Meet Bain & Company’s MBA Class of 2020: Kelly Lombard

Kelly Lombard

New York City

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

MBA Program: The Wharton School

Undergraduate School, Major: Villanova University, Mechanical Engineering

Focus of current or favorite case: Currently, I am conducting due diligence of a beverage company. On this particular diligence, I am helping define the key customer segments for our client, which has allowed me to apply many of the quantitative marketing skills I learned at Wharton.

What word best describes Bain and why? Culture. Bain is consistently ranked as one of the top companies to work for because it’s a place where teammates will bend over backwards to help one another. We have a saying at Bain that “a Bainie never lets another Bainie fail,” and I have experienced this sentiment first-hand while working remotely.  Whether it’s staying late to help a teammate or everyone gathering for a Zoom happy hour on a Friday, people are more than willing to invest the time and effort needed to make Bain a great place to work.

Why did you choose to work at Bain? The key differentiator for me was Bain’s home office model. I was previously a bomb disposal expert in the Navy’s Special Operations community before attending Wharton. In that world, you forge incredibly tight bonds with your teammates and, in my opinion, Bain was the only place where I saw similar values. Consistently working with the same group of people provides the opportunity to develop personal connections that span multiple cases, which is vital to sustained mentorship and career development.

What did you love about the business school you attended? As a Philly native, I always dreamed of going to Wharton. However, when I look back on my time at Wharton, what sticks out to me is the flexibility that I was provided. Whether you want to index on academics, clubs, social events, or something else, Wharton allows you to build the MBA experience that best fits your needs. Plus, who doesn’t love Fridays off.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at Bain? As a post-MBA Consultant, you need to listen and learn from your associate consultants (ACs). They are the brightest people at Bain, and they usually have more consulting experience than someone right out of their MBA. I was lucky enough to be put in a management position recently and experienced first-hand how if you listen to your junior consultants, you will be successful.

Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at Bain, and how have they made you a better consultant? The two people who immediately come to mind are Angela Wang and Liz Matis. Angela is my current manager in our Private Equity Group (PEG) and she pushes me to get outside of my comfort zone. Whether it is pushing me to lead a major case workstream or to take on a larger client role, Angela puts me in positions to both learn and succeed.

Liz was my manager when I was a summer intern at Bain NYC. When I came back to Bain full-time, Liz became my official Professional Development (PD) advisor. Not only does she act as an advocate for my career officially, but she also provides me with incredible mentorship, as I navigate my first full year at Bain.

In what other ways have you felt supported at Bain and how has this impacted your PD? For me, Veterans at Bain is one of the pillars of my success. I first was exposed to Veterans at Bain during the recruiting process, and I was blown away by the members of the community. In the NYC office, its members are at all levels and take a vested interest in my success. In particular, veteran leaders at the firm like Justin Miller, a partner and fellow Navy veteran, help show that there is a clear path to success for veterans at Bain. Veterans at Bain is just one of the many incredible internal Bain communities that have provided me the tools necessary to succeed.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for Bain? Do not sleep on networking! The people who put in the extra effort to connect with consultants during recruiting are able to speak more authentically about why they want to be at Bain, which comes through in the interview process. Plus, networking is a two-way street. Speaking with people in the industry is also a great opportunity to ensure that consulting is the right fit for you and your goals.

What has been your most meaningful achievement and how did it make a difference? During a deployment to East Africa, I led an operation to train Kenyan soldiers on how to safely defuse improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for their upcoming deployment to Somalia. As the only U.S. explosives expert and the leader of the mission, it was my responsibility to prepare the Kenyan students for anything they would encounter to get home safely. After over a month of living and training together, the Kenyan students in training all passed their course. A year later, I returned to Kenya as a part of President Obama’s security team and encountered one of my Kenyan students. He told me how our training enabled him to defuse numerous IEDs in Somalia, saving his teammates. It was one of the proudest moments of my life.

A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I once was trained in advance skydiving techniques by members of the Red Bull skydiving team, as a part of my job in Special Operations. I have tried to keep up my skydiving, but I haven’t yet figured out a way to make it an official case team event at Bain.


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