Meet Bain & Company’s MBA Class Of 2022

Picture getting on an airplane. It’s cramped and noisy – stuffy too. Adding to the discomfort, you’re wondering just who’ll be sitting next to you.

Sandwiched between a snorer and a complainer, you learn quickly who you want to be around. Audrey Aw, a ‘22 Bain & Company hire from the Singapore office, has clocked many airline hours. From those experiences, she subscribes to the “Airport Test” in evaluating people: What would it be like to sit in a terminal or a flight with someone?

During recruiting season as a Cambridge Judge MBA student, Aw had gravitated towards Bain’s “diverse and impactful work” – not to mention access to senior levels at renowned firms. When it came time to choose her employer, Aw applied the Airport Test to Bain’s people. “It was my personal interactions with different Bainies throughout the interview and offer process the sealed the deal for me,” she explains. “Despite coming from different backgrounds, I found them all to be really sharp, yet grounded, approachable, and warm—from HR recruiters to peer consultants to experienced partners. I was always made to feel at ease throughout the process.”


Keith Bevans, Bain Partner and Global Head of Consulting Recruiting

Bain & Company has ranked as the world’s top consulting firm by Vault for three years running. Bainies themselves have the reputation for being a fun-loving crew, always up for adventure and down for a challenge. During a flight delay, you’ll find Bainies laughing over Chick-fil-A or mapping out the next big idea. They’re passionate and original, always alive in the moment and looking to make things fun. More than that, they do everything together – and that’s by design says Keith Bevans, a Bain partner and executive vice president who is global head of consultant recruiting.

“Bain is not a stand out culture. We’re not the place people come to pound their chest. If you want your name in the marquee, Bain is not the place for you. That’s not our culture.”

Instead, Bevans explains, Bain is a firm built on a “growth mindset.” Bainies are always seeking out opportunities to improve themselves – and those around them. As part of this growth mindset, Bainies can take what you give them and find the good to carry them through.

“They want to win as a team,” Bevans added in a June interview with P&Q. “What you’ll find is that the people who are really thriving here tend to look for the positives in situations. They have a type of empathy that comes with, ‘This is client services and things happen that are out of your control.’ Whether it is civil unrest, a storm taking out a plant, or a shock in the market, we have to respond to it. The people who thrive understand that and focus on the solution. That positivity is infectious on the team.”


Yasmina Atallah

For the past year, Bain MBA hires from the Class of 2022 have been immersed in this culture. They have joined the firm from programs as different as Harvard Business School, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College, and the University of New South Wales. Thus far, they have worked on cases as diverse as environmental sustainability, private equity, and product supply chains. Yasmina Atallah, who joined Bain from HEC Paris last September, has recently been finishing a case on public sector strategy. For her, the best part of Bain has been learning something new every day. In contrast, Audrey Aw has been impressed by just how committed to results the firm is.

“Bringing real value to our clients is at the core of Bain’s DNA. I’ve personally witnessed my case leaders redirecting conversations with clients when they’ve received requests to pitch for work that they believed was not truly impactful for the client, even if it would have been easy to just say yes. I must admit that in these moments, I’ve been additionally proud of how “at cause” we are, as we call it in Bain.”

Such candor – coupled with Bain’s versatility – has enabled the firm to serve clients in any situation, says Keith Bevans, a Harvard Business School MBA. During economic booms, Bevans notes, clients turn to Bain to learn which options provide the highest returns. When the economy contracts, the same clients seek guidance on where to scale back without stalling their momentum during the eventual recovery. Now, Artificial Intelligence has emerged top of mind for clients – and Bain is ready to guide them, Bevans asserts. The firm has established a partnership with Open AI, the company behind Chat GPT. At the same time, Bain has invested heavily in this area so it can help clients integrate AI into their operations, leverage it to their disrupt markets, or position themselves to withstand its competitive pressures.

While some experts argue that AI is poised to upend the world as we know it, Bevans calmly views the situation from a larger historical context. “Bain has a track record of helping companies navigate [disruption] long before my career started at Bain 27 years ago. I was doing projects in the late 90s, when companies were concerned that online retailers were going to hurt their businesses. So there have been several iterations – social media included – to arbitrage across [industries]. This is just the latest iteration of technology innovations disrupting industries. Our clients called on Bain in the past for us and they’re calling on Bain now.”

“Culturally, we’re always looking to do better. Our employees expect that from us. That’s part of why they want to work here: We don’t settle.” – Keith Bevans


This time, these clients are being introduced to the Class of 2022 – a team that took a leap of faith by starting business school at the height of COVID-19. In the process, they gained resourcefulness and grit by learning to do more with less. Such experiences came in handy for Audrey Aw, who set up an internal HR consulting function for a multinational company before starting business school.

“This was a completely new setup in the company’s HR operating model and there were no past references to guide us,” Aw tells P&Q. “I was also stepping into my first formal supervisor role. The task was certainly daunting, but it was also exciting that we could carve something new from scratch. I’m proud to share that, as a team of just five, we delivered 40+ people strategy projects across the business within two years, achieving 100% NPS scores. It was in that time that I truly grew in my people management and motivation skills, something that I continue to build upon at Bain today.”

Those skills haven’t just been applicable to clients. In his last case, Dubem Mbeledogu operated in the AI and machine learning space. A Chemical Engineering major and classically-trained flutist, Mbeledogu pivoted to Business Analytics as an MBA student at MIT’s Sloan School. Away from his “day job” at Bain, he won 1st prize in the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Research Papers Competition – considered the largest conference of its kind. Mbeledogu’s biggest advantage: his experience with storylining and presenting concepts at Bain.

“My work was on daily fantasy football, and it potentially reduces the amount of time to solve difficult computational problems in daily fantasy sports by orders of magnitude. Not only does this work have an impact on daily fantasy sports, but the overall technical concepts can be applied to other aspects of sports to make models quicker and more interactive. That way, the coaching staff can be more involved in the analytics. The achievement was important to me because I got to see some of the skills that I used at Bain pay off.”


Cecilia Rios Murrieta

Indeed, the Class of 2022 arrived in their respective offices from every background imaginable. After growing up in rural South Australia, Maddison Jacka moved into running luxury hotels in Australia, Thailand, and the United States. At a festival ticketing startup, Cambridge Judge alum Bob Winslow helped the firm run over 500 events in five years, handling customer service, client services, and fulfillment along the way. Before earning his MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Bilal Ajram worked as a volunteer consultant. His best moments, he said, involved helping one Chicago restauranteur move away from a dine-in model.

“I was able to work one-on-one with the owner to determine how they could improve their margins by converting a segment of their delivery app customers to order directly through their website. The experience is very meaningful to me because I walk by the restaurant now on my way to work, and it feels great to have helped them stay in business.”

Cecilia Rios Murrieta is another entrepreneur-turned-consultant. Before joining the University of Virginia’s Darden School, she owned two Mezcal brands for eight years. For her, building something from nothing and sharing her cultural heritage have been the most meaningful parts of her career. “Having an idea, designing a concept and then taking the necessary steps to create and deliver a finished product has made me think that everything is possible. I’ve always been very inquisitive and creative, and being an entrepreneur has allowed me to look at every problem I face in a proactive way. For every problem, there is an opportunity.”

A year after joining Bain, Rios Murrieta is still struck by the energy that her peers exude. “From the beginning of my recruiting journey, every time I interact with another Bainie I feel energized. There is something about the way Bainies tend to communicate that makes you feel motivated to get up and go take that next step toward anything you’re tackling in that moment. I love feeling that way about where I work, and my philosophy is to always strive for finding that everywhere I go.”


Mathilda Deng

Away from Bain, INSEAD alum Mathilda Deng takes pride in her green thumb, noting she has “planted hundreds of shorea, hopea, and dipterocarpus.” Together, they come in different sizes and perform a variety of functions. Not surprisingly, Deng noticed a similar, invaluable diversity in the backgrounds of her teammates at Bain.

“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,” Deng explains. 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.”

Amid this, Deng also experienced a sense of community – or “familial” to quote Dubem Mbeledogu. At Bain, he says, “you feel intellectually safe.” By that, he means teammates are there to help, whether you are struggling to understand a concept or manage your workload. Looking back, Keith Bevans can recall times where he stumbled after joining the firm. Sometimes, he couldn’t find an answer and wondered if it might end his career. In response, he says, Bainies would rally around him. Or, to use a popular saying at Bain: “A Bainie never lets another Bainie fail.”

“I didn’t expect that,” Bevans admits. “It is amazing to know that I have 18,000 colleagues and any one of them will call back and help if I reach out. That’s tremendously reassuring and it gives you the comfort when you are tackling a challenge you may not know because you know everyone has your back. That makes a huge difference. In other organizations I’ve seen, people can feel like they are on their own or competing with each other. That’s not how it is here. Seeing that is possible and seeing what the power of what that is like is by far the biggest takeaway that I’ve had from working here so long.”

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Page 3: Profiles of 11 Bain hires and Bain study of hiring probability based on number of cases studied.

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