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May 5, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

My Experience at Bain & Company: True North Scholarship for Black Heritage Students

By Ella Onyems, final year economics student and winner of the 2021 True North Scholarship

What is the Scholarship?

Bain and Company, a leading global management consultancy, offers the chance for talented students from typically underrepresented backgrounds to gain experience from leading employees at Bain alongside the chance to win a £10,000 prize. The programme provides every attendee with a chance to interview for Bain’s Associate Consultant role in London and a Bain Buddy to provide mentorship throughout the process. The True North Scholarship workshop offers the chance to network with fellow attendees, sharpen case study skills with guidance from senior Bain employees and explore consulting at Bain in depth.

Who is eligible?

Students of Black Heritage in their penultimate year. Bain also offers a True North Scholarship for Women in their penultimate year.

My experience

Whilst exploring summer internship options in second year, I recognised consulting as an exciting and variable career path, suited to both my skillset and interests. I came across the Scholarship and resonated with what True North represents as an opportunity for talented students to be celebrated for their talent. During the True North workshop I heard from inspiring Bain employees who shared their experiences working for the company, the opportunities Bain offers such as externships and MBA sponsorships, alongside hearing from the Blacks at Bain (BABs) network about their employee experiences from a unique minority perspective. Working on a real Bain case study with experienced ‘Bainies’ and other talented True North participants taught me new techniques, insights and the Bain toolkit to approach cases.

Everyone on the programme was welcoming, supportive and showcased great intellectual ability, which was really inspiring. As the only assessment is held during the interview process, the workshop was a great chance to gain an honest and intimate insight into employee experience at Bain and to ask any questions you like, to see if Bain is the right fit for you.

The Associate Consultant interviews are held in the summer, so I had a lot more time to schedule in my case study practice and really focus on the requirements of the interview without being overwhelmed by university work and other applications. The early associate interviews were a great opportunity to discuss some of the real life business problems Bain Consultant’s have faced and to explore my own problem solving and analytical skills.

After accepting the job offer, the burden of autumn applications was lifted, freeing up my schedule as university work started to pile up. This was especially helpful with the heavy third year workload, allowing me to really focus on my studies.

As the winner of the 2021 True North Scholarship, I am super excited to join Bain & Company in 2023 to start my career in consulting!

My advice

Be confident that you are fully capable of being a great consultant and use that confidence to enjoy yourself throughout the process. The scholarship is a chance to showcase what you are capable of and also an opportunity to learn as much as possible, as the insights you take from the interview process and the workshop will allow you to recognise whether consulting is for you and improve your knowledge and experience of consulting interviews.

If you’re studying economics and want to use your subject, explore the further study and career options available to you. Interested in consultancy? Take a look at the Careers consultancy webpages. 

Posted in Work experience