Many Paths bring Wildcats to a Consulting Career at Bain

Davidson Alumni Rob Stevens ’14 and Kyle Kinsell ’07 shared some details on building their careers at Bain & Co.  Interested students should come out for their information session on Tuesday, January 13 and apply by Sunday, January 18 through WildcatLink and  

Why did you decide consulting was the best fit for you out of Davidson?

Rob:  Coming into my junior year, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after graduation. What got me interested in consulting was the constant change of the work. One of my former supervisors at Bain told me, “As soon as you get good at one aspect of your job here, they give you something new to do.” The learning curve is pretty steep, and every couple weeks you’re learning something totally different. Much like taking new classes each semester at Davidson, the work here is often changing, and as a result you learn a ton on the job.

Kyle: Like many Davidson students, I considered banking following graduation, but after learning more about consulting, I found that the diverse experiences, focus on training, and career development that it offered were more appealing. In many ways, consulting has been a natural extension of the liberal arts learning experience that I enjoyed at Davidson, allowing me to explore a wide range of industries, companies, and disciplines.

What was the main factor that led you to Bain & Co.?

Kyle: Hands down, the people. I had a great interactions during the recruiting and interviewing process, and saw how strong Bain’s commitment to learning and professional development was firsthand. It was really an easy decision after that!

Rob: My answer here will likely be similar to my coworkers’ answers: the people. Every person I met with during the recruiting process was what I wanted to be as an adult: hard-working, fun, and humble. When I did the internship, I got to work with people who taught me so much, both in the day-to-day about our specific project, and also in the long-term about work and life as an adult. Some of my closest friends in Atlanta have been people I’ve met through Bain, which I think is a testament to how deep the culture runs here.

How was your Davidson education a great preparation for your position?

Rob:  I think my Davidson education prepared me really well for my work at Bain, though not in ways that I necessarily would’ve expected. I studied math at Davidson, and compared to some of my current coworkers who studied Economics or Business, my coursework is probably less relevant to what I do now. That said, I spend a ton of my time at work learning new, challenging concepts, and the rigor of Davidson definitely prepared me for that constant learning. Additionally, I believe that my activities outside of the classroom at Davidson gave me a lot of relevant job skills. The flexibility I learned from leading D.O. trips and captaining the ultimate frisbee team with my peers prepared me to be in a work environment where I’m always working with new people.

How/how much you recommend preparing for consulting interviews?  

Kyle: My advice is practice, practice, practice. The keys in my opinion are to simulate the real experience as much as possible. Work with a partner to give real cases to each other (no calculator!) and ask for opportunities to do practice cases with alumni who are in the field now and get their feedback. The more cases you do, the more comfortable you will be during the real interviews.

We hope to see lots of students come out for the Bain session, as well as the other great companies heading to campus this month.  

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