Wharton | Mr. Big Four To IB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Electric Vehicles Product Strategist
GRE 331, GPA 3.8
Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Stanford GSB | Mr. Startup Guy
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
Rice Jones | Mr. Tech Firm Product Manager
GRE 320, GPA 2.7
Harvard | Mr. Billion Dollar Startup
GRE 309, GPA 6.75/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. Mexican Central Banker
GMAT 730, GPA 95.8/100 (1st in class)
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Tech Risk
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Strategy & Marketing Roles
GMAT 750, GPA 9.66/10
Harvard | Mr. Bomb Squad To Business
GMAT 740, GPA 3.36
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Foster School of Business | Mr. Corporate Strategy In Tech
GMAT 730, GPA 3.32
IU Kelley | Mr. Advertising Guy
GMAT 650, GPA 3.5
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Lawyer Turned Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Chicago Booth | Mr. Whitecoat Businessman
GMAT 740, GPA Equivalent to 3(Wes) and 3.4(scholaro)
MIT Sloan | Ms. Digital Manufacturing To Tech Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Healthcare Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. Developing Social Enterprises
GMAT 750, GPA 3.75
Yale | Mr. Education Management
GMAT 730, GPA 7.797/10
Columbia | Mr. Neptune
GMAT 750, GPA 3.65
Darden | Ms. Education Management
GRE 331, GPA 9.284/10
Columbia | Mr. Confused Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr Big 4 To IB
GRE 317, GPA 4.04/5.00

Meet Bain & Company’s MBA Class Of 2020

Once again, the top consulting firm according to the employees in the industry: Bain & Company. Bain photo

“RESULTS, NOT REPORTS”

Xu was drawn to Bain by its deeply international roster of clients, not to mention its reputation as a top firm for private equity and consumer products. This surplus of clients, markets, locales, and challenges produces one thing: excitement.

“The work at Bain is hard, but you work with many great people and on some amazing cases,” explains Samantha Scott Banks. “No matter how tough the work is, you will always be left wanting more. I wake every day excited because I know I am going to learn more and be challenged in some way.”

Many times, that learning is spurred by their peers. Ask Bainies what they love most about the firm and the first response is “the culture” — and the people who reflect its True North values of service, transparency, teamwork, and practical solutions. Or, as the saying goes around Bain: “Results, not reports.” For Priyasha Chaturvedi, Bain’s “people-centric” model stood out during the recruiting process.

“I appreciate Bain’s extensive opportunity for diverse impact across industries and laser-focused approach to coaching and development at all tenure levels. Bain’s culture is something you hear about often as an MBA recruit on campus.  Throughout my interactions with the firm as both an applicant and as a Summer Associate (MBA intern), the culture at Bain truly stuck out as a supportive environment where people are pushed to learn and grow while also having a great time.”

EVERYONE COUNTS

Kelly Lombard

Kelly Lombard compares Bain to the U.S. Navy’s Special Operations community, a place where “incredibly tight bonds” are formed.

“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.”

More than that, Lombard adds, Bainies embrace an ethos where everyone has a voice that matters.

“As a post-MBA Consultant, you need to listen and learn from your associate consultants (ACs),” he writes. “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.”

FRAMING THE ISSUE

Speaking up is a critical part of the Bain experience. After all, consultants are trained to look at problems from every imaginable angle. At the start, Bain consultants engage in a seemingly contrarian exercise: Answer First. That means they frame an issue with a question that encompasses the result the client hopes to achieve. From there, Bain consultants begin formulating hypotheses, with teams adopting a mindset that some ideas shouldn’t be discarded just because they seem unfeasible nor should other ideas be quickly accepted just because they appear to fit on the surface. Instead, Bain consultants engage with client leaders and frontline stakeholders, digging deep into the dynamics and continuously refining their initial hypotheses.

“The most valuable thing I have learned so far is the ability to drive to a clear insight, even when faced with the most ambiguous problems or disparate pieces of information,” explains Priyasha Chaturvedi. “Bain has taught me how to take a step back and break down a complex problem, evaluate what I do and do not know, and identify who to engage to arrive at key insights.”

This approach gave Ilana Walder-Biesanz something that can’t be measured or discounted: confidence.  “Bain has taught me not to be intimidated by unfamiliar problems. On my current case, I did a series of sprints building out high-level strategies for various markets. At the beginning of each sprint, I knew nothing about the markets in question, and the depth of knowledge I could build up in such a short time pleasantly surprised me.”

Priyasha Chaturvedi

ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE CONSULTANTS

To do that, new MBA hires can’t be afraid to ask for help. As much as Bain is a coaching and feedback culture, it is also a support system where everyone looks out for each other. Michael Xu credits his first Bain manager, Ivy Fang, for speeding up his development.

“Ivy helped me map out my spikes and shortcomings as a consultant and offered constant mentoring in my first project. Once a Consultant herself, she understood my strengths and struggles from the start. She created opportunities, such as leading client meetings, to fully unleash my presentation and people skills, while sacrificing her spare time to give me individual coaching on my shortcomings. The apprentice-style learning allowed me to quickly catch up with Bain’s frameworks and methodologies and enabled me to have a better understanding of the role a consultant plays in a project.”

What advice does the Class of 2020 have for aspiring consultants? Michael Xu urges them to take care of their physical and mental health. .

“It is a demanding job,” he concedes. “While the company offers a whole suite of resources to support you, you need to first set up mechanisms to take care of yourself. For example, each member of our entire team on the current project has a personal goal related to gym or fitness during the length of the project, and the project team honors that.”

When it comes to the recruiting process, Kelly Lombard offers a nugget of wisdom: “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.”

Click on the links below to learn more about these MBAs’ experiences at Bain & Company.

Bain Consultant Bain Office Hometown MBA Program
Samantha Scott Banks Chicago Cleveland, OH Northwestern University (Kellogg)
Priyasha Chaturvedi Chicago Shrewsbury, MA Cornell University (Johnson)
Kelly Lombard New York City Philadelphia, PA Wharton School
Ilana Walder-Biesanz Houston Portland, OR Stanford Graduate School of Business
Xinwei (Michael) Xu Shanghai Shanghai, China University of Chicago (Booth)

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