Bridgespan Careers: Insider Look at Social Impact Consulting

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Combining the stimulating challenges of a consulting career with tangible social impact might seem like an improbable dream. However, this can be a reality with Bridgespan careers.

Many people aspire to work at Bridgespan due to its prestigious name, promising career path, and high-impact work.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • Bridgespan’s culture and values
  • What Bridgespan careers look like 
  • Consulting positions at Bridgespan 
  • Career opportunities after working at Bridgespan
  • 4 tips on carving a path to a Bridgespan career

Let’s get started!



What Does Bridgespan Do?


What Does Bridgespan Career Path Look Like?


Career Opportunities After Working at Bridgespan


4 Tips to Land a Bridgespan Job

What Does Bridgespan Do?

Bridgespan works with nonprofits, foundations, investors, philanthropists, and corporations, offering strategic consulting and leadership development services focused on social impact.

Social impact consulting firms help mission-driven organizations increase their positive impact on the world. The goal is to create measurable impact above traditional success metrics, such as profit, but also recognize the importance of financial sustainability for long-term impact. Check out our Social Impact Consulting article to learn more about this consulting niche. 

Bridgespan was founded by former Bain & Company senior consultants in 2000. While sharing Bain’s foundational principles, Bridgespan has evolved as an independent consulting firm while maintaining a symbiotic relationship with Bain. Current Bain consultants can do a 6-month externship at Bridgespan, which is a unique perk.

The headquarters of Bridgespan is in Boston, with other offices in New York City, San Francisco, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Woman Starting a Bridgespan Career

Type of Work You Can Do in Your Bridgespan Career

Bridgespan provides comprehensive services for nonprofits and NGOs, including strategy, executive team development, innovation, and technology. Its areas of expertise include global subjects like child welfare, early childhood education, environmental sustainability, public health, rural prosperity, and economic opportunity.

In your Bridgespan career, you will likely have the opportunity to work on many projects across subjects and industries. Examples of real Bridgespan projects include:

  • Working with the YMCA to scale up their intervention programs in public and social services, such as the Diabetes Prevention Program
  • Collaborating with TPG, a private equity firm, to develop an investment strategy for their new fund with the goal of financial success and social and environmental impact
  • Refreshing the Anti-Defamation League’s strategy to articulate core values and outline clear priorities for the next few years

Read more inspiring case studies on Bridgespan’s website.

Bridgespan practices what it preaches and centers equity in the design of its projects. Additional steps are taken to ensure a racial equity lens is applied to the consulting approach. For example, Bridgespan will address structural racism and how it impacts the goals when scoping out a project. 

Rigorous research and inclusive stakeholder input highlight how the project impacts communities of color. Clients are guided to understand the project’s ramifications on impacted communities, fostering connections between nonprofit leaders and equity practitioners.

Type of Work You Can Do in Your Bridgespan Career

Culture and Values

Bridgespan cares about its people, passion, and impact. It offers its employees:

  • The Potential to Help Create a Better World: Bridgespan works on the most impactful projects that can positively influence the world.
  • Mission and Values-Driven Colleagues: The diverse team shares a collective drive and ambition to create a meaningful global impact.
  • Opportunities for Growth at Every Career Stage: There is a strong dedication to helping employees across all levels get the diverse experiences and skills needed to advance their careers in the desired direction.
  • Commitment to Diversity: Embracing diversity mirrors the clients’ and beneficiaries’ diversity, fostering deeper connections and invaluable insights.

Bridgespan was recognized by Vault as one of 2023’s best boutique consulting firms and by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality, underscoring their culture of excellence and inclusivity.

What Does Bridgespan Career Path Look Like?

Bridgespan Interview

Bridgespan’s interview process involves a mix of case and behavioral interviews. The initial rounds typically include 1 or 2 case interviews conducted over the phone. Final rounds entail 2 to 3 additional case interviews and 1 behavioral interview, all in person.

Bridgespan offers practice cases like “Better Future” and “Reach for the Stars” on their recruiting website to help you prepare.

If you are starting to apply, check out Our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep for the resources you need to ace your interviews.

What Does Bridgespan Career Path Look Like?

Overall Bridgespan Career Path

The typical entry points into Bridgespan are after undergraduate or graduate school. Occasionally, some offices may recruit Managers if there is a need. 

The role progression is:

  • Associate Consultant: Usually, these candidates are direct hires from an undergraduate program or those with 0 to 3 years of work experience. Associate consultants typically engage in rigorous research, data analysis, and support.
  • Consultant: These candidates must have 2 to 3 years of pre-graduate school work experience and a graduate degree, such as an MBA, MPP, or MPA. Consultants may lead project components, mentor younger members, and lead some client interactions.
  • Manager: To be eligible for a Manager position, candidates must have at least 6 years of total work experience, 4 years of strategy consulting experience. A graduate school degree is preferred, AND at least 1 year in a supervisory role is required. Managers take on the day-to-day responsibility of the project and are the middle layer between the team and partners.
  • Partner and Director: You take on higher-level strategic leadership at this senior level, shaping the firm’s direction and client engagements.

Bridgespan Careers - consultant career progressions

Bridgespan vs. Management Consulting

The career path at Bridgespan shares some similarities with traditional management consulting in terms of skill development, project management, and client interaction. Both fields require similar credentials and use case and fit interviews for recruitment. They share similar career progression paths, moving from entry-level roles to senior positions.

However, they differ in the projects you’ll work on over your career. Bridgespan careers will serve social impact clients, whereas management consultants usually help corporations. Even if you do a Bridgespan project for a corporation, it would likely be the social impact arm or a specific project focused on impact.

Career Opportunities After Working at Bridgespan

A career at Bridgespan is an exceptional launching pad for various opportunities within and beyond the social impact sector. Bridgespan’s reputation for social impact work amplifies your credibility, making alums attractive to employers who value consulting skills and a commitment to societal change.

Consultants exiting Bridgespan can transition to roles such as:

  • Leading a nonprofit or philanthropic foundation
  • Influencing policy-making in a government or public sector role
  • Working in international development on global projects
  • Becoming an impact investor, aligning capital with social or environmental objectives
  • Directing corporate social responsibility within a corporation, running philanthropic initiatives, sustainability programs, or community engagement
  • Leading academic research or teaching social-impact courses at higher education institutions

What Options You Can Consider After Your Bridgespan Career

Some examples of Bridgespan alum and their current influential roles:

  • Tara Abrahams is Head of Impact at The Meteor, a media organization dedicated to leveraging storytelling to advance the causes that affect the lives of women, girls, and nonbinary people, such as gender-based violence, housing insecurity, and reproductive health care.
  • Don Howard served as the President and CEO of the Irvine Foundation, leveraging his experience from Bridgespan to lead a private, nonprofit foundation focused on expanding grants and opportunities for low-income workers in California.
  • Daniel Stid served as the Program Director of U.S. Democracy at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He led the foundation’s grantmaking efforts to support the fundamental values and institutions of U.S. democracy, focusing on Congress.

4 Tips to Land a Bridgespan Job

1. Demonstrate Commitment to Social Impact

Showcase a genuine dedication to making a difference in the social sector. Highlight experiences, volunteer work, or projects demonstrating your commitment to addressing social impact challenges. This could be volunteering, a relevant school project, or a personal story that brings you a unique perspective on a social issue.

Provide concrete examples and highlight impact metrics from your work, such as how many lives your volunteer role impacted. This will show the interviewer you are thinking like a social impact consultant.

For more on making your application stand out, read our article on Consulting Resumes.

2. Highlight Relevant Skills and Experiences

Highlight your consulting and analytical skills. Showcase experiences where you’ve tackled complex problems, conducted research, led projects, or worked in teams. Emphasize quantitative and qualitative analysis, strategic thinking, and your ability to communicate solutions effectively.

Tips On Getting Bridgespan Careers

3. Showcase Collaboration with Diverse Stakeholders

In a social impact project, you’ll collaborate with various stakeholders, such as clients, community leaders, and governments. Demonstrate to your interviewer that you have strong teamwork skills and can work with different people. 

How have you navigated a difficult teammate or external challenges? 

Describe a time when you listened effectively, built consensus, or drove collective action.

4. Research and Network

Deeply understand Bridgespan’s work, clients, and values. Network with current or former Bridgespan employees to gain insights into the company culture, projects, and expectations. Attending industry events, informational interviews, or engaging on social media platforms can provide valuable connections.

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In this article, we’ve covered:

  • What does Bridgespan do?
  • An overview of Bridgespan careers and the progression
  • Types of jobs you can do after working at Bridgespan
  • 4 tips on landing a job at Bridgespan

Still have questions?

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

Other people prepping for Bridgespan careers found the following pages helpful:

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