Bain & Company Oslo
Hometown: Dubai, UAE
MBA program: INSEAD
Undergraduate school, major: McGill University, Chemical Engineering
Focus of current case: Studying how market developments and competitive forces might shape the oil and gas industry in the near to medium term.
Why did you choose to work at Bain? I chose Bain in anticipation of working with talented colleagues. I appreciated the True North culture the company fosters, and I knew I would enjoy the work.
What did you love about the business school you attended? There is a great deal to love about INSEAD. Perhaps what I loved most was the school’s mission of positioning “business as a force for good,” and the diversity of the student body.
I am Lebanese, but I grew up in the UAE, attended university in Canada and met my Norwegian husband while working in Gabon—and my story is an average one at INSEAD. I found the international atmosphere comforting and inclusive. I loved the people I met, including my professors. I was not expecting to make a brand new group of lifelong friends at age 30, but I definitely did.
I am happily surprised by how much of “INSEAD life” continues after graduation on all counts—socially, academically and professionally!
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at Bain? Everything—and I am not exaggerating! To be more explicit, one example of a particularly valuable thing I have learnt is how to approach an industry or business that I am not be well versed in. I moved to consulting after eight years as a well engineer, where I was extremely comfortable with the subject matter. It can be daunting to “get smart” on a sector quickly, but at Bain you are taught how to think about and break down a market, industry or company into digestible pieces for further analysis.
I have an engineering background, so I am accustomed to data gathering, problem solving and a logical workflow. However, working at Bain takes that skill set to a new level of rigor.
Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at Bain, and how has he or she made you a better consultant? A difficult question, as Bain is full of inspirational characters—some of the cleverest and most hard-working people one might ever meet.
I have been especially fortunate working with a case team leader, manager and principal in Oslo who have each had a marked impact on my development, through both hands-on coaching and leading by example. I especially enjoy observing their preparation for meetings with clients and watching how they anticipate key questions and reactions to the story or analysis that we plan to share.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for Bain? I believe researching the consulting profession and speaking with people who work or have worked at Bain is important. Apart from being a valuable exercise to reflect on both personal and professional considerations, it will help ensure the nature of the work and company culture will be the right fit for you.
In terms of preparation for the case-cracking portion of the interview process, I would recommend sincere and thorough practice, with actual consultants, if possible. I also found Victor Cheng’s LOMS series and most of the case-cracking books useful when preparing for interviews.
A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I am a yoga teacher.