Class Of ’17: Meet Bain & Co’s Newest MBA Hires

After graduating with her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Alicia Ciccone joined Bain & Co’s Houston office

Alicia Ciccone

Bain Houston

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

MBA program: Stanford Graduate School of Business

Undergraduate school, major: Amherst College, Asian Studies & Music

Focus of current case: Developing a growth strategy for a chemicals company

Why did you choose to work at Bain?
The quality of people and the firm’s commitment to deliver exceptional results to its clients. It was immediately apparent to me that Bain invests an incredible amount of time and energy in developing its consultants at all stages of their careers. I’ve always been passionate about developing both myself and others, and I recognized that Bain actively makes this a priority.

As a Bain summer associate between my first and second year of business school, I experienced the level of engagement and attention Bain gives its clients. I knew I wanted to work for a firm that really listens to the client’s needs and acts as a true partner in solving difficult problems.

What lesson from business school best prepared you for your career at Bain?
There are two lessons that I find myself continually leaning on:

1) Stanford’s classic course, “Interpersonal Dynamics,” challenges students to practice active listening within a diverse group of peers. The course taught me to listen carefully, acknowledge individuals in meaningful nonverbal ways, and voice opinions without falsely attributing thoughts or behaviors to the others. The ability to listen well and translate my manager or client’s needs has helped me as I learn more about Bain’s specific problem-solving toolkits.

2) Invest in the people around you. Even though my tenure at Bain is short so far, implementing this lesson from school has already paid huge dividends for me. By prioritizing developing strong relationships with my team members and contributing experiences from my pre-Bain career, I have benefitted from learning from my teammates’ expertise and deep knowledge of Bain.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at Bain?
Even in my first few weeks, I’ve learned how important it is to set the appropriate context as you enter a meeting with the client or partner. It’s so important to remember that while, as a consultant, I’m living and breathing the case details, the client and partner have numerous other obligations that require attention during the day. Being able to provide a succinct, informative overview of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and why, can make all of the difference as we strive toward a productive conversation that drives us closer to the answer.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for Bain?
Spend the time during the recruiting process to build relationships with the office you hope to work for. This not only gave me a better perspective into Bain Houston’s office culture, it also led to a smoother transition once I started the job.

What do you want your career to look like in 10 years?
I hope to be an impactful leader in the energy industry with a focus on digital transformation strategies. Plus, as a woman with a liberal arts background prior to starting my career, I feel particularly passionate about being an advocate for people with non-traditional backgrounds, as well as serving as a mentor for women who want to build fulfilling careers in the business world.

My greatest personal or professional accomplishment is…performing the world premiere of Sean Shepherd’s piano trio, Aperture in Shift, in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall with my younger brother.

A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I spent two summers during college living in Beijing for a Mandarin language immersion program.