Meet the Boston Consulting Group’s MBA Class of 2020: Rukmini Sarkar

Rukmini Sarkar

BCG Office: London

Hometown: Dubai, UAE

MBA Program, Concentration: MIT Sloan, Certificate in Sustainability

Undergraduate school, major: University of Pennsylvania, Economics & Environmental Studies

Focus of current case/engagement: Defining a leading global bank’s public commitment to achieve its 2050 net zero climate ambition

Why did you choose BCG? First, it was the people, without a doubt. I initially joined the firm in the Dubai office before my MBA and loved how international the community was. This has continued to be my experience in the London office. Everyone has a unique story to tell and there is always so much to learn from the diverse range of experiences.

Second, BCG, as a firm, has a strong set of values and a deep sense of purpose. Whether it is diversity and inclusion, the climate, or work-life balance (amongst many other topics), there’s always something in the works to make a positive difference.

What did you love about the business school you attended? Sloan made everything seem possible, especially in the context of MIT and the wider Boston ecosystem. As someone who is particularly interested in energy and climate topics, I was thrilled to be surrounded by a vibrant community of classmates and entrepreneurs working on countless cutting-edge ideas in the field.

And of course, I can’t talk about Sloan without mentioning the amazing friends I made there and the incredible trips I took with my classmates including Mexico, Japan, and California (just to list a few places).

BCG’s purpose is “unlocking the potential of those who advance the world.” What has BCG unlocked in you? BCG has unlocked my ability to understand and prioritize what drives value—not only in a client context, but also when it comes to my professional development and even in my personal life. I really like the fact that this is reflected in our strengths-based development career model that encourages us to lean into and leverage our strengths to maximize the value we create.

What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment and how did you make a difference? My greatest personal accomplishment was volunteering at an orangutan rehabilitation center in Malaysia, filming what was probably the world’s cheesiest documentary, and using it to raise funds across Dubai to support the conservation of orangutans—a cause I have been passionate about since I was eight-years-old.

What word best describes BCG’s culture and give us an example of how you’ve experienced this in your day-to-day work? Pioneering. I love that BCG strives to be at the forefront of solving today’s challenges—whether it’s our climate commitment, shaping the future of work, or building resilient businesses. For example, we have a global initiative internally called Next Generation Ways of Working focused on creating long-term sustainability and enhancing team performance and satisfaction, all whilst delivering client value. BCG has dedicated coaches to help our case teams build norms for more effective teaming.

Please describe an “only at BCG” moment you’ve experienced so far. Driving an F3000 racecar on the F1 track in Abu Dhabi! Cool team events aside, I would have to say getting to set up one of the first MBA programs in Saudi Arabia. I got to lead interviews with former Deans of all the top business schools globally and build a financial model to determine what it takes to run a business school.

What advice would you give someone interviewing at BCG? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and brainstorm with your interviewer along the way, especially for the case-based portion of the interview. Making it a collaborative experience not only takes away some of the stress, but also demonstrates your ability to work in a team.

Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at BCG, and how has this person made you a better consultant? The person who comes to mind is Richard Lau, who was my manager on a recent strategy validation sprint for an international energy company. He not only created a team environment where I felt empowered to contribute and take risks, but also stayed entirely focused on the key drivers of value for the client. His leadership style enabled us to keep the client team engaged throughout the project. Ultimately, they were so empowered by our partnership that they took full ownership of our recommendations and presented them at the final Steering Committee meeting. Observing Richard gave me a new perspective on what it means to be a strong leader.

A fun fact about me is…I had a brief foray into comedic writing and acting when my college roommate and I decided to create our own YouTube show! Don’t bother looking for it online anymore though…


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