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Bain & Company Reviews

Updated January 30, 2017
90 reviews

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90 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • work-life balance was very demanding (in 236 reviews)

  • Often long hours to work on trivial things (in 266 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "More work than you would think just isn't that interesting or impactful at a personal level, but experiences vary wildly"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Case Team Leader
    Former Employee - Case Team Leader
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - The people and culture are by far the biggest pro. Very smart and passionate, like most of those in the industry, but Bainies generally are more down to earth and supportive. I don't think the "fratty" tag applies anymore, but the people generally are fun in their nerdy ways.

    - Brand name on your resume helps you get your foot in the door in many places (if you want to do strategy... if you don't, then don't wait to long to get out).

    - Global trainings are fun and great way to network across the world.

    - If you want to limit your travel (to the extent you can in consulting) and actually get to know people in your office, then Bain's office staffing model is a much better fit vs. a McKinsey type of model. I actually had a few cases locally.

    Cons

    - Yes, there is some exciting work but the proportion of heavy project management and process-oriented cases is way higher than I was led to believe during recruiting. Lots of merger integration, PMO and organization projects. I didn't join consulting to build Gantt charts and org structure boxes all day (not that there's anything wrong with it inherently but it's not a good fit for me). Management has also said they plan on competing more in battleground areas like procurement going forward. Expect mix of sexy strategy cases to go down.

    - The flip side of the office staffing model is that you have less control of what you get staffed on and are more likely to get put on projects you have no interest in. You wanted a customer strategy case in tech? Too bad, there's a 6 month merger integration case in industrials staffing up and you're the only person in the office available for it. If industry matters to you, think hard about which offices you want to join and ask during recruiting what they work on most. Staffing is often a black box and you have no idea why decisions were made without any input whatsoever from you.

    - MBA hires new to Bain are poorly integrated vs. returning Associate Consultants and are definitely lower on the totem pole. This is especially evident in geographies where MBAs aren't quite as prevalent as in the US (Europe and Australia for example) but it holds in the US as well. Some offices are really really bad at this so do your homework.

    - A lot of tech, tools and shared services are way behind competitors. You'd be surprised at how much low-value add grunt work you'll have to do compared to other consulting firms that efficiently allocate it and optimize work based on what different roles do best. One example of this is how much time is spent doing expenses because of an antiquated system. I had been hearing for 2 years that the expense system was being improved but nothing had yet been done and people still had to spend a silly amount of time on it.

    - Standard for professional services, but the quality of life just isn't good despite what you hear during recruiting. I don't know why people insist on saying during recruiting that 55 hours is a typical week - it's not, 55 hours is a great week. I can count on my two hands the number of times I worked less than 60 in three years.

    Advice to Management

    - Think about opening up staffing to a more flexible model for people who are willing to travel to get work they're interested in.

    - I think you know, but close the gap vs competitors in tech and tools.

    - Expand BCC capacity to do more grunt work or figure out another way to take that load off the primary case Team. Their capacity is so limited and BCC managers increasingly want to take on high value work. That's great, but having a consulting team crank through data cleaning and other labor intensive but thinking-light tasks is an awful use of resources.

    - Stop recruiting from encouraging employees to talk about a 55 hour work week and the "red flag if you work over 65" at recruiting events. Be up front about what it's like. Recruits already know so it just looks silly.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great company but may need to reconsider parts of model"

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

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

    Pros

    - Friendly, fun, supportive culture
    - Strong commitment to diversity that isn't just window dressing
    - Smart, engaging colleagues
    - Great pay and benefits
    - Overall great projects that are strategic (usually) and interesting
    - Amazing training programs

    Cons

    - Lots of cases that continue to roll and PMO cases seem common (trying to sell "programs" not "projects" to clients) -- results in lackluster PD opportunities or fewer case experiences
    - Little to no control over the cases that you get on (especially in smaller offices due to the office-based staffing model)
    - No ability to specialize at all (while many go into consulting to do many different things, at a certain point you will realize that you love certain topics and hate others and want to have some degree of focus)
    - Review methods are flawed. Small, non-consequential incidents are frequently cited as examples in reviews, and the review process always feels like a lot of last minute crunching.
    - Culture that places too much emphasis on Associate Consultants to bring "energy" and "culture" to the teams. What's the point in doing so if one coordinates everyone's schedule to plan a team event that no one ends up showing up to or is late to -- on top of all of the other work?
    - Weaker in certain areas vs. BCG or McKinsey (e.g., healthcare, social sector). PEG is overhyped.
    - Culture can feel overly "fratty" as expected by a young firm -- one can feel looked down upon for not attending social events are not wanting to get as "crazy" as others
    - Getting promoted to the post-MBA position seems quite rare vs. BCG or McKinsey, where a large number of entry levels are direct promoted.

    Advice to Management

    - Culture isn't going to fix everything or make everyone happy. At the end of the day, we come to work and advance our careers, so focus on delivery engaging cases in a wide variety of industries, giving people more control over their cases to increase engagement/reduce jadedness, and reduce the "frattiness" of the culture.


  3. "If you're not on the consulting side you're not important"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bain & Company (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Culture
    Location
    Good name on the resume

    Cons

    Instead of using senior team members to replace a management position they gave the position to someone with zero experience doing the required job - making it difficult for everyone on the team
    No growth
    Manager did not listen to suggestions
    Management did not take issues with team members seriously. The stress of having to work with disrespectful, rude team members took its toll on me and I had to leave the company.
    Manager would rather have good employees quitting instead of trying to fix the team.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees and respect their opinions.
    When I left I told them other team members would be leaving soon if things did not change. Nothing changed and more team members have quit in the past year with more to come.
    Treat employees equally
    Be clear that there is zero growth and opportunity within the team if that's how you want to run it


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  5. "Management for support staff needs work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits
    Fun culture
    Location
    Great opportunity to get your foot in the door
    Good name to have on your resume

    Cons

    Employees inserted into management positions with little-to-no experience with managing a team
    Low ceiling for growth for some support staff
    Lots of politics
    No transparency
    Double-standard Mgr vs. Employee time off
    Work does not match compensation

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees. Care about their well being as much as you care about the business and you'll get better results (i.e., less turnover).


  6. "Depends on what you want out of this job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Pasadena, CA

    I worked at Bain & Company (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very organized and structured workplace.

    Cons

    Unstimulating, dull and time-consuming work with no moral rewards. I felt that I was wasting my hard-earned degrees here. Lots of Excel and PowerPoint.


  7. "Good pay and training, bad lifestyle"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good pay, challenging work, smart and fun people, strong development opportunities

    Cons

    Unpredictable management, very little control over projects and lifestyle, long hours


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good for a few years"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Exposure to a variety of industries and types of problems, ability to transfer long or short term within the firm

    Cons

    Poorly managed personal development despite the focus placed on this, limited ability to select case assignments and team to shape your career, manger has an outsized influence on your review - this can be get pretty negative if the client situation or team dynamics turn ugly (i.e. you don't get along with a particular manager)

    Advice to Management

    Be more upfront during recruiting about the realities of staffing consultants to case assignments. More often than not you're stuck doing that org re-design or PMI because those are the majority of cases and there's always one when up for staffing you roll of a case


  9. "Nice people to work with on a surface level."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Receptionist in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Receptionist in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great perks, benefits and culture. You gain a lot of experience while working there. Having Bain on your resume opens doors for you in the future.

    Cons

    Management can be biased and not act on problems in a timely manner, particularly with the administrative staff.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Great network, highly variable depending on case"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Bain & Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Many people are smart and empathetic. Network is valuable.

    Cons

    Hierarchical with many terrible managers.


  11. "Don't go by the name alone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bain & Company (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great Team Culture
    - Exciting work

    Cons

    - Low emphasis on work life balance
    - Extremely hierarchical
    - Unimaginable poor HR department

    Advice to Management

    Have more channels to escalate especially since HR department is completely redundant



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