus. Every company that you might want to work for turns up, and you feel compelled to hear what they have to say and, more importantly, to press flesh and make sure that you're seen and heard.
Once you've decided that you might be interested in consulting, my advice is to turn up to enough events that you understand the differences between the firms—because they are real, and they each emphasize different points—and determine which one is most appealing to you and most relevant to what you care about. Once you've done that, don't feel compelled to continue going to every event. It's really about how you do through the interview process. Once you know where you want to be, focus on that and make it happen.