Consultancy and finance – how to put yourself across to employers

Bain came to QM recently and ran an excellent interactive session about the world of Management Consulting.

Many of you will be writing applications for schemes, internships and insight programmes right now. So here are some insights into what Bain said about their industry and also the language that they used. Take a look at it to inform, refresh and revise the way you express yourself. Not just for applying to Bain, but for the consultancy and finance sectors in general.

I cannot emphasise how useful it is to also really think about what consultancy is and what the work involves. This, and showing you understand their terminology / language, will help elevate your application to the next level and demonstrate that you have the ability and understanding to contribute effectively to their business.

For a fantastic overview see The Inside Careers excellent information on Management Consultancy.

So, in the words of Bain…

What do Bain do?

“Bain helps Chief Executives address their most important questions”

How do they do it?

  • Identify issues
  • Collect and analyse facts
  • Organise a decision framework
  • Make decisions and take actions

In other words

  • Challenge preconceived ideas
  • Identify ‘adjacencies’

Skills this requires

  • Analytical (quantitative and qualitative data, creativity and ideas)
  • Team (collaborate, communicate and lead)
  • Client (working with maturity and poise)

What does the work involve?

  • A large number of Associate Consultants/Consultants go on ‘externships’ for a period of time with clients.
  • The client base is largely drawn from the ‘Global 1000’ companies.
  • 50% of their work is in strategy. M&A and integration projects are another major stream of work.

How is success measured?

  • “Bain clients outperform the S&P 500 by 4:1”
  • “Tied economics” mean that part of the firms fees are paid as a share of client results e.g. revenue
  • “Results not reports” is what they deliver
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