How did the CMC and your IE experience help you during the recruiting process?
I had tried to enter into consulting after graduating from undergrad and even as an alternative to coming to do an MBA, but had been told that the MBA degree was important to many consulting firms. Based on all the MBA recruitment that most consulting companies do, I agree that getting an MBA was the right choice and definitely think that coming to IE was very important in this process. Probably the most important part of the IE experience in terms of helping me in the recruiting process was the network that I developed here. Talking both with with current students as well as former students was an essential part of getting an interview opportunity at Bain. The CMC was very helpful in terms of answering my questions about the companies I was interested in and providing resources to help me prepare for the interviews.
How was the recruiting process: stages, tests, interviews, etc?
After applying, it took a few weeks for Bain to invite me for the first round of interviews. Since I was applying to an office in the Middle East, Bain asked me to go to their Madrid office for a videoconference interview with the people in Dubai. During the first round, I met with two different people. Each interview lasted for about 45 minutes and included 5-10 minutes of fit interview questions, 30 minutes of case interview questions, and 5-10 minutes of time for me to ask the interviewers any questions I had. I heard back almost immediately about the results of the first round – and also received feedback from both interviewers on areas for improvement. The second (and final) round was scheduled for about a week after the first interview. I flew to Paris to meet with some of the principals and managers of the Dubai office and interview with them in-person. This time, I had three separate interviews, which were in the same format as the ones in the first round. From what I understand, some offices have written case questions or analytical tests, but this was not part of my interview process for the Dubai office.
Would you like to share any tips with future IMBA students interested in applying to Bain?
I think there are two main things that people interested in consulting should focus on. First of all, definitely reach out and talk to as many people at Bain (or whatever company you’re looking at) as possible. Use all the connections you may have – your friends, family members, IE alumni, and their contacts to learn about the company’s culture, the type of work you will do, and whether or not you are a good fit to work there. I spent a lot of time during my first few months at IE on LinkedIn searching for people to talk with. The sooner you contact these people, the better – because early on, you can talk with them more casually (without the pressures of needing to be hired) and connect back with them a few times during the year to strengthen your relationship. If you’re interested in working in a specific region, it may be helpful to actually travel there and meet with people face-to-face. For example, I set up 15-20 meetings for the first two weeks of summer vacation and traveled to Dubai to meet these contacts in person. Secondly, it’s important to start preparing for the case interviews early on – because you may only have 7-10 days of notice once you are invited to the first round. Find a few partners who are also interested in applying to consulting firms and meet on a regular basis to practice cases. It’s a good idea to practice with many different people – so you don’t get too comfortable with just practicing with a friend.