I’m at this amazing boutique hotel right now… Bain definitely won the hotel battle! Before I share any more thoughts about the weekend, let me just show a few photos from my room:
Not only is there an LCD TV in the bathroom, but there’s another one hidden behind a painting that slides into the wall in the main room! Very cool. I was actually a bit confused when I walked in and didn’t see one. After being at Harvard, I thought I’d become desensitized to luxury, but it looks like I’m still a rural country kid at heart:
That said, overall, I’ve been less impressed with the weekend here than I was at BCG. The differences? Well, not a ton, but it does seem like they’ve been less effective in customizing who I meet and interact with. I finally met someone at dinner that I related with perfectly – I wish he had been a companion throughout the entire weekend (it might have led me to a different decision). The truth is: in any big firm, there are going to be people with all sorts of backgrounds and all types of personalities – the key to recruiting is to find the ones that match your candidate and make sure s/he mixes with them. BCG did this well, Bain did not.
I think I’ve reached a decision now. Two points:
- BCG seems to have less local and more national / international project opportunities. One of my primary goals here is to work internationally within one year.
- BCG seems to have more people from HBS. This says something about the choices my colleagues make, and I tend to think (on the whole), they make pretty good decisions.
As I think through the comparison, I’ve realized that if you were to hold both #1 and #2 constant across the firms, it’s highly likely I would have picked Bain instead. Their core philosophy (action > theory) and many of the smaller details about the firm weigh strongly in their favor. Such is the nature of difficult decisions!