Meet Bain & Company’s MBA Class of 2022: Mathilda Deng

Mathilda Deng

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hometown: Sichuan, China

MBA program: INSEAD

Undergraduate school, major: Chengdu University of Technology, Project Management

 Focus of current case: Environmental Sustainability

What word best describes Bain and why?
If I had to choose one phrase to describe Bain, it would be “diverse and close-knit.” From the very beginning, I was struck by the wide range of backgrounds of my colleagues. I worked alongside an ex-practicing doctor from Singapore, an ex-mathematician from Mexico, and an ex-journalist from Nigeria – just to name a few. Despite this diversity, the firm does an incredible job of fostering a sense of community through a variety of events and subcommunities. Whether it was case team events, affiliation group events such as the Women at Bain Summit, or training sessions like the New Consultant Training, I found these events have helped me to quickly build my own support system within Bain. This sense of community is one of the things that sets Bain apart, and it is what makes the firm truly diverse and close-knit.

Why did you choose to work at Bain? 
The reason I chose to work at Bain is simple: the people and culture. I was drawn to the sincere, warm, and supportive nature of the Bainies I met. It was clear to me that the people at Bain are not only intelligent and energetic, but also genuinely caring and empathetic individuals. I understand that consulting can be a challenging career, which is why it was important to me to be surrounded by people who inspire and motivate me.

At Bain, I found a community of individuals who share my passion for making a positive impact in the world. I feel supported and encouraged by my colleagues every day, which makes me excited to come to work and tackle new challenges. I am proud to be a part of this unique and welcoming culture.

What did you love about the business school you attended? 
I absolutely loved INSEAD for many reasons. One of the standout aspects was the incredibly diverse cohort. My classmates represented over 70 nationalities, which made for a truly unique and enriching experience. Additionally, the study group concept, while sometimes challenging, was ultimately a fun and rewarding experience. Being “stuck” with people hand-picked by the school helped us learn to deal with differences brought by our backgrounds, ultimately making us better leaders and team players.

Moreover, INSEAD provided plenty of opportunities and resources for growth and development. Whether it was leadership coaching, one-on-one sessions with an entrepreneur-in-residence, or other resources, I always felt I had the support and tools I need. All of these factors combined to create an unforgettable experience that I will always cherish.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at Bain? 
The most valuable thing I’ve learned during my time at Bain is ownership. When I first started, I had a mindset of simply “doing the work.” However, over my first six months, I had a shift in perspective towards “owning the work.” This meant taking a more proactive approach to driving my own workstream and career development. Learning to take ownership has not only made me a more effective consultant, but it has also allowed me to be more thoughtful and practical about the potential consequences of my work. This shift in mindset has been invaluable in helping me grow both personally and professionally at Bain.

Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at Bain, and how has he or she made you a better consultant?
Claudia Brechenmacher has had a significant impact on my career at Bain. She was the manager of my first case and a role model for me. Claudia is the perfect combination of a highly capable leader, a patient coach, and a lovely and supportive colleague. I was incredibly grateful for her guidance in helping me quickly familiarize myself with Bain’s toolkits and establishing an 80-20 mindset. Her leadership and mentorship helped me become a better consultant and set me on a path for success at Bain.

Although I only spent a few days with Philip Lambrakos during my new consultant training, his words have stuck with me. He emphasized the importance of humanity and constantly evaluating the potential impacts our work can have on others. This reminder has helped me stay grounded and focused on the bigger picture of how the work I do at Bain can positively impact the world around me.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for Bain? 
If you’re interested in working for Bain, my biggest piece of advice would be to prepare thoroughly for the case interview. The case interview is a critical component of the recruiting process, and it’s important to be well-prepared and confident in your approach. It is a skill that can be acquired through practice. I recommend practicing with case partners, utilizing resources like Bain’s website and case interview books, and seeking feedback from those who have gone through the process before.

What has been your most meaningful career achievement and how did it make a difference?
During my internship with a climate-tech venture capital firm, I had the opportunity to work with seasoned entrepreneurs to build a business from scratch. It was an incredible learning experience that exposed me to the fascinating world of agribusiness, nature-based solutions, and carbon credits. I was hooked! This experience helped me realize my passion for environmental sustainability and motivated me to continue exploring this space at Bain. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how much that internship has shaped my career and personal goals. I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity and proud of the impact I can make in this important field.

A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…
I don’t know how to cook, but I have a green thumb – I have planted hundreds of shorea, hopea and dipterocarpus in Singapore. I find that there’s something incredibly satisfying about getting my hands dirty and watching something grow from just a tiny seedling. Plus, it’s a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life and connect with nature. While I may not be the best cook in the world, I take pride in my ability to help make our planet a greener and save the endangered trees.


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