Bain and Company is the MBB firm most closely linked to the private equity market. It also has a stronger focus on consumer strategy and retail than other firms like BCG who may focus efforts on corporate development. Bain is known for being the most collegial of the three main consulting firms, and the MBB firm most willing to take big risks. The main industry focus may also depend largely on the geographic location and what industries thrive near the local office.
Bain is typically the third most prestigious of the big 3. Graduates with offers from all three rarely choose it, but to most people, Bain is absolute gold dust for learning about business and developing consulting skills.
Bain has over 6,000 employees in 58 offices over 37 countries.
First and foremost, the exit opportunities are great. Going into roles in finance, business or any strategy role is feasible.
The only drawback with Bain’s exit opportunities is that they are the last of the three MBB firms to allow consultants into specialize. This may prevent one from going into industry. In comparison with BCG or McKinsey, where your specialization has already been identified, your experience will be less directly relevant.
This is offset by Bain’s quality of alumni. That is to say, they are willing to take you to their office to meet the staff rather than simply have a 10 minute conversation about career opportunities with you. Bainies have a particular reputation for hiring other Bainies.
Salaries for the main three firms tend to be fairly level. McKinsey edges ahead slightly, at a level of around $90k/yr for undergrads and $160k/yr for MBA graduates. Bain typically ranks slightly below BCG and McKinsey in salary terms but only marginally. Don’t let this stop you applying. Bain salaries remain, by all means, extremely healthy.
The Bain staffing model is a particular point of value for undergraduates trying to gain meaningful experience. Bain project teams usually include 2 analysts rather than 1. This avoids having too many upper level workers on one team. This means there’s more work to be for analysts, which can provide meaningful areas for future growth. The work is less technical, with less of a reliance on long reports than McKinsey, and more focused on creating the desired impact for the client.
Bain’s Alumni network is also the strongest of the three, although not the largest. The collegial nature of Bain’s culture creates a unique sense of what it means to be a “Banie” according to ex-employees. Typically, Bainies are known for being particularly friendly and easy to get to know.
The business model for Consultants at Bain, like the other firms, also provides on the job training to its employees. This ensure that they can grow professionally and gain new skill sets on top of their work on projects.
This article is by Juan Salazar, Princeton Undergraduate, aspiring management consultant and Intern with The Cambridge Consultant.