These days it seems like many MBAs are focused on launching the next big startup. Entrepreneurship is awesome but you might call me a traditionalist. Consulting was my goal for my summer internship from the start. I have always been analytical and enjoy working on teams filled with incredibly sharp people. Lastly, I wanted to build out my consumer packaged goods knowledge that I began building while working at PepsiCo. Consulting felt like the right match but the question became which firm and why. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) turned out to be a firm I would call home because of its people, process and play.
Someone once told me that recruiting is as much about you evaluating the firms as it is about the firms evaluating you. As I look back on that hectic fall of last year, what stuck out most was BCG’s transparency and openness. They brought the most associates to campus for their opening info session. They held a wealth of dinners, mixers and coffee chats above and beyond what other firms offered. They not only opened their doors but welcomed you in and offered you tea. It feels cliché saying the people drew me to the firm, but it’s true. More specifically, I just felt I fit in significantly better with BCG. I found myself identifying with the more modest and humble yet still sharp and accomplished people that I met from BCG. When I received the summer offer, I didn’t waste time accepting it.
Fast forward to June 1 and I’m venturing out to Summit, New Jersey to join 40 other colleagues for orientation. The full week of training gave us all plenty of opportunities to bond with each other as fellow interns and meet many full-time associates. I was elated to be staffed on a consumer goods project and welcomed onto the team. As I got my bearings, I watched our team engage with the highest levels in the organization as well as the more junior folks that were critical to actually carrying out the initiatives. By the end of the project, I was impressed by exactly how integrated we became with the client teams. This was the BCG process in action.
Not only did this mean we would be more successful as a firm, but selfishly, I would learn that much more as well. My learning would be quite limited if the process was to deploy existing methodology from an ivory tower. With the BCG process, the client would get a customized, actionable recommendation while I would optimize my learning at the same time. Work alone did not drive my decision though.
BCG’s willingness to play as hard as we worked provided the last piece of the puzzle. At the end of our first week, we joined an office celebration taking a cruise around Manhattan. The middle of our summer was marked by an energizing day of golf, barbeque and pool games. The crescendo of the summer came with our trip to Miami for sailing and beach hijinks. These events helped forge happy memories that will remain with me.
After securing the full-time offer, I did not take long to accept. I guess the most telling sign that I have gone full-on consultant is that I listed three reasons for joining BCG. I’m a traditionalist and maybe a bit corny too. BCG’s people, process and play sealed the deal for me.