The Summers of 2019: Consulting at Bain

The Summers of 2019 is a series about the various categories of roles offered by companies for summer internships. We bring to you the experiences of interns from Consulting, Finance, Marketing, General Management, Product Management, Operations and E-commerce roles to understand a bit more about their work life. The articles are meant to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an intern, and maybe help the reader understand their own fit in that particular role. 

Contributed by: Anwesha Behera

This summer I had the opportunity to experience the consulting life at Bain & Co. as a Summer Associate (SA). I was based at their Mumbai office. My stint here started with a week of training along with my fellow interns at the Mumbai where I got a chance to get to know more about my summer class professionally as well as socially before we all got assigned to our own individual cases. Cases at Bain have SAs either working with teams that have a long-term commitment with client organizations across various industries. However, the cases that I was staffed in were due-diligences, wherein mostly private equity firms wish to invest in firms (known as targets) that they want Bain to evaluate in terms of market attractiveness, the general market landscape or future competitive positioning. Teams conducting due diligence usually consist of 4-5 members under a Manager or a Case Team Leader (CTL). What makes these cases different is that they are very short stints (of around 2-3 weeks) wherein a team navigates through the industry as a whole, dives deep into what makes the industry tick and how are the key players or competitors of the target firm positioned with respect to each other.

My first assignment involved understanding the telecom IT space in the European, US markets and developing an understanding of the perception that the target’s key clients/customers hold. This was done through 30+ primary interviews, or expert calls that helped us shape our answer about what made the target successful, what could be improved with respect to its offering or service, etc. Looking at how its customers (who were telecom providers) would fare out in terms of their business decisions also helped us shape how business from their end would look like for the target. This helped us craft revenue projections for the target and how its margins would be in the near future.

My second assignment had my team exploring the US healthcare IT space and again understanding the complex mechanisms and players in the market – providers (hospitals, physicians, nurses) and payers (insurance companies and the government itself). My role was to understand firsthand from experts (we have 45+ calls) in the field as to what criteria they looked at when contracting with IT vendors such as the target and its competitors, what kinds of business problems they helped solve and what did their business with the vendors looked like in the future. The biggest challenge was to grasp a complete understanding of the US insurance space and its interplay with hospital systems via the Medicare and Medicaid programs introduced during Obama’s time.

The people focus at Bain was not just a selling point for me when I was choosing between companies during the summer placement season but unveiled itself in reality. I felt that although the work could get intense at some points given the crunched timelines and quality of output expected of each team member, the people I worked with gave me the energy to get through the day (besides countless coffees!). From Day 1, I was expected to perform like and was treated as a full-time hire, because of which I felt motivated. I gained the opportunity and the confidence to drive hour-long interviews with global C-level executives over the phone and knew that what I uncovered would support our answer. Irrespective of what Excel work or presentations or secondary research I had to do, I knew that it was going to have an impact and contribute somewhat towards the hundreds of millions of dollars that our clients were going to invest in the companies we investigated. Constant feedback sessions, buddy support systems, and mentorship talks were in place to help me understand if consulting was the life for me moving out of B-school. My time at Bain helped me to gain knowledge and insights into industries I was unfamiliar with and build relationships with smart talented individuals at all levels of their career at Bain. The friendships I fostered within the intern class provided me moral support during especially long days and were reveled after our midterm review at Goa! Overall, I had an amazing experience at Bain and I cannot wait to head back to build my career with them.

Anwesha is a student of the PGP 2018-20 batch at IIM Bangalore.

Media Cell IIMB is the student run outreach and communication committee of IIM Bangalore dedicated to form the bridge within the student community and the outside world.

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