It’s official. My recruiting days at Tuck are over. Yesterday, I signed up to go to Bain & Company in Boston!
The decision wasn’t as easy as you might think. As diligent and long-suffering readers of this blog may recall, my focus to date has been strongly weighted towards private equity recruiting. But Bain turned my head. It has a truly unique and impressive culture – I’ve yet to meet someone who has worked there and does not advocate strongly for the place. Its people are remarkably smart, and also very entertaining. And its private equity practice is by far the best in the world, meaning I’ll have access to and work with some of the best funds around. Bain has an emphasis on results, not reports; this addresses one of my biggest concerns about the consulting industry and Bain lives by the mantra (a surprisingly high number of its projects incorporate tied economics and it co-invests with clients on PE deals).
On top of all of that, I look at the trend in private equity towards generating returns through earnings growth (rather than increasingly commoditized financial engineering or increasingly elusive multiple expansion) and I recognize that Bain is the best possible place for me to develop that skill set. What’s more, I’m attracted to the intellectual challenge of tackling some of the toughest strategic, marketing and operational challenges faced by the world’s top companies – and by putting into practice what I’ve been exposed to in an academic setting here at Tuck. So, it was the only “on campus” job I applied for.
All of that notwithstanding, when I had put so much effort into generating offers and warm employment conversations with private equity firms, turning those down and ending them, respectively, was not easy to do. I had a period of soul searching and took a lot of advice from many classmates, alumni, former colleagues and others in the industry. On balance, when a firm like Bain comes knocking, you answer the door!
I was genuinely surprised when they made me an offer. Am I really good enough for this? I applied to the firm in 2006 (before having all the weight of the Tuck CDO and my classmates to support me through the process.) and was flatly rejected. I am certain I would have been in a similar position this time without the generous help of my classmates in preparing me for the cover letter and interview process. For that support, I am eternally grateful.
Now the decision is made, I could not be more excited to join Bain. First, it’s going to be a lot of fun working with the highly intelligent, motivated people there. Second, I will learn an enormous amount and have the opportunity to shape my career to focus on the industries I’m most interested in. Third, the experience will open many doors and will stand me in good stead whatever direction I take in my career, inside the firm or beyond. And fourth, I will be in Boston, close to my wife (who is in a three year residency program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center) and alongside the majority of my close friends at Tuck. It’s a nice early Christmas present!