Meet the Boston Consulting Group’s MBA Class of 2020: Gus Young

Gus Young

BCG Office: Boston, MA

Hometown: Dedham, MA

MBA Program, Concentration: Ross School of Business, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Undergraduate school, major: Yale University, Political Science

Focus of current case/engagement: Transforming the organization model for a Europe-based global retailer.

Why did you choose BCG? Throughout the recruiting process, I was in awe of how smart, yet down-to- earth, BCGers were. I played team sports my whole life and knew that the group of people I would be huddling with in a team room was an important factor in my decision. Not only did I feel like everyone went the extra mile to answer questions or offer support, each had interesting hobbies outside of work. During coffee chats, recruiting events, and interviews, the conversations with BCGers were consistently the most energetic and fun.

What did you love about the business school you attended? It was the commitment to action-based learning. Coming from a non-traditional background, it was important to gain real-world experience during my MBA. At Ross, I developed a mobile-app strategy for a Focus Brands company, helped a biotech raise Seed funding, invested in start-ups with a Social Venture Fund, and published an investment thesis on the alternative care space. These opportunities to apply learnings and make a real impact were the highlights of my time at Ross.

BCG’s purpose is “unlocking the potential of those who advance the world.” What has BCG unlocked in you? It has been the confidence to attack any problem, no matter the size or complexity. A great thing about BCG is the opportunity to work on large-scale projects, but the sheer magnitude of these problems can be daunting. The combination of expertise, experience, and collaboration at BCG helps the team distill the problem down to its simplest form. Once the landscape is set, it is much easier to see how each individual workstream fits within the overall objective. Solving a really, big problem then just becomes putting all the pieces together.

What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment and how did you make a difference? Last spring, I delivered ~1 million isolation gowns to Canadian care facilities while helping to save hundreds of manufacturing and transportation jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic as the head of operations for Canada Emergency Medical Manufacturers. We re-purposed furniture and apparel manufacturers to produce PPE for Canadian hospitals and long-term care facilities. To source materials for the gowns and to sew and ship approximately one million finished products in five months, we created a localized subcontractor network. Due to local restrictions, these companies would have had to shut down if they were not producing PPE. While there were some long days, it was an amazing experience as everyone rallied around a common objective for the greater health of a nation.

What word best describes BCG’s culture and give us an example of how you’ve experienced this in your day-to-day work? Genuine. This job can be stressful at times, but even during spikes in work, my team has always showed a genuine care for each other. My wife and I are expecting a daughter in October, and the outpouring of congratulations, small gifts, offers of support, and joy shared with my case teams is a testament to the type of people BCG attracts.

Please describe an “only at BCG” moment you’ve experienced so far. For my first case, I had the opportunities to work on one of BCG’s COVID-19 response cases for a government organization. Working on such an impactful project on my first case was a real ‘welcome to BCG’ moment. The scope and scale of some of the projects is insane!

What advice would you give someone interviewing at BCG? Just keep going. BCG knows there is a tremendous amount of growth required for even the best candidates to really succeed at this job.  Stumble in the early part of a case? Bouncing back and finishing with a strong answer is a good indicator that you will embrace problems and development opportunities head on. No one expects you to be perfect, so how you respond in difficult situations is paramount as this is what translates to success as a consultant.

Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at BCG, and how has this person made you a better consultant? Sam Kittross-Schnell has contributed to my growth as a thinker more than any one person in my professional career. His superpower is the ability to ruthlessly prioritize and stay vigilant on the most critical tasks. More than that, he always takes the extra time to provide insightful feedback or to be a sounding board for both case and non-case related situations. It is no surprise that he was just promoted!

A fun fact about me is…I was a minor league hockey player before getting my MBA, which meant my wife and I lived in 9 different US cities across in three years.


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