Bain & Company Reviews

Updated August 17, 2015
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Bain & Company Worldwide Managing Director Bob Bechek
Bob Bechek
68 Ratings

Pros
  • The company also places a lot of emphasis on professional development as well as work/life balance (in 32 reviews)

  • Interesting business problems with some of the biggest companies in the world; great people, great compensation (in 59 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is always going to be a challenge given that the industry is client serving (in 104 reviews)

  • Long hours/always on call for very trivial tasks -- very inefficient work environment (in 108 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

240 Employee Reviews

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  1. Senior Associate Consultant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time

    Pros

    Experience across many industries, great branding, MBA sponsorship

    Cons

    Hours and lifestyle, travel can get very intense.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Incredible place to learn and start your career in business

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Associate Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bain & Company (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart, supportive, ambitious people who are great to work with. Very collegial, team-oriented culture. Steep learning curve; always learning and being challenged. Incredible training and professional development- the company really invests in its people. Ability to work in a wide range of industries and business issues. Important, meaningful work from the getgo.

    Cons

    Sometimes inefficient work culture b/c of hierarchy and expectation of long hours. Unpredictability of client work in general can lead to unpredictable schedules, long hours at times, travel even when unnecessary. That said, at Bain, management tends to be better about restricting travel to when its really necessary and tries hard to work on work-life balance as much as possible.

    Advice to Management

    The culture at Bain is generally fabulous- definitely keep that up. My one critique is that there seems to be an un-stated expecation that we need to work long hours, and that sometimes leads to a less efficient work environment (people could get done with their work quicker and have the evenings more to themselves but b/c people assume we need to work through the evening, we often do unneceesarily)


  3. Admin manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Bain has a work hard play hard atmosphere. There are lots of company wide events during the year that are meant to bring employees closer together. The culture is second to none because of all of the events that are provided to the employees.

    Cons

    Turnover on the Administration side is few and far between because it is such a good company to work for. Employees can run out of opportunities because of the low turnover rate.

    Advice to Management

    Expand teams on the Admin side of the business to create opportunities for employees.


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  5. Helpful (12)

    Know what you're getting in to and how you'll get out

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Case Team Leader
    Current Employee - Case Team Leader
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The Bain Manufacturing Process is a solid approach for structured thinking and project management... The people are hard working, intelligent and generally sincere... The name on your resume is valuable and does open broader opportunities... Overall the company is a good company and the experience a net positive experience. I enjoyed the majority of the people I worked with, felt they challenged me and gave accelerated my development. I am an industry hire, which is rare at Bain: I joined the firm as a consultant with 12+ years of experience and my reasons for coming to the firm were very specific: it was the last chance I saw to have an intense investment in myself and it brought optionality to a career that was previously focused on two industries. The case work was high profile (though not groundbreaking or innovative) and the work we do - by and large - has a big impact on Fortune 20-50-100-500 companies. The work I have been on has received national attention. This can be a reward unto itself, if this is something that is important to your career or self-worth.

    Cons

    ...but the application of the Bain Manufacturing process varies from office to office, case type to case type and manager to manager. ...but there are some people the idealize how they want to be without reconciling it with how they come across or treat their case teams. ...but it comes with a cost around your health and wellness outside the firm. The firm has developed its own language and uses it liberally. The issue is that it leads to a form of laziness: the consulting staff - particularly managers and case leadership - rely on the language for direction and it becomes a form of leadership shorthand. It's the equivalent of an MD's scrawl: fast and expedient, but highly susceptible to misinterpretation. This can lead to a high degree of frustration with case staff. It's compounded by the fact that manager to manager, partner to partner, etc., use terms like "answer" and "80/20" differently. They use it similar enough that you know the general idea of what a manager wants, but the portion that is different can lead to high yield loss, or worse, feeling like you're not being leveraged to best affect the team. The company relies on terms like "process driven" or "answer driven" to communicate messages, but those terms mean different things for different managers. The result is a highly frustrated team. There is also something that occurs between Consultant level and Manager level. A slow evolution begins where managers and above start to lose touch with the volume of work required to deliver against requests. Partners will make a request and managers will promise delivery by the EOD when it actually requires four times as much work. The issue is that the work WILL get done. Even if it means working until 3:00, 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning. Because additional requests don't bump out the timelines for the work you already have on your plate, they just add to it. This is a function of being in a client services business. This is the function of having partners that are unwilling to have backbone and push back against clients when they change the scope of work. This is a function of an industry that is willing to churn through high volume of bright, intelligent people, because they know they can replace the cog. That's not an indictment on the industry or Bain; it's just the way it is. What is an indictment on Bain is the fact that they market themselves as not bowing to this kind of systemic pressure, that they're different. They're not. It's a competitive environment for clients and Bain is continually trading consulting staff well-being for winning a bake-off: as long as that continues to persist, the sustainability will suffer. There is also a bit of arrogance within the firm, and while understandable, it has turned me off to some of the brighter aspects. I've seen people reach a certain point around the five year mark, where they fall in love with the Bain way and lose track of the always learning mentality most had early in their careers. They assume an attitude of "I've arrived" and "I know all there is to know." Having gone into my Bain career with the idea that I was going to be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge, expertise and skill-building as possible, this has started to be the biggest detractor to my experience. It's more pronounced in some that others; however, it's generally systemic.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the jargon: "Answer first," "Process- vs. answer-driven," "80/20", etc. All of these are making managers lazy. Start making managers have to actually use English to explain what they mean. What does the "answer" mean practically? What does it mean to be 80/20 pragmatically? Re-evaluate how well your marketing messaging matches up with what goes on in the day-to-day. Either change your messaging or change your working styles to be more in line with the promises. Make more diverse hires: they're harder to find but the group-think needs to be shaken up. There is a fine line between keeping standards high and adding diversity, but it can be done and it needs to be done more aggressively.


  6. Great company to work for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The culture and the people are amazing. Everyone is hard working, and knows how to have fun.

    Cons

    Management could be better at recognizing consultant support staff and the value that they bring to the company.


  7. Good place to start

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Sets you up for great opportunities after you leave

    Cons

    Staffing is a black box, hours are unpredictable

    Advice to Management

    Either start paying people more or reduce the number of hours expected to work


  8. Helpful (2)

    Associate COnsultant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Consultant in Stanford, CA
    Former Employee - Associate Consultant in Stanford, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good pay, great people, good benefits, interesting work

    Cons

    Sometimes there could be a lot of hierarchy

    Advice to Management

    Let consultants have more of a choice on their projects


  9. Great place to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time

    Pros

    Amazing people and strong culture

    Cons

    Like any consulting firm, you do end up on cases that you don't like or want


  10. Bain is the place to be!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Fantastic benefits (e.g. 3 months paid maternity leave) - Great perks (e.g. free breakfast, Angie's List membership reimbursement, flex time options, annual global soccer tournament) - Wonderful, witty colleagues who are there to challenge and support you

    Cons

    - Not as much support or learning & development opportunities for administrative staff as there is for the consulting staff, especially in smaller offices with fewer admin - Not as much opportunity for career growth for administrative staff as there is for the consulting staff

    Advice to Management

    You have made a fantastic place to work (and a hard one to leave). With a little more support for the admin staff, it would be a phenomenal place to work.


  11. Consultant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time

    Pros

    Great people! Great Culture!

    Cons

    Unpredictable work hours and travel (depending on case)



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