BCG Office: Chicago
Hometown: Kosiv, Ukraine and Naples, FL
MBA Program, Concentration: Chicago Booth, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management
Undergraduate school, major: University of Florida, Finance and Mandarin; CFA Charterholder
Focus of current case/engagement: International drug launch strategy for a biopharma company.
Why did you choose BCG? It might be a cliché, but it was definitely for the people. Throughout the recruiting process, I realized that conversations are just easier and more interesting when you connect with the culture and assumed this would translate to the working teams. I appreciated the intellectual rigor of the BCG approach and the true apprenticeship model, particularly how it was proven by the personal anecdotes of the consultants I spoke with. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed when I joined the firm – I’m constantly impressed by what my teams have been able to accomplish together and we have a pretty great time doing it!
What did you love about the business school you attended? I chose to attend Booth because of the flexibility of the program, pay it forward culture, and perceived fit for the community. My primary goal in getting an MBA was to build a strong network and I felt that Booth would provide that while allowing me to pursue the curriculum of my choice. Chicago also played a big factor, as the city offers opportunities for experiential learning, entertainment, and a big upgrade to Miami weather!
I chose to fully lean into the experience and feel that Booth was the perfect environment to develop my strengths while pushing me into new territory both personally and professionally. I’m a natural introvert, but I think that would be news to many of my classmates, which is a testament to my growth throughout the program.
BCG’s purpose is “unlocking the potential of those who advance the world.” What has BCG unlocked in you? BCG has unlocked my confidence in the value of my ideas. I’ve always been shy to speak up in big meetings or public forums and tend to only open up in small group environments. As I progress in my career, this can work to my detriment as I may not get credit for my work or to ask the questions I need in order to fully understand something. It’s been very encouraging to have case teams who validate what I bring to the table while creating safe opportunities for me to speak up and share my insights. It doesn’t come naturally yet, but I’m grateful to BCG for pushing me to find my confidence and unlock more of my potential.
What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment and how did you make a difference? My greatest accomplishment was being accepted to Booth and all of the good things that naturally followed. If you only look at my resume, getting to this point might seem like a clear path. At times, it felt like fighting gravity to get here. I’m a first-generation immigrant and college student and had very little structural support growing up. My parents did their best to be there, but they were limited by their lack of experience in this country and need to work hard to support us financially. I had to figure out my own homework, college applications, career, financing, and ultimately my path to an MBA. At times, I had no idea what I was doing and had to rely on sheer diligence to move forward. I often felt lonely because I didn’t know anyone else around me who had to do so much just to stay afloat. Recruiting for BCG at Booth was a turning point in my life because it was the first time I felt the benefits of a supportive network.
This accomplishment is extra special because my parents said the day I was accepted to Booth was one of the greatest moments in their lives. My father passed shortly after I graduated and, while it has been incredibly hard to face a future without him, I’m thankful he was able to see me land on my feet and honored to continue his legacy of hard work and positivity.
What word best describes BCG’s culture and give us an example of how you’ve experienced this in your day-to-day work? Motivating. My case teams have been faced with problems that might feel insurmountable to me, but no one else seems to be phased. BCGers trust our process and are incredibly resourceful at finding ways to accomplish what we set out to do. This motivates me to continue learning as much as I can and push forward to the end even if I’m initially uncertain of the path to get there.
Please describe an “only at BCG” moment you’ve experienced so far. I recently worked on the launch of a game-changing diabetes therapy, a case that was especially impactful for me because my father passed away from complications of the disease. My experience navigating the healthcare system with him was what pushed me to want to work in healthcare, but I was initially afraid to take the case because I wasn’t sure if I was emotionally ready to handle something so close to home. My fears were alleviated when I saw the care and consideration that both the client and BCG show for the patients who are going to benefit from this treatment. The focus of the case truly was on patient benefit and how to get this remarkable drug to the most people possible. This therapy is hopefully going to keep more parents in their children’s lives for longer, and I was honored to work on this team.
What advice would you give someone interviewing at BCG? Your personal story matters. BCGers value diverse backgrounds and perspectives, so be sure to let your unique experiences and personality come through as you connect with our people and do your Experience & Capabilities interview. We know and value you as a whole person, not just as a problem-solving machine. Practice sharing your story every time you work through a case so you can do so comfortably and succinctly during your interview.
Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at BCG, and how has this person made you a better consultant? My first Project Leader, Mitch Kirby, was instrumental to my foundation at the firm. I came in determined to focus my career on healthcare, which is basically the only industry that I’ve never worked with before. He was patient enough to not only teach me the ins-and-outs of biopharma, but the consulting toolkit as well—in particular the art and science of storytelling. It’s hard to turn a finance/Excel person into a slide designer and storyteller, but Mitch somehow got me on the right track. Working with him showed me the power of our apprenticeship model and gave me an example to aspire to. I can’t believe I’m saying this now, but there is always a better way to present data than in a table!
A fun fact about me is…I’m obsessed with my dog, Pippa the Corgi and I’m not the only one because she had a legion of fans at Booth. She was Slack star and even won a Class of 2020 superlative – I’m still building her brand at BCG.