You hold an MBA from Stanford. How has that experienced influenced how you recruit and evaluate MBAs?
I had a great experience at Stanford. One of the things that I loved most was the culture. I was surrounded by a group of incredibly talented, very diverse, motivated people who, despite their individual accomplishments, were incredibly humble and really driven to help others succeed. The culture at BCG is remarkably similar. Through my time at Stanford and more recently at BCG, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the power of harnessing diversity broadly defined to tackle challenging problems and fuel innovation. So we’re looking for that when we recruit, recognizing that there’s not one model for success at BCG.
Also, [Stanford taught me] the importance of a culture and creating an environment that enables people to realize their full potential. [It’s] a culture that supports people; helps them grow; provides outlets for passions; enables people to be their authentic real selves; and to feel appreciated – that’s so important to creating a successful environment. That culture – and finding people who can really fit with that – is really important. It’s not just about the GMAT score or the GPA, though those are important too. I want to see that the people we hire will help contribute to our teams and can thrive in the kind of culture that we have, which is about the team, not the individual. And it’s about having a tremendous amount of tenacity and resiliency…a continuous quest to leave things better than they found them. A desireto have a big impact – that’s also really, really important. They must have a bigger appreciation for the softer side, not just the quantitative facts. Those are all important.
What excites you personally about working for BCG?
The people I work with is first-and-foremost. It’s an incredibly motivated, talented, and supportive group of people. And the opportunities that I’ve had at BCG – whether it be working part time for 12 years when my kids were younger; the client work and the impact that we had with some of the leading companies in the world; or some of the internal leadership roles that I’ve been able to play.
I think also the recognition that BCG cares about me as an individual – a real belief in that commitment to helping me reach my aspirations whatever they may be and however they may evolve over time. And they have evolved over my 17 years at the firm.
Lastly, I think it’s a sincere belief that I have that if we mobilize the power of our global team there is no problem that we can’t tackle and make a real difference on. I’ve seen it over-and-over, whether it be helping to address the Ebola crisis in Africa or solving the education crisis in the city of Chicago, or helping some of our leading companies deliver break out growth after years of stagnating performance. There is nothing that we can’t do as a team globally. It’s an incredibly accomplished and impressive and inspirational organization to be part of.
What question(s) didn’t I ask that you’d love to answer?
One if the questions I often get is, “Is consulting still relevant?” And I think our value proposition is stronger than it has ever been. I fundamentally believe that as I think about the opportunity, particularly for the millennial generation. I believe our values and our approach fit well with what a lot of the new generation is looking for. They want to have an impact. They want to feel like they get individualized support and coaching, that it’s not a one-size-fits-all and that there are a lot of opportunities. And [they want] a chance to really challenge themselves, to stretch their thinking and change the world, to make a difference not just on a specific business problem (though that’s so important), but also to have a bigger sense of purpose. I think the value proposition that consulting offers is stronger than it has ever been.
One thing that I’m asked about – and am particularly passionate about – is that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about the consulting industry and the impact that we have. But I think that once people get in and understand the opportunities that they have, it’s even better than they had expected coming in.
Most people go into consulting thinking of it as a two-year deal. You want to go in and stay for a couple of years to get some experience and then use it as a platform to something else. And, of course, consulting is a springboard to a lot of different careers. But if you talk to a lot of people like myself who expected to come for two years and stayed for 17 years, I think what you find is that there is so much more, so many layers of opportunities that exist within consulting that most people aren’t aware of when considering other career opportunities.
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