7 Tips for Landing a Spot in the Bain ADvantage Program

7 Tips for Landing a Spot in the Bain ADvantage Program

Are you a graduate student (non-MBA), Ph.D. or postdoc, or M.D./medical resident and thinking about a career in consulting?

If so, you may be a great candidate for the Bain ADvantage Program! Top-tier consulting firm Bain & Company offers this immersive one-week program to get hands-on experience in being a consultant.

It’s a great way to build your leadership skills, your analytical chops, and your network – which will serve you well in any career – and to get the inside scoop on what consulting is like, as well as what it’s like to consult for Bain specifically.

But what is this program and what does it take to get in?

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What the Bain ADvantage Program is like.
  • Requirements of the Bain ADvantage Program.
  • What to expect in the application and selection process.
  • Our top 7 tips on getting a spot in the Bain ADvantage program — and succeeding in it.

Let’s get started!

What the Bain ADvantage Program Is Like

The program is a week-long paid program designed for non-M.B.A. graduate students. Ph.D.s, postdocs, M.D.s, and medical residents to get an insider look into a consulting career.

The program is ideal for candidates who are looking for full-time careers in the following year (i.e., a year after participating in the program) and want to see if consulting at Bain is the right fit for them.

Bain ADvantage includes 1 day of training and 4 days of client work. Unlike other advanced degree programs such as McKinsey Insight Program and Bridge to BCG Program, Bain allows you to get first-hand experience in working on client problems.

The program is typically offered during the month of May in the following North America offices:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • San Francisco/Silicon Valley
  • Seattle
  • Toronto
  • Washington, DC

You can note up to 3 Bain offices that interest you most (e.g., offices that cover industries relevant to your background or where you have personal ties).

Participants can expect the following activities during the program:

  • First day:
    • Presentations led by Bain consultants on Bain’s work and problem-solving approach, guidance on a career in consulting, overview of the full-time recruitment process, and key information about the office
    • Networking with peers and Bain consultants
  • Next 4 days:
    • Getting staffed on a client project
    • Working with a Bain case team (3-5 consultants)
    • Handling an assignment, solving it, and presenting the findings to the team
    • Mentorship from Bain senior consultants
    • Fun events with peers and Bain consultants

Participation in the program will also have benefits such as:

  • Travel and accommodation covered during the program (if needed).
  • A stipend for the week.

It’s also essential to note that program participants will receive early consideration and interviews for full-time consultant positions. Because full-time positions are highly competitive, it’s well worth giving the ADvantage program a shot in case you can get in the door early.

Requirements of the Bain ADvantage Program

Bain ADvantage: Requirements

The program is designed for candidates who are:

  • Ph.D.s and postdocs
  • J.D.s
  • M.D.s and medical residents/fellows
  • Pharm.D.s and other doctorate-level degrees
  • Non-M.B.A. Master’s with > 3 years of relevant prior business experience after completing an undergraduate degree

Like other top consulting firms, Bain will look for the following qualities in a candidate:

  • Outstanding academic achievement
  • Excellent leadership abilities
  • Effective teamwork skills
  • Strong interest in business and problem-solving

A few other things to note:

  • If you applied to Bain’s APAC program, you won’t be eligible for the ADvantage program. You will need to choose one program to apply to.
  • If you applied to the 10-week summer internship, you can still apply to the ADvantage program. You will be invited for interviews to either program.
  • If your ADvantage application is not successful, you can still apply for full-time roles.
  • If successful, you will be interviewing full-time with the office where you completed the ADvantage program. So, make sure that you choose an office that you’d happily accept a full-time offer from.
[EXCLUSIVE FREE TRAINING]

Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.

What to Expect in the Application & Selection Process

Applications go live in January, and you can apply on Bain’s career website. The application deadline is typically in March.

You can expect the following during the interview process:

  • 2 40-minutes interviews with Bain consultants
  • Each interview will include a mini case study and behavioral questions (e.g., “Why consulting?”)

Make sure you check out our article “The Bain Case Interview” and Bain’s own tips on the “Experience Interview” to maximize your chances of passing.

7 tips on Getting a Spot in the Bain ADvantage Program & Succeeding in It!

1. Highlight Relevant Strengths

Your background will likely be focused on academic and internship experiences. From your different roles, you want to demonstrate what matters the most to consulting recruiters: the ability to lead, problem-solve, create impact, and be entrepreneurial.

A few examples of what we mean:

Coursework: Highlight experiences related to teaching a class, leading a team project, and doing analytical work. Be as specific as possible about the impact of any analytic work you’ve done.

Summer internship experience: Highlight experience solving a business problem (e.g., executing an M&A transaction as a lawyer); specify and quantify (if possible) the results of your work.

Extracurricular activities: Articulate how you contributed to your campus community such as leading a club or organizing diversity events and promoting inclusion – especially in a leadership role.

Entrepreneurial experience: Highlight times when you’ve creatively overcome roadblocks or taken initiative by starting something new. Have you started a non-profit or a business during your time as a student? Started a new extracurricular group or initiated an event or activity in an existing one?
Make sure you check out our article on Consulting Resumes to sharpen up your resume before submitting the application.

2. Practice for the Interview

The most common mistake that most candidates do is to go straight into the interview process without preparation. You will need to prepare and understand what type of questions you can expect in an interview. Team up with a friend or hire a coach to get you ready for consulting interviews.

3. Keep an Open Mind

You’ll be challenged to think and work in a way you’ve probably never experienced before. You want to be comfortable taking on any challenge with enthusiasm. Most importantly, you want to be open to the feedback you get from the consultants. They know the job well and want to help. This should give you great insight into the nature of the job and whether this is something you want to do next.

4. Do It with Passion

The only way for you to know if a career in consulting is for you is if you give it your best. Use the one-week opportunity to test if you will enjoy the work and the team environment. So, make sure you do the following:

  • Challenge yourself and ask for additional responsibilities.
  • Seek the help of the senior consultants to do the job well.
  • Present your findings to the team and if possible, the client.
  • Reflect on what you enjoyed about the experience.

5. Feel Free to Ask Questions

The program is an opportunity to get to know about Bain, the consulting industry, and the firm’s culture. Make sure to take advantage of that. So, ask questions about things such as:

  • Ways to maximize your chances for interview success.
  • Skills and attitude required to be a high performer.
  • The consulting life.
  • Office culture.

6. Build Your Network

You’ll find someone at Bain who shares a similar background and faced similar challenges when they wanted to land a consulting job. Connect with them. Find out how they overcame the challenges of transitioning to consulting and use their suggestions to clear your own path.

7. Have a Good Time

Regardless of the outcome, you’ll get the chance to meet intelligent people from diverse backgrounds who can be future friends, colleagues, or business partners. So, do your best to enjoy yourself and don’t let the pressure weigh you down.

 – – – – –

In this article, we’ve covered:

  • Overview of the Bain ADvantage program
  • Program eligibility
  • Application and interview process
  • What it takes to get in and succeed

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about the Bain ADvantage program, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s recruiters will answer them.

Other people prepping for the Bain ADvantage program found the following pages helpful:

Help with Your Consulting Application

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for info on consulting work-life balance. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 85% of the people we’ve worked with to get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Edwina was able to get her offer from Bain.

[EXCLUSIVE FREE TRAINING]

Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.

Leave a Comment

3 Things Consulting Firms Actually Look for in Your Application

We are sharing our powerful strategies to get your foot in the door, even if you have a low GPA, have little to no business experience, or study a non-business-related major.

We are excited to invite you to the online event.

Where should we send you the calendar invite and login information?