Making companies more valuable

Bain's business is helping make companies more valuable. We deliver results, not reports. We focus on full potential improvements, not incremental change. We emphasize practical recommendations and how to make them happen. We celebrate impact, not intellectual elegance or activity. We operate with a sense of urgency.

Consultants work on a wide range of corporate clients, private equity, venture capital, and community projects. The diversity and pace of learning are truly unique. We use a fact-based, analytic approach built on cutting edge tools - our experiences with over 2,700 clients and over 200 investments around the world - all in a collaborative environment of extraordinary teams of committed individuals.

We work with companies to beat their competitors and generate substantial, lasting financial impact. We are so passionate about our clients' success that, where appropriate, we will take equity in lieu of fees. In other words, we put ourselves on the line right alongside our clients.

Our clients are bold, ambitious business leaders. They think and act like owners. They want change, and all share our passion for results and are prepared to act decisively to achieve them. We are passionate about our work and about our personal lives. At Bain, you'll join a high energy environment where people work in teams to achieve results.

Delivering tangible results


Bain has grown to be one of the world's leading strategy consulting firms because we always deliver for our clients. Our business is making companies more valuable. We help convert opportunity into action, and action into economic performance. In over 30 years since its founding, Bain has demonstrated its commitment through client results.

We can claim these results only because of the quality of our people. Our management team represents a contemporary perspective that values diversity, intelligence and flexibility. In all, we are 2,800 individuals from varied backgrounds working in 31 offices in 19 countries. Collectively, we have served more than 2,700 clients in 80 countries in North and South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific. The range of our experience, the caliber of our clients, and the innovative, practical approach we take in all we do combine to provide unparalleled opportunity for our employees.

Continuing to push the envelope of the management consulting industry


Since its inception, Bain has continued to redefine the management consulting industry by:

  • Rejecting the "old" advice model to focus on strategy and implementation.
  • Founding a unique network of related affiliates and alliances, including: The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit organization focused on customizing traditional management strategy approaches to the nonprofit sector; BainNet, an alliance of IT market leaders that feeds technology-driven strategies to its clients worldwide; the Global Expert Network, a group comprised of world-class experts that provides specialized knowledge to Bain's case teams through a subcontractor model; Pacific Equity Partners, a private equity fund that offers due diligence, IPO preparation and portfolio performance improvement services to leveraged buyout and venture capital firms; and Bain Capital, a venture capital and LBO firm.
  • Sharing our client, incubated and private capital co-investments among our professional staff in a unique equity compensation plan.
  • Accepting equity in lieu of fees to align our incentives with client results.

Unique culture

The Bain community is a very cohesive culture, which has been cultivated since our founding. Our office culture is very open and we operate as a complete meritocracy. Case teams - comprised of a partner, a manager, and a number of consultants and associate consultants - complete our client work, and the structure on all teams is very flat. All members of the case team contribute to solving the client's business problem.

Bain provides several special learning opportunities. Opportunities vary by offices, and consultants are encouraged to discuss professional development opportunities with their staffing officers in each office.

  • Consultants can voluntarily transfer to one of our worldwide offices for six months.
  • In certain markets, consultants can spend six months in Bain's Private Equity Group, which focuses on LBO cases.
  • Approximately 15 percent of our staff rotates into the Bridespan Group for between six and 12 months - providing clients with a fresh perspective and giving our consultants valuable experience in the sector.
  • Many offices encourage consulting staff to seek out opportunities to do an externship at a client site or another company of interest to the consultant.
  • Other international opportunities include working on international assignments, which may require travel and work in a different Bain office without doing a formal transfer.
  • Part-time options exist for consulting staff. These opportunities vary by market and should be discussed with the local staffing coordinators.

The environment is very entrepreneurial. Most consultants who enter the Bain environment want to build the general management skills required to run their own businesses one day. "Bainees", as our consultants are called, have a passion for results, are extremely driven eager and committed individuals, are constantly pushing themselves, and at the same time are incredibly down to earth people.

"What are you going to do Monday morning at 8 a.m.?" is a catchphrase of Bain culture. Our firm is focused entirely on producing immediately workable ideas that bring bottom-line results. The "80/100" rule, espoused by Bain chairman Orit Gadiesh, holds that a 80 percent solution that is 100 percent implementable is vastly preferable to the perfect theoretical solution that can't be implemented. Bain consultants focus on delivering relevant, pragmatic and breakthrough strategies that can be realistically implemented at the client.

Unlimited Opportunity: The Bain ecosystem


Due to our size, scope and innovative approach, Bain provides an unparalleled learning environment that will teach you to think and act like a general manager. At the heart of our ecosystem is our core objective to build client success stories, whether they are corporations, private equity firms, start-ups or new ventures within established companies. We leverage learnings from our internal and external network of affiliated ventures to enhance our ability to create wealth for our clients. At Bain, you will have the opportunity to use your talents and expertise in these ventures - either temporarily or permanently through transfers to them. Or, you can help build them and others as part of senior management teams and continue our tradition of innovation. Your opportunities are limitless.

Help Manage Bain


Your opportunities will go beyond working with our clients to opportunities for managing within the firm. You may start your management career by running a case team, directing and focusing the efforts of consultants, associate consultants, and clients to get to the best solution more quickly and effectively. You may develop a geographical or functional expertise that proves valuable in opening or expanding a Bain office. You may drill deep into an industry and lead that practice area. Bain gives you the support and the autonomy to be a general manager while continuing to serve clients.

Gain an Investor's Perspective


You can consult in our Private Equity Group, where you will get an unequaled investor's perspective and practical exposure to investing issues. In 1994, Bain was the first strategy consulting firm to establish a practice working with private equity firms. We continue to be the market leader in this consulting area. Our private equity clients demand particularly rapid decision-making. To meet their needs, we use a lean team structure and a core group of dedicated consultants so that case teams can start quickly. We specialize in quick-hit answers to help our clients quickly make informative decisions about deals or businesses.

In the Private Equity Group, you have the chance to see the impact of your work almost immediately. And Bain's impact is substantial - our returns are amongst the highest in the sector. In order to align our interests with those of our clients, our private equity practice gives us access to investment opportunities. We co-invest with our clients and offer our employees various ways to share in the upside of these investments.

Bridging the gap to the nonprofit sector


The nonprofit sector has become a major segment of the economy. But nonprofit organizations have not benefited in a sustained way from expert strategy consulting. Capitalizing on this critical need, Bain launched The Bridgespan Group in 2000. Itself a nonprofit, The Bridgespan Group is dedicated to creating the sustainable impact that Bain is known for in the not-for-profit sector. It does so by tailoring Bain's techniques to the particular challenges that nonprofit managers face. Central to The Bridgespan Group's mission is working with clients that have the potential for compelling social impact, embrace change, face strategic challenges shared by other nonprofit organizations, and seek to share their experiences with the broader sector.

Bain and Bain Capital


Many applicants confuse Bain with our venture capital cousin, Bain Capital, which was developed by the founders of Bain. Bain Capital, a venture capital and LBO organization formed in 1984, has over $25 billion in assets, with annual returns exceeding 50 percent. The fact remains that Bain Capital is an entirely separate entity from Bain & Company. It was not established to invest in Bain clients, and there is no sharing of information or management.

Exceptional learning opportunities


At Bain, we hire and develop the best people and offer them the best practical business experience there is. Our focus is on training our people to develop a general manager perspective. Quite simply, our people learn how to make businesses more valuable. The diversity and pace of learning you'll encounter are truly unique. You'll have the opportunity to work on a wide range of corporate clients, private equity, venture capital, community projects, internal management and affiliate ventures. Bain is committed to bringing our discipline, client focus and results to the broadest possible spectrum of businesses.

We work with our clients to beat their competitors and generate substantial, lasting financial impact. We do this by looking at a business from a chief executive's perspective, as an integrated coherent whole. We bring a strategic mindset to everything we do. We always start by defining the right question. We use a fact-based data-driven approach as the basis for creating practical solutions to challenging problems. Through our work, we collaborate and align ourselves totally with our clients. As a member of the Bain team, you'll learn to look at management issues from a general manager's perspective and help craft breakthrough - and implementable - strategies: a brilliant strategy is not brilliant at all if it cannot be implemented effectively in a real-world situation. You'll have the opportunity to work on a wide range of business issues across a wide variety of industries with clients of every size.

State-of-the-art tools


Our consultants have access to numerous tools to enhance their careers. Transfer opportunities are ample - about 15 percent of consultants transfer between offices at their own request. In addition, Bain runs a "virtual university" Intranet toolkit (known as the Bain Virtual University, or BVU) for all its consultants - allowing a global sharing of training and information and real-time on-the-job training. The BVU is a supplement to Bain's extensive formal training - a sort of "continuing education." Bain employees also take advantage of Bain's Global Experience Center (GXC). This knowledge management portal enables Bain employees worldwide to easily access all Bain case work and industry and functional knowledge, as well as leverage external databases. The GXC also allows Bain employees to track down other Bain employees with relevant experience.

In addition, we host frequent, rigorous training programs. Major global training, conducted by our own managers and partners, occurs every 12 to 18 months. All associate consultants start with two weeks of training at their local office and are then sent to a 10-day training course in Cape Cod. Regional programs may include offices in North America, Asia-Pacific or Europe, and focus on analytical tools and case team management techniques.

We are also big on feedback - consultants go through performance evaluations every six months, receiving feedback from managers and partners with whom they have worked most closely. Additionally, case teams complete monthly surveys, which provide ongoing feed back for areas of improvement within the firm. All consultants nominate a mentor from their office who can offer them advice on a range of professional issues.

Heartwarming teamwork


Bain gives all of its employees - including recent hires - "as much responsibility as they can handle." The "intense," "upbeat" corporate culture emphasizes teamwork "constantly," insiders say. Consultants say that the firm makes a "good faith" effort to put them on assignments in which they are interested and also offers them the flexibility they need to balance their work schedules with the demands of their personal lives. Insiders say that the "level of assignments is top-notch." "Excellent researchers" on case teams also help solve client problems.

Becoming a generalist


At Bain, our focus is on training consultants to gain a general manager perspective. That requires one to work in many different industries, on a variety of business issues. We do, however, recognize that people have interests in working in specific industries. Bain takes a pragmatic approach to staffing, and when possible, we work with individuals to place them on a case in their industry area of choice. Our approach is to be flexible with our consulting staff, allowing people to pursue their passions whenever possible.

We continue to believe that to be a good general manager, one should not specialize too early in his career. Bain provides an excellent general manager training ground by providing consultants with the opportunity to work in different industries on a variety of business issues. After about four to five years - at the senior manager/partner level, our people begin to spend most of their time in an industry area of interest.

Advice from candidates


Many insiders have straightforward advice for Bain interviewees. "Ask questions!" exclaims one Bain source. The Bain philosophy is that the Bain interviewer is the "ally" of the candidate - questions are designed to shed more light on the thought processes of candidates. Slides are also popular at Bain interviews - if you ask a relevant question during a case, for example, the interviewer may pull out a slide that gives the information you seek. Insiders, on the whole, have positive things to say about our "interesting, challenging and rewarding" interviews.

Splendid internships


The MBA summer internship program is well-received by its participants. "After talking to other interns, I began to think Bain's summer programs are the best of any firm in consulting," says one insider. Interns cite the "tribal" culture and "extraordinary team spirit" when they call Bain a "rewarding experience." Summer associates have "the chance to manage associate consultants and attend client presentations" and to work on case teams "involved in the insurance, LBO, consumer products, retail, health care and financial services industries, among others." In previous years, interns have performed "data analysis, brainstorming, presentations to teams and clients, [and] management and customer interviews." One summer intern declares, "I didn't expect such latitude from a summer job. [I] was pleasantly surprised." Another intern advises other summer associates to "let people know what your job expectations are. See to your ideas by setting aside time with management to go over issues on at least a weekly basis." If interns assert themselves early, they should find the Bain summer program not only "well-organized," but also "a relatively accurate snapshot of the full-time position." There is even a little play time. Reveals one insider, "There are social events throughout the ten week program." All in all, Bain summer interns should prepare themselves for a "quick start and a great summer."