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The Bain Sophomore Diversity Program: The BEL Program

The Bain BEL Program Bain’s Sophomore Diversity Program

Are you interested in a career in consulting but don’t know exactly what the work of a consultant is all about? Do you identify as a member of a racial or ethnic minority group?

If so, the Bain BEL program may be for you! BEL stands for Building Entrepreneurial Leaders. It’s Bain’s sophomore diversity program for its North American offices. The program is focused on giving high-achieving sophomore students from diverse ethnic backgrounds (defined by Bain as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Indigenous) the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and learn about the consulting industry.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • What the Bain BEL program is like.
  • Requirements of the Bain sophomore diversity program.
  • What to expect on the BEL application and in the interview.
  • Tips on getting selected for the Bain BEL program.

Let’s get started!

What Is the Bain BEL Program Like?

The Bain BEL program is designed to prepare sophomore undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds for a career in consulting. Bain’s 2022 plans are to invite admitted students to one of its offices in North America (U.S. and Toronto offices) in August for a one-week program. The objective is to help students to decide whether they want to pursue a career in consulting, as well as to build their confidence and skills ahead of junior year internships or senior year full-time recruiting.

The one-week Bain internship will include the following activities:

  • Introduction to the management consulting industry
    • Bain consultants will give presentations on Bain, the industries and functions the firm serves, the firm’s problem-solving approach, career progression, and office statistics.
    • They will also describe the Bain internship and full-time hiring timeline and process.
  • Staffing on a real client engagement
    • You’ll get hands-on experience in working as a consultant and solving a complex business problem.
    • You’ll receive the coaching and guidance you need throughout the engagement.
    • You’ll gain a clearer understanding of what the job entails and of the Bain culture.
    • You’ll get the chance to present your findings to Bain’s leadership.
  • Learning from the experiences of Bain consultants
    • You’ll be assigned a mentor to help you understand the interview process, the nature of the job, and the Bain culture.
    • You’ll also have the opportunity to network and socialize with Bain consultants and peers.

Participation in the program will also have many benefits such as:

  • Travel and accommodation covered during the program.
  • A stipend for the week.
  • Perhaps most importantly, the potential for a summer 2023 Associate Consultant Intern offer.
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Requirements of the Bain Sophomore Diversity Program

Bain looks for candidates who are:

  • Sophomore students in U.S.- or Canada-based universities who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Indigenous (Native American, Alaska Native, Inuit, Métis, and First Nations).
  • High academic achievers.
  • Outstanding leaders and excellent team players.

To apply for the program, you will need to submit your resume, cover letter, unofficial transcript, ACT and/or SAT scores (U.S. candidates), and top 3 office preferences.

While the deadline for the 2022 BEL program has passed, prospective applicants for Summer 2023 can check the Bain website in January 2023 for more information about applying.

Make sure you check out our articles on writing the perfect Consulting Resume and Cover Letter to have the best chance of getting in.

Note: The BEL is a highly selective program. You can still apply for Bain internship and full-time roles if you are not selected.

What to Expect on the BEL Application & in the Interview

Bain Sophomore Diversity Program Interview

Bain typically interviews candidates for the coming summer in late March and early April. The interview process consists of two 30-minute interviews that cover the following:

  • A mini case: Your interviewer will go through questions to test your problem-solving abilities. Practice sample cases, especially Market Sizing Questions, to get good at solving these types of problems. The best way to prepare for the case interview is to practice live cases with peers or MCO coaches.
  • Fit interview questions: Your interviewer will want to understand your background, interest in consulting, why Bain is the right consulting firm for you, and why the Bain offices you’ve chosen are interesting to you. Have a clear, well-prepared answer to each of these questions.

You can check out our article on Consulting Fit Interviews and our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep for more details on consulting interviews. Also, Bain will host webinars to discuss interview preparation and what to expect.

Tips on Getting Selected for the Bain BEL Program

The Bain BEL program is very competitive and receives many applications from top students around the country. That’s why we’re here. We want to help you maximize your chances of getting into the program.

Here’s what you’ll need to work on during the process:

1. Write the Perfect Consulting Resume

Bain Sophomore Diversity Program: Write the Perfect Consulting Resume

You want to demonstrate the skills that matter the most to consulting recruiters: the ability to lead, problem-solve, create impact, and be entrepreneurial. Examples to illustrate that include:

  • Coursework: Highlight experiences related to teaching a class, leading a team project, and doing analytical work.
  • Extra-curricular activities: Articulate how you contributed to your campus community such as leading a club or organizing diversity events.
  • Summer internship experience: Highlight your accomplishments in a professional environment.
  • Entrepreneurial experience: Provide examples of times when you’ve used creative ideas to overcome roadblocks or taken initiative to start a new club, event, or activity.

2. Tailor Your Cover Letter for Bain and the BEL Program

Write a cover letter that discusses:

  • Your interest in Bain and the BEL program, such as the opportunity to understand the nature of the job.
  • Why you are a great fit for the program, such as strong analytical coursework.
  • What you hope to get out of the program, such as a Bain internship opportunity.

3. Practice the Case Interview

Spend the time and effort to understand the skills and attitude required to pass a consulting interview. The best way is to practice live cases with someone experienced – this might include folks from your school who are 2-4 years ahead of you and currently working in consulting or are seniors who have already landed a consulting offer – who can give you targeted feedback on how to improve. 

Reach out to young alumni of your school on LinkedIn or through your school’s career center or alumni community, or young consultants in your target offices (especially if their profile notes that they are part of an affinity group you identify with) to ask if they will case with you or offer advice. You may be surprised by how eager people are to help even if they haven’t met you before.

4. Have Your Story Ready

Prepare your story on what interests you in a consulting career with Bain.

  • A good story: Through my academic experience studying engineering and economics, I realized that I thrive on solving new and diverse problems. Consulting at Bain is the best place to apply my interests and skills.
  • Not so good story: I want to travel and work on new projects every few months.

5. Show Enthusiasm

Having a positive attitude throughout the process will serve you well. Not only will you leave a good impression on the interviewer, but this attitude will also make you feel at ease. As intimidating as interviews can seem, Bain interviewers genuinely want to see candidates succeed – if you get nervous, take a deep breath, remember this point, and just bring your full self to the interview.

– – – – –

 In this article, we’ve covered:

  • What to expect from the Bain BEL program.
  • Program eligibility for sophomore undergraduate students.
  • The application and interview process.
  • 5 Tips to maximize your chances of getting in.

Still have questions?

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

Other people applying for consulting internships found the following pages helpful:

Help with Your Consulting Application

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for information on the Bain sophomore internship program. 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 Lucas was able to get his offer from Bain.

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Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 85% of our clients pass the case interview.

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