One of my biggest concerns when I joined the Global Engagement program was how I was going to spend a semester abroad without missing really important things at home, namely opportunities to advance my career and OU football. I can’t say that I’ve been able to watch a lot of football this semester due to traveling most weekends, but I am happy to report that advancing my career from abroad ended up working out quite well.
I knew when I came here that I would be seeking an internship for next summer, but I honestly hadn’t put much thought into where until after I arrived. I knew management consulting was an option, and the more I looked into the different firms, the more I fell absolutely in love with Bain & Company, AKA one of the most selective firms. And I had just opted to spend all of their recruiting time 3,600 miles away from everyone else I knew applying who could help me prep for case interviews. If you aren’t familiar with case interviews, they basically give you a real-life consulting challenge that their team worked on for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, simplify it a bit, and tell you to solve it in 25 minutes. Cool. Challenge accepted.
I spent the month of September polishing up my resume and cover letters and sending them a few different directions within the management consulting world, which in hindsight seems kind of silly because of the firms, Bain was far and away the one I had the most interest in. I might have gone a different direction altogether without an offer there. I heard back pretty quickly from a couple of current consultants at Bain who offered to call and run practice case interviews with me. A few YouTube tutorials later, I was about as ready as I could be for my first practice cases. They were… not good. But hey, that’s what practice is for, right?
Within the week, I found out I had gotten a first-round interview, which came with more offers from Bainies to run cases with me. I got a little more familiar and comfortable with the process each time until my big day came. Quiet places and WiFi zones on my campus here are nearly mutually exclusive, but thankfully the study abroad coordinator here let me lock myself into a classroom by her office for the interview. Two cases later, I felt pretty good about my performance and was ready to take my fall break to relax in Galapagos. Come what may of the interview, I was going to have a good time.
When I landed in Galapagos a few days later and turned my phone on, I had a missed call and a voicemail from a Texas number. One of my interviewers had called back while I was on the plane and told me to give him a call when I could. That ended up being the best start to the vacation as I found out I would have a second round interview the next week! What normally would include traveling to the office for an in-person interview would have to be Skype for me again. I did my best to put it all out of my mind so I could snorkel with sea turtles in peace for the next couple days. I got home Monday night, had one more practice case on Tuesday, then interviewed Wednesday, this time from the comfort of my host family’s in-home office area. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I really felt I nailed the final interviews. The interviewers each told me that I would hear back really soon, but I didn’t realize “really soon” meant four hours later with great news.
Needless to say, I was incredibly excited. I will be in the Houston office next summer working and learning alongside the best of the best. I did have to miss an offeree meetup weekend (in which I heard they went to Top Golf… sigh) but other than that, I missed absolutely nothing with regards to the recruitment and hiring process. I am so grateful for all of the Bainies who reached out to me along the way to help me through cases, answer my questions, and interview me for this position. I am so grateful for those who encouraged me to study abroad and assured me I wouldn’t regret it. I am SO SO SO grateful for this opportunity. Coming at ya, Houston, in summer 2017!