Bain & Company Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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  1. 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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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


  2. Helpful (7)

    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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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.


  3. Limited growth opportunity and morale for assistants

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - You get to work with smart, driven people (on the consulting staff).
    - The benefits are great overall.
    - The culture is often fun and inclusive to all "Bainies," not just consultants.

    Cons

    - Salary is low for EA / MA's compared to that of other high-profile consulting firms.
    - HR will often look outside of the firm before promoting one of their own, in part so they can low-ball a new hire.
    - HR tends to micromanage the assistant team.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Excellent place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bain & Company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Employees are highly valued, well-trained, fairly compensated, and become members of a culture of excellence

    Cons

    Job opportunities/path to growth not as clear for non-consultants


  6. Helpful (2)

    Glad I did it, and glad I'm no longer doing it

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

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, strong culture, excellent resume builder. The environment is competitive but not cutthroat.

    Cons

    Not a sustainable work/life balance in any way. For most people, it's a sprint for two or three years followed by a burnout. Clients have become more an more savvy about how to best utilize consultants, and they work them to the bone.

    Advice to Management

    Your culture is great so keep investing in it. Try to find a way to make the job work for people with families.


  7. 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

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people! Great Culture!

    Cons

    Unpredictable work hours and travel (depending on case)


  8. Helpful (3)

    Great culture, decent work-life balance, smart people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great culture, decent work-life balance, smart people. Interesting work that only gets more interesting as you move up.

    Cons

    Sometimes long hours. At lower-level consulting roles, the work is not always as interesting as it is for more senior members of the team.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good learning opportunity and wide industry exposure

    Cons

    Work style could be tough to manage given all the travel.


  10. Helpful (1)

    learn learn learn

    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I worked at Bain & Company as an intern

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I learned a lot at this job, was there for the experience and not so much anything else.

    Cons

    work was demanding, had to be sharp and ready for everything around you never knew what was going to happen

    Advice to Management

    work was demanding, had to be sharp and ready for everything around you never knew what was going to happen. Try to look into this


  11. Great place to learn, but not the right fit for everyone long-term

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Case Team Leader in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Case Team Leader in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Bain & Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Local staffing model, great culture and people, great learning

    Cons

    Staffing uncertainty, can end up on bad cases or with bad teams



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