Bain & Company Careers: MBA Recruiter Interview | TopMBA.com

Bain & Company Careers: MBA Recruiter Interview

By Pavel Kantorek

Updated April 30, 2016 Updated April 30, 2016

In terms of post-MBA employment, consulting careers are perhaps one of the pathways best suited to the degree. Bain & Company, a major MBA employer and one of the world’s leading business consulting firms has just appointed a new global head of recruitment, himself an MBA graduate. In this article, he shares his views on what types of MBA graduates are the right fit for Bain & Company.

Keith Bevans is not only Bain & Company’s newly appointed global head of recruiting, he also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and can boast a 17-year history within the firm.

As an MBA alumnus and now an MBA recruiter seeking out candidates to not only work for Bain, but with their clients too, Bevans knows what it is that makes MBA students suitable applicants for Bain & Company careers.

“Students need to have problem solving ability, they need to have leadership skills, good interpersonal skills, a willingness to learn, and the humility to interact with clients, consistent with Bain’s values and how Bain tries to engage with clients to really bring results to their bottom line.

“We’re interested in finding the top students at the top schools and making sure that they understand what we do, that they’re interested in Bain, and that we can build a relationship with them and hopefully bring them on to the team.”

But it’s not necessarily just the big name business schools from which Bain recruits. As Bevans explains, the recruitment team cares more about what each MBA program teaches its students, and how that makes an MBA suitable for a consulting career at the company.

Bain Careers: All about the Program

“It’s less about which school you’re at,” Bevans says. “It’s making sure that program instills those values and those capabilities in people so that they can be successful here.

“What my team tries to do is look holistically at the programs and make sure that academically from a curriculum standpoint, from a leadership standpoint, from a professional standpoint, from a student body standpoint, from all dimensions that that school has the tools to generate the types of talent that we’re looking to hire.

“That tends to be the top schools and the usual suspects are the ones that we think generate or create the right type of candidates for us.

“I wouldn’t say that there’s one specific thing that we look at in terms of a program. What I would say is that programs that give students a foundational set of skills, great leadership ability, great team skills, and a willingness to learn while working hard. Those are the types of programs that generate great candidates for Bain and people who are successful at Bain.”

This approach to MBA recruitment for Bain & Company careers certainly does not rule out graduates from online or distance MBA programs, he qualifies.

“As I look at it from a talent standpoint, we are interested in finding the best candidates we can find from the best programs that are out there. I think students in those types of programs get a very rich experience that’s strong in a lot of areas.

“A lot of those students tend to be people that are balancing other time commitments and that in and of itself is a skill that’s important to be successful here at Bain.”

Bain & Company Consulting Careers for MBA Graduates

In fact, balancing your time seems to be crucial, as Bevans explains the fast-paced development and career-trajectory in store for new MBA recruits starting or continuing their consulting careers at the company.

“If you’re an MBA joining Bain, you will come in as a consultant. You will have a great experience with a diverse set of cases and experiences and client situations. That’s usually for about two years.

“In your third year, you become a case team leader, which means you’ve taken on formally a much more significant role in the team, often times you’re managing people, you’re managing a bigger part of the case and you’re responsible for a much broader scope on the case and our case team leaders are phenomenal resources for our clients in the skill set they bring to the table.

“After that, so roughly around three, three-and-a-half years, people get promoted to manager and then they are responsible for delivering the value to the clients in a way that generates real results for people and not just academic reports. Typically, that’s the career path.”

A fast-paced route clearly, but as Bevans points out, one that is full of award winning training and investment in ensuring that MBA graduates are deserving of such promotions that advance their Bain careers.

Selecting Your Perfect Program

Finally, as a successful MBA alumnus who has the added advantage of seeing the world from the perspective of an MBA recruiter, Bevans is ideally placed to advise future MBA students on how to go about ensuring they make the most of their time at business school. He says there are three key factors in maximizing an MBA student’s employability come graduation, not just for consulting careers.

“One is make sure you take full advantage of the academic program and make sure that you’re getting all that you can out of the investment you’re making in the program, from an academic standpoint.”

Secondly, “they have to get involved in the community on campus and build that leadership skill set and build that teamwork skill set. That happens by getting involved in the community and joining the student organizations and participating in campus life in that sense.”

Finally, “invest the time to get to know the firms, get to meet the people and get to see what we’re about, beyond what they read online and beyond what’s in some of the great publications that are out there, but really invest the time to get to know us and how we can help them reach their goals.”

After all, an MBA program isn’t the end of your business education, rather the beginning. Especially so with a Bain & Company career.

This article was originally published in April 2016 .

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Written by

Mansoor is a contributor to and former editor of TopMBA.com. He is a higher and business education specialist, who has been published in media outlets around the world. He studied English literature at BA and MA level and has a background in consumer journalism.

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