We had Keith Bevans, Bain Partner and the firm’s Head of Global Consultant Recruiting, on the Strategy Simplified podcast for a free-flowing conversation where Keith touches on:

  • Bain’s future plans in the midst of COVID-19 (hint: not much is changing)
  • What you should be doing in the midst of a recession
  • Applying at Bain
  • The future of the case interview
  • His favorite donut
  • and so much more!

Enjoy the interview!

Listen on Strategy Simplified

Video Transcription:

Jenny Rae:

In this episode, I interview Keith Bevans, a partner at Bain & Company, and the Head of Global Consultant Recruiting at Bain. Keith has some contrarian views on interesting things, such as how going to school right now, even if school remains online, might strategically prepare individuals to better roll with the future business environment, how Bain is currently supporting its people in times of crisis in ways that are contrary to how many other firms are supporting their people, and finally, the relevance of the case interview, unfortunately, and other key insights outside of the case interview that Bain is looking for. We hope that you enjoy this episode.
We’re super excited to have Keith Bevans, who is a partner at Bain, with us today to share a little bit about recruiting, the current landscape, and life at Bain. We want to hear all of the good personnel, juicy details, as well as some of the other fun stuff that you can share from the broader perspective. And overall, we’re looking forward to a really dynamic conversation. So let’s dive in.

Keith:

Sure.

Jenny Rae:

All right, first question. Probably the most important one that I have for you is Chicago deep dish or New York style pizza? Sell us on your favorite.

Keith:

This is tricky because I’m going to have to potentially stay in hiding and in quarantine for a lot longer depending on my answer. I grew up in the Jersey shore, so I am from the tri-state. I grew up on New York style, and you can move me wherever you want but that’s what I’m going for. Don’t tell anybody. Can we keep this just between us?

Jenny Rae:

This is all that we needed to know today, and now we can move on to the really important things. Otherwise the call was going to be over, so you answered correctly. Okay, second question. A career that you could have pursued but didn’t pursue.

Keith:

…this Bain thing doesn’t work out.

Jenny Rae:

I asked it past tense, but I didn’t say that you can’t do one of those things, or all of them in the future. Okay, great. Next question. The biggest risk you’ve taken that’s paid off.

Keith:

Thirty years ago, at the age of 17, I told this – frankly this woman, young woman that I knew that she was the ideal woman. We had our 22nd anniversary last month. So it worked out. It worked out.

Jenny Rae:

Well done. All right. There we go. That was a risk.

Keith:

It certainly was.

Jenny Rae:

I definitely count that as a risk. Okay, next question. Business leader who has inspired you.

Keith:

My first understanding, or introduction to consulting was actually a gentleman named Reggie Van Lee, who is a longtime partner at another firm. He, like me, is black, he was one of the first black partners that I met in the industry. He also was MIT/HBS like I was. So we had a lot in common, and I met him when I was 17 or 18 years old and was like that’s – that’s the model. That’s what I’d like to do. What is consulting again? And he’s been a great mentor, even – I mean, I called him for some advice a month ago. So here we are, literally 30 years later, and he’s still a mentor of mine and has been great.

Jenny Rae:

Amazing. Can you share one thing that he has shared with you as a piece of wisdom?

Keith:

Yes. So one of the things that I went to talk to him about was when I was sort of in that window of deciding to take one of the other opportunities we talked about, or making the push for partner. I asked him because he and I are a little more outspoken than most, and I sort of said so, – basically I said how have you not gotten fired yet. And he said you know, a little bit of what I do is when I say things that I think might be controversial or might rub some people the wrong way, I usually acknowledge that before I say it and just say you know, I realize some of you may not want to hear this, or I realize it may sound like I’m not being sensitive to you, but, and it at least took some of the edge off because people understood that he wasn’t a sociopath. He understood that what he was saying might rub some people the wrong way, but it needed to be said. And that little bit of a qualifier before the statement just helped, and like I said, we tend to be pretty much alike. Although, you know, although we were MIT/HBS, he finished MIT in three years; it took me five. I got the Masters degree, but at no point was I at risk of graduating early from MIT.

Jenny Rae:

Well done. That’s amazing. Okay, great. Next one. Outdoors happy place.

Keith:

My outdoors happy place, honestly, as a photographer, any place with good graffiti. You can see from the background, I tend to, when I travel for work, I visit parts of cities that most people skip. Anybody can see the Bean downtown or go by the Eiffel Tower, but most people don’t get out into the neighborhoods and really see some of the culture and the art that’s there. So I know artists all over the world, and I make the effort to go – to go snap photos of different graffiti spots. I’ve got them all marked in Google maps for every city around the world that I go to, and I make a point to sort of duck out while I’m in town.

Jenny Rae:

There is a Google map tag for taggers? That’s amazing.

Keith:

Yeah. No, it’s mine. That one’s mine. But I know where all the spots are in the cities and I just figured I’d celebrate Chicago a little bit with the meeting of styles background from Chicago.

Jenny Rae:

Amazing. Okay, truth telling – this is a little bit of a diversion, but have you ever done graffiti yourself?

Keith:

I am not. I can’t sing, dance, draw, I can get really creative in PowerPoint and take pictures.

Jenny Rae:

Nice.

Keith:

That’s the extent of my artistic creativity.

Jenny Rae:

Amazing. All right, great. Last and final, to me the most important question other than the pizza question, which again, you answered correctly. What is your favorite donut and why?

Keith:

You know, it’s the glazed donut. It’s as – I’m going to out myself as a consultant. You didn’t say what I do a living, but let’s assume for a second.

Jenny Rae:

We’ll get there, but you can go ahead and reveal it now.

Keith:

It’s a good benchmark. Like you can get a glazed donut pretty much any place that sells donuts, and if they can’t do that right there is no reason to stick around and try other stuff.

Jenny Rae:

That’s literally the most consulting answer I’ve heard to that question. That’s amazing. Okay, great. Keith, let me give you one chance to ask me one of the questions back and then we’ll dive into the broader conversation.

Keith:

Outdoor happy place.

Jenny Rae:

Awesome. I have so many, but one of my favorites, it’s a place that I grew up so it has a combo of nostalgia and also happiness for me is the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, and specifically there is one hike that’s there called Graveyard Fields and it has a couple of different waterfalls, you can swim in them, you can walk in the creek. It’s just something that makes me feel alive and connected when I go there on an almost annual basis. I love it.

Keith:

That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Cool.

Jenny Rae:

Amazing. Okay. So what we’re going to do today is talk about a couple of broad topics. We’re going to talk about recruiting trends, we’re going to talk about Bain right now, and also just why Bain, why Bain for you, why Bain for other people. But I’d like to just get a little bit of an intro from you before we do that. So can you tell us a little bit of your background and your story of how you got to where you are today?

Keith:

Sure. And are you the one sketching here in the side? No. It’s amazing. Thank you to whoever is providing the artistic background for this conversation. So I joined Bain back in 1996. I did a bachelors/masters in electrical engineering. As I mentioned, I grew up in the Jersey shore, so we – I used to say in the middle by the water for several years was a little bit of a branding issue for maybe a decade there, but I’m back to claiming my Jersey shore roots. I joined Bain instead of taking my masters in engineering and going to Intel. I did the five-year program at MIT and had a really great industry offer, but I knew I wanted to go back to business school. And so really for me, the question was what do I do after MIT to set myself up for business school. So I joined Bain as an AC in Chicago. I had never really been to Chicago in any meaningful way prior to that. I joined in ‘96, applied to business school as a third-year like most people do at Bain, and didn’t get in. I was waitlisted and then promptly rejected. I took the applications a lot more seriously the second time and got into all three schools, including the one year program at the school that had rejected me, so I would have graduated with the same class, which is kind of interesting.

Jenny Rae:

Amazing.

Keith:

So I left and went to school. I went to Harvard Business School with my wife – my then wife. We had our first son while I was in business school. He is a college freshman now, working downstairs in our basement. And I rejoined Bain in 2002. So I actually was at Bain before, at business school during, and rejoined right towards the tail end of the dotcom bubble bursting, so that was my first downturn experience.

Jenny Rae:

Nice.

Keith:

In 2004, I was promoted to manager; in 2008 I was promoted to partner. I did a bunch of different things along the way. I was the staffing manager, I led Blacks at Bain for about a decade. I was on the promotion committee for five years as a partner. So from 2008 to 2013, I was client facing in the performance improvement and healthcare practice, and then chose to take on a different role, heading up global consultant recruiting, which combined a lot of the passions that I had inside Bain in a way that allowed me to do it full-time. And I figured I’d do it for two years and see what happened, and here we are a little over six years later. Business school has long since paid off, which is my reason for coming, and I’m still here. So it’s been a great journey. We had another son in there, by the way in 2003, so I have a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old. And that’s the very short version.

Jenny Rae:

That’s amazing. Well, we’ll get into more of it as we go today, because I’m going to dig in to a little bit of your experience. But we do have some questions that I know that people are interested in, so I’m going to start with the first one. Obviously, this is April 2020. In light of COVID, has anything changed regarding what Bain looks for at the moment in experienced hires, in consultants, just in general and what the firm is prioritizing in terms of their talent.

Keith:

You know, no. What we actually look for, and it is the title of a video I think we recorded a while back on YouTube, so people want to know sort of what we look for, it’s me talking with one of the folks on my team about it. It’s the same answer. You know, not a lot has changed. I think, you know, the core skills that it takes to be successful with clients, the way you think about problems, the we think about engaging with people, it may not be in person, but it’s still the same types of things that we’re looking for. And so that part of it hasn’t really changed. You know, it tends to be more important, the clarity of – the clarity of where Bain fits into your career journey is probably something that I think that people under invest in. They practice on cases, they practice on remembering formulas and the seven S’s like you know I’m going to quiz them on can they remember all of Porter’s five forces. But at the end of the day, it’s still the same types of skills, the same types of things. You just have to understand why, and be able to articulate why coming to Bain is the right next step in your journey because that’s not obvious for everybody.

Jenny Rae:

So I’m going to follow that up with just a point B. How does somebody do that if they don’t know – if it’s not immediately evident to them, or if they don’t have really deep experience with somebody at Bain, how do they figure that out?

Keith:

Yeah, so first of all, we try and put a lot out there online for that. I’m pretty accessible, the team is very accessible. We may be doing more Zoom and WebEx and FaceTime calls then we have, but probably five years ago, the team started the Bain passports webinar series, and the Bain strategies webinar series, so we been doing a lot online for a very long time. What’s new is everything is online now. There’s not a – there’s not a webinar followed by and I’ll see you next week when I’m in town. So from that perspective, we’ve done a lot to try and put stuff out there. You know, it’s kind of funny because a YouTube video on what we look for, a YouTube video on how to create, those are all things – that’s real. Like we are not – that’s not the marketing team sitting around like what we want to put out there to market it. It’s like no, let’s actually help people, at the very least it will save us telling 100 different people the same thing. Just put it out there and let everybody see it.

And so I do think taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there becomes really important. You know, we try to put a lot out there for that reason so that you can get pass the level I and level II questions. You know, where are our offices, what practice areas do we have. That stuff you can read on the website. You don’t need to talk to anybody for that. That is very different about your audience than I think when I came through recruiting, maybe when you came through recruiting in the sense that you know in 1996, there was nothing online. You can go in the Internet way back machine and look at our website back then. It wasn’t very good. And so what you knew about Bain it, or what you knew about any company was what they told you when they came to campus. And that was it.

And now, you can go on Reddit, where I am, you can go on Fishbowl, you can go on Glassdoor, you can go on Vault, you can hop on a management consultant form, like you can do a lot of different things to learn about people and learn about what the business does so that when I say why does consulting make sense for you, it’s not some version of well, I can’t decide and you’ll show me variety. Which turns out not to be super compelling in a competitive market, right? Who would’ve guessed. So I think the depth of the answer in terms of what skills you’ll build and how that fits into what career you’re trying to build towards, that ultimately is to me very differentiating for people. It makes me more comfortable when I’m meeting candidates that say you, you know, I think I really want to come to Bain. I say why? And they say well, because the way you approach this, the way you approach that, fits because I’m trying to do these things in my career. Ironically, and then I’ll shut up, it’s the same types of things you talk about when you’re thinking about where to go to university. You know, thinking about going to Harvard with their case method is a very different learning style than what I have at some of the other schools that I could have attended. And so, you know, being able to understand why somebody who doesn’t mind debating and sharing his opinions live and in a person might feel right at home in that environment. That’s actually perfect for me. There are other programs where I would just sit there bored out of my skull taking notes. That’s not perfect for me. That might be great for somebody else, and they are both right.

Jenny Rae:

Amazing. Well, so that was like a two for one answer. I want to follow up again on something that you said in there that I thought was really interesting. You mentioned that there are some things that people do need a second level insight, probably from a personal conversation to get to. What is the appropriate way to do that, to reach out, to have a conversation that’s meaningful enough that actually changes the game for them.

Keith:

Yeah, there is a sense, I think out there, that you have to talk with people live, and you have to sort of find your buddies. At no point during the recruiting process are we sitting around with a pile of resumes going okay, how many people know Jenny Rae, quick show of hands. Okay, seven. Okay, how many people know Keith. Eight. Okay, Keith is in. Nobody – we’re not doing that, right? And so if you really don’t have anything that you need to ask, like people will want to talk and say – they’ll call people on the team and say hey, I’d love to talk to you because I want to work at Bain. And I usually respond and say okay, well what specific questions do you have? I’m happy to answer them. And they go well, I just want to sort of talk about what you all do. And I like yeah, that’s on the website.

Jenny Rae:

Level I.

Keith:

Right. The level II questions tend to be like things that we’re also trying to proactively address because we know a lot of people have those same questions, right question which is the Bain passport series that we had been doing was different offices around the world hosting webinars for people interested in that office because somebody from Brussels may not be coming to Chicago. Somebody from, you know, Amsterdam may not be going down to North Carolina to Fuqua. I just got off the phone with that team earlier – my Fuqua team. And they may not be making that trip, but in aggregate, there are plenty of people interested in what it’s like to work in Dubai. And so what we decided as well, why don’t we have Dubai get on those – get on a call and actually talk about what we’re doing in the Middle East, and talk about what the office culture is like, and talk about what types of work they are doing. And so we’re trying to actually answer those questions as well proactively by just putting that out there and giving people an opportunity to take advantage of those things. Take advantage of the on-campus resources if you’re on a campus where we are recruiting. We do make a pretty big investment to be a part of that. But I think technology has allowed us to connect in ways that probably seemed foreign 10 years ago, or 15 years ago in that ultimately we wanted a silver lining from our current moment in time where it just won’t be weird to say I’m not going to fly out there to meet with you, but I’m happy to do a zoom call, and that will be just as meaningful and just as impactful as being in person. Don’t take that personally that I might go to this campus and not that campus, or I came out for this group and not that group. It will be perfectly normal, and it will be fine. That’s one of the things that I hope sort of stays with us when this has all passed.

Jenny Rae:

Well, I do want to talk a little bit about some Bain specific recruiting trends that are happening right now. I know that everybody’s watching Bain to see what they are doing in light of COVID, so can you just speak a little bit about summer hiring, about what’s happened with internships that were already, you know, people had already accepted, or internships where people had maybe been offered but hadn’t accepted. Can you talk about your plans as of right now, and what you know, and when you will expect to know about 2020 hires starting, and also about 2021 planning that’s happening now.

Keith:

That is a heck of a compound question. If I could summarize, it was like what’s going on.

Jenny Rae:

Hey, okay. I know. It’s almost like a BCG question, right?

Keith:

You didn’t say that.

Jenny Rae:

Okay, let me start at the beginning. Let’s start this summer.

Keith:

No, I got it, I got it. So let’s talk about recruiting and what we’re doing. You’ll get me in trouble here. Look, for the summer, as most people know, our campus hiring generally takes place in that fall of the prior year. So for this summer, we have several hundred interns coming in around the world. A lot of the MBA interns that their offers in January. They are locked and loaded. Now most of the undergrad interns in most markets got their offers even before the holidays, so they are locked and loaded. I don’t think it’s a well-kept secret. It’s not a secret. I sent an email to all of our interns globally probably three weeks ago letting them know we look forward to seeing you. We’ll see you this summer. I did the same with our full-time hires that were given offers last fall and are starting throughout the summer. We actually just had a group start. With a start group for people who graduated in December and some industry hires last week.

So from that perspective, we are continuing to be in the market. For fall hiring, you know the truth is we have our largest summer intern class ever by a lot this year. So just by default, a lot of our second-year hiring would have been lower anyway, regardless of what happens now. And that’s happened in the past so people who are sort of following the cycles, most people hopefully don’t get left back in business school so they’re not on like year four of their MBA program, but for the most part, second year recruiting tends to be filling in the rest of the class after you have, you know, the AC’s that return, the summer interns that return, and then you fill in the rest of the class. So when you have a big intern class, you know, second year recruiting tends to be a little bit smaller. I expect to be on campus, my team is planning right now for that, and that’s no different this year than it was in the’08-‘09 downturn, than it was in the 2001-2002 downturn.

In terms of intern hiring for those planning on enrolling in school in the fall, and I’ll talk specifically about MBA recruiting, which is my primary focus. I recognize some undergrads might be on the phone. The intern class that we’d be recruiting this fall would start in 2022. You know, if you look at any one of our revenue charts during the last couple of downturns, Bain always accelerates out of a downturn. And so you can accelerate out of a downturn if you actually don’t have capacity to serve the work that’s in demand in the market. And so shockingly, right, as a strategy firm, we take a long-term view on the business. You know I can’t come out of the downturn without a second year consulting class because I chose to turtle myself in the downturn. That’s not how this works. You can’t have a high school without a sophomore class. That’s not a thing, right?

And so I expect our intern hiring to be as robust as ever. I think the intern hiring and success we had this summer right now, probably will make second your recruiting a little bit smaller, but that was going to happen independent of the current pandemic. That’s just – that’s just math. The good news for us is, you know, we go into this current mode, and it’s COVID now, and it might be a recession later, as strong as we’ve ever been. We’ve been through these types of downturns before. We have a tested playbook and you can look at our growth after the’08-‘09 downturn as proof. Like we know what we’re doing, we know how to navigate this. You know, we think about doubling down on our clients, they are number one. And the clients, clients tend to remember who stuck by them when they were on this path, and then all of the sudden had to take an abrupt right turn because something dramatic, or something traumatic happened. And so we’re investing in our clients right now. We’re obviously taking care of our people, and we’re keeping the leadership team focused on the long-term prospects for the business.

We go into this downturn probably stronger than we ever have been in the past heading into the ’08-‘09 downturn and the 2001-2201 downturn. You know, we just close the acquisition of Qvartz late last year. We sort of formally acquired and brought Italy into the family. We had acquired forward. So we go in riding a really strong wave of momentum, so this probably will be even better than some of the other ones in terms of what it looks like on the backside. That’s not underselling or underplaying how difficult a time this is. We’re all going through the same thing, but it’s affecting all of us differently. And as a firm, we’re making sure that we are meeting our people where they’re at as work from home and things like that so that people feel supported as their doing their work. But that’s a lot – that’s a broad answer. I can speak to the summer program. We are going to have the summer program. We’re excited about some of the creative options that come into play while were doing this, but as you’d expect, you were at Bain for a little while, people are finding ways to stay connected that we might not have done in the past.

There’s a couple of groups working in the Chicago office alone, there’s a couple of groups sort of working out together online, or on Pelaton. There’s a couple of groups that get together to cook. There’s a couple of people that get together for video gaming and it’s like a Dungeons and Dragons group. So people are just finding ways to stay connected and just sort of hang out because we don’t have that chance to see each other engage the way we did. It’s actually been a really refreshing view, and reiteration of how strong our culture is and how much we actually like spending time together, and this time more than ever is proof of that.

Jenny Rae:

I love that. Can you illuminate for us what you think makes Bain different in terms of mindset and strategy than a lot of the companies that we do see freaking out in the market right now.

Keith:

You know, I wouldn’t say that – I wouldn’t say that we are different from companies that are freaking out or not in the sense of I think everybody is taking seriously, and that manifests itself in different ways, right? And I think that’s an important sort of thing to keep in mind, that by and large, companies are trying to do the right thing by their employees, and do the right thing by their customers, so on and so forth, and we are no different in that regard. I think our sense of responsibility to our employees and to our clients sort of drives everything that we do, and so – you know, our – if you talk about sort of what makes us different in terms of how we approach that, I think that we have a mindset of we’re going to win as a team, and it’s not okay that I have a work from home arrangement that allows me certain things, and allows – I have two teenagers at home. They are totally fine not seeing me, but that’s not everybody’s situation, right? We are blessed in the fact that nobody in our immediate family has fallen ill, right?

And we’re not – so there’s a lot of things that I think, like I said, we’re all going through the same thing but it’s affecting us all differently, and I think because we are a very diverse place in terms of the backgrounds and the skills, and the types of people that we hire, sort of our ability to roll with that, and our ability to appreciate the fact that your situation may not be the same as mine, but I respect the fact that your situation means you can’t do this, your days need to end at 3:00 because you have some responsibilities that you have to take care of, and I’ll see you back online later, or I’ll talk to you tomorrow. We just tend to trust each other in a way that I think manifests itself in a way that’s healthy right now. And, you know, I was talking about this with some friends that it seems like a decade ago, that a toddler walked into a BBC interview and everybody thought it was the craziest thing. I’ll tell you what, I have – we’ve had kids, pets, spouses on all of my calls almost every day now. And I think what we’re learning is as a business community is that people have whole lives, and you just have to roll with it. Some things are really serious, and some things aren’t. You know, I’m on a call with a lot of people in a business setting, and I realize I meant to change my background away from the graffiti picture. I haven’t gotten to it yet, and it’s fine. And again, that’s one of those things that I hope stays with us when this crisis is sort of started to subside because at the end, there some things that matter, and a lot of things that don’t. And our ability to distinguish between the two actually is – this is a good chance to learn that.

Jenny Rae:

Well, I want to talk just about one more question related to the macro journey that you’ve been on, and why – what’s coming out right now. And this is related to just Bain over the years, so you’ve been there for, like you mentioned, a couple of different downturns, a number of different Bain seasons, pre-zoom and post zoom, some of the other seasons like that. But what are your favorite surprises that you’ve experienced at Bain so far, and why are you specifically hopeful for the future of Bain?

Keith:

You know, the surprises tend to be – there’s moments of truth that the companies have, right? And there’s always this sense that, you know, when the things that people remember in times of crisis or in times of turmoil, or in times of celebration are not – they don’t remember how – what happened, they remember how they felt, right? And there is sort of these moments of truth now where you see companies doing some things, unfortunately, that don’t respect the help and safety of their employees, or don’t reflect the fact that – reflect the fact that employees sort of wake up every day and decide where they’re going to spend their time. And some, you know, I think that what I’m seeing is not – I’m not surprised at all, but what I’m seeing is Bain’s leadership team stepping up to support people in ways, and accommodate people in ways and sort of reassure people that things are going to be okay. And nobody knows how it’s ultimately going to work out, right? Like nobody knows what campus will look like in the fall, right? Nobody knows if classes are going to start up in person or be virtual in the fall.

But what I can say is that our operating principles in terms of how we treat each other and how we focus on our clients, and those things, this is just another one of those times where I’ve seen us make the shift to working from home and doing all of the amazing things in the background to make that possible for a firm of over 10,000 employees to literally switch to work from home overnight. And watching our technology team step up to support that, and our HR team make sure that people had safe places to work. You know we have, it’s like I said, several hundred interns starting in a couple of months that are anxious because they were supposed to go abroad for their internship. Campuses shut down and they been told they have to move, and where do I go. I can’t go home, and I can’t stay here. And they are reaching out to us for help, and that’s one of those times where we’re saying well, let’s talk about what our options are, not hang on, let me get the HR manual on this one. You know, it’s operating from a set of guidelines that for us, I’m not surprised by it one bit. I’m surprised that I even thought that was a question. I’m surprised that I even thought there was a possibility that we wouldn’t do right by our people, and we have, and I think that’s been really great to see.

Jenny Rae:

I think another question that a lot of people are asking right now is, and they’re asking us so I’m going to ask you, is how should I, if I do have more time because I’m at home, not able to connect with people in the way that I normally would have, and also if I have more time literally, like my start date is pushed back, or my, you know, my internship is canceled this summer, or something else, not at Bain, but obviously somewhere else. What should people be doing to invest in themselves if they find themselves with a surprise of time at the moment? What skills should they prioritize building, what kind of things should they be focusing on?

Keith:

It’s interesting because I do get that question a lot from people who are heading to school and they say, you know, going to take the summer off. What should I be doing before I get to school to be in a position to get that internship with you, or with someone else. And I say live your life, enjoy yourself. Don’t try to extrapolate from every day’s accomplishments to success, or being back at home at 50 in your parents’ basement. Like that’s not a – those aren’t the only two options, and I think a lot of us, like myself, are planners. And we like to sort of know okay, what am I going to do today that’s going to get me there tomorrow. It’s like wait, just settle down a little bit. So I do think, and I was just in some training that we’re doing today around personal capacity, which include sort of your physical wellness, your psychological wellness, etc. As people just manage through the stress of this because we have programs, and trainings that aren’t client related trainings, it’s more about how you show up, and how well you maintain yourself as a person.

That applies here as well, even before you get to school. And so my advice is, you know, don’t freak out about it. I personally am working as hard as I’ve ever worked, and decided that I was going to pick up some new Photoshop skills, and have set a goal of watching a bunch of online tutorials and try to do one or two a week. Trying to just take up – so it’s weird, right? Like get a hobby. But the idea is that you don’t have to sort of think about filling every moment of every day chasing the goal. It’s okay to just relax for a minute. School will be there in the fall, this crisis will pass as other ones have, and it’s okay to be – to have a full tank ready to go when classes do start. You know, just – I do also – that reminds me, I have gotten a couple of emails and I wonder if people are asking as I’m watching the chat scroll by as well as I’m talking, but I have heard a lot of conversation about campuses being virtual and students not necessarily wanting to go back to business school, and I’ve had people reach out to me and say you know I think I’m going to try and do my internship, and then if school is virtual in the fall, I’ll just take the second year business school, I’ll defer it for a year or two and go back. Which is really odd to me, because I think what the current crisis is has showed me, quick anecdote.

I have a friend who I’m really close with. We went to business school together, we get together every year. He lives in Singapore. And he told me that when this started to ramp up over there, I’ll take some liberties with what he said, but he basically said people went oh, like SARS? Okay, let me get my mask. Right? And to some extent, life went on. And they were familiar with it, and they sort of were very fluid with how they went from life is normal to lockdown, to easing back. Oh, we went a little too far, ease back again. And I think what this is helping me understand is that the business leaders that we’re going to have to have in the future are going to have to be able to navigate and maintain their equilibrium and their balance in an environment that’s fluid like this. Where it could be normal, and we could get back to normal this summer, and then there might be another outbreak and your city might go back on lockdown, and you need to be able to just roll with that seamlessly. And I think that schools are a great place to learn that. You know, if classes start virtual and then go online, and then there’s an outbreak on campus and they go back virtual, your ability to maintain that and keep your focus is actually going to be what you have to do to be successful in business later. I’d rather learn that at school then reading about it on the news from my parents’ basement because I didn’t feel like going back to school. Like that’s crazy to me. I’ll even go one step further and say I would question this – now is where I get in trouble. We can edit this later, right? This is just a conference call.

Jenny Rae:

This is the good stuff.

Keith:

I think that the practical reality of thinking that you’re going to quit school in between two years of business school, go and get a job in an environment where 30 million people just applied for unemployment, and you’re going to find a job for somebody who’s going to pay you a lot of money and wants to hire an MBA dropout so that you can work through the recession, and then quit and go back to school when the economy turns around, that’s just not smart strategy. I mean, that doesn’t make any sense at all. The best place to be in a recession, coming from somebody who watched his peers in 2001 – 2002, yeah, that’s school. Go to school. And I think what’s different is you will also learn, like I said, how to navigate this kind of environment.

How does social distancing work in a place where people do need to interact. And I think that’s valuable experience. I think that you can take that as a learning experience, and it will be a unique experience. And to some extent, the people who go through that on campus this fall will be some of the people who are most familiar with what that looks like, more so than people like myself who, you know, who haven’t been in that environment, who work from home when they’re not traveling. So I think there’s opportunity here. I would hate for people to – don’t hate anything. I would not like for people to miss it as they go through their journey.

Jenny Rae:

I love that perspective and it’s one that I haven’t heard before, and it’s very different from mine, which is that I recommended – what I did was sail across the Atlantic Ocean on a boat. It’s like self-quarantining for two months. And I think it’s a less helpful suggestion than yours, so thank you for your insight.

Keith:

That would be a great experience as well.

Jenny Rae:

It was a one time in a life experience, not necessarily one that I would want to repeat. But quarantine friendly at the moment, for sure.

Keith:

Yes, for sure.

Jenny Rae:

So one of the other questions I think that people have been asking is, and we kind of talk to this about trying to dig into what that level II question insight looks like for Bain, but what do you think – what is your why Bain. What distinguishes Bainies from other people. You had the choice of looking at other roles in other places to work, and I know that a lot of people do effusively talk about the people at Bain, but what is your why Bain.

Keith:

Yeah, so there’s a couple of different things that come to mind. So you know, for me, my initial reaction in joining Bain, and I’m really candid about this, when I applied to Bain, I didn’t apply – most people applied to all three BBM firms as they go. Most people do that acronym backwards, I’m not sure why.

Jenny Rae:

You’re a contrarian. You look at graffiti and you say BBM instead of MBB.

Keith:

But I think, you know, for me, the people that I met at the firms did feel different, and the more I got to meet people, the more I felt like there were certain places where I felt like my personality and the things that I liked, and the level of acceptance that I felt were a good fit. So I didn’t apply to all three, and I actually withdrew from the other one first round interviews when I got the Bain offer. So it is very different, and I think when you invest the time to really get to know, you kind of know, you feel like where you belong, and that was my experience. That’s unique, and I realize not everybody will get to that place, especially in our current environment. You apply at all three, and you want all three. I didn’t have to do that. Frankly, I probably just didn’t know any better at 22 or 23 or whatever it was. But you know, from a why Bain perspective, I really think that for me, getting to see a bunch of different things early with the idea that I would specialize over time was helpful.

So if I think about if I were a consultant coming in post business school, or from industry or PhD program, I do think that the ability to see a lot of different things matters a lot. You know, I, as a partner, I spent a lot of time working in operations for a healthcare provider that ran close to 2000 clinics around the country. And with the ACA, people remember when that was coming through, there was a lot of uncertainty. But one thing that wasn’t – was not in question was they were going to have to get a lot more efficient about how they run their operations. And so it almost became this thing where it was like okay, how can we keep our exam rooms full. Like we cannot just have them empty for hours at a time. We need to keep them turning. Earlier in my career right out of Harvard, out of business school, I came back and worked in the restaurant sector. And we were looking at some of the operations for a restaurant client. And I’ve told this story on campus, but it turned out that when I started looking at health care, and all these healthcare executives, and veterans were sort of going we have to figure out how to get improvement on our exam rooms up. And I was like oh, that’s – I know that’s new to you all, but you know they’ve been doing that in the restaurant industry for like a century now. And the idea of like taking the insights from the restaurant work that I did to my healthcare client was like hugely valuable. And you think about the steps, right? You sort of go, you check-in, you go to the bar and you sit in the waiting room, they take your vitals, you order your appetizer, you eat your meal, you see your doctor, you pay, you check out, you set up a new appointment. The steps are exactly the same. You know, and so what was a really unique and innovative business problem in healthcare was like old news in the other restaurant – in the other sector.

And Bain’s model doesn’t make you specialize when you join. It expects you to see a lot of different things, not because we don’t think you need to have expertise and specialize over time, but because there’s a baseline understanding of experiences that you want to be able to draw from in your career so that you can actually bring those breakthrough insights. And frankly, if healthcare expertise was all that was needed to crack all the healthcare problems in the world, the experts would’ve solved it and we wouldn’t need to have a healthcare practice. That’s not how it works, right? And so for me, that ability to see a lot of different things was very helpful on the front and. You know, I think now our approach to digital is going to prove right, which is it has to stay very tightly integrated with the core business. You can’t sort of have a retail practice in a group that does digital over here. Like if you’re not in digital and retail, especially now, people are realizing like what are you doing. Like of all the digital retail work is over there, what’s the retail practice doing. How does that work exactly. And so, it’s a small – it’s a much larger conversation, but I think there’s things like that that are particularly unique to Bain. When you join Bain and Company, and just two other quick things, when you join Bain and Company, you join an office. I think you were in Atlanta, I was in Chicago. My business card said Bain, my offer letter actually came from the Chicago office, right? And so I became part of a community of people that I got to know really well, and I know our introduction was through somebody you knew from when you were back in the day.

Jenny Rae:

Exactly.

Keith:

You know, and I still keep in touch with a lot of alumni as well. You know, and it’s just one of those things where you start building that tight community, and that just felt – that felt right for me. And then the people. I did track in college, and I did field events, and I was basically a specialist at the end of my college track career. Anybody who’s done track knows meets run all day. But when you’re only competing for an hour, you are hanging out a lot. There was a lot of hanging out if you’re doing one event over the course of 10 hours. The people at Bain for whatever reason felt like the people that I really enjoyed spending time with on my team. And that’s more of a gut feel, and that’s why we try and put ourselves out there so much so that you can get to know was a little bit better. And I’m very careful to say that the cultures across the three firms that most people are considering when they have options, they are different. They are not better or worse, they are just different. Your job is to actually understand what those differences are and figure out which one makes – which differences make it better or worse for you. Because what’s better or worse for Keith might not work for Jenny Rae. And that’s totally fine. It’s not better or worse, they’re just different. And for me, Bain was a great fit. Like I said, I joined because I wanted to go to business school. I became a free agent effectively 2003, and 17 years later I’m still here because it’s been the right choice for me.

Jenny Rae:

I think just to get personal for me for a second, Bain was a place that taught me that you don’t have to leave somewhere because you’re unhappy. I had never had that experience before, and it was one of the first places that I ever left because I felt like there was a bigger dream out there, and when I came into Bain, I did not feel like there could be a bigger dream than Bain. And it’s such an exciting place to be in a place where those pathways can be parallel, and people can just get excited about wherever they end up going, where it doesn’t feel like you have to leave a job because you don’t like it. But there’s just –

Keith:

You stay part of the family. I tend to think there’s what you get paid to do, who do you get paid to do it with, and how much do you get paid to do it. And what’s been interesting for me on my journey, is that at different stages of my life, different questions were more important than others. And so it’s not that I – we were just talking about this on Reddit of all places earlier this week, but it’s not that I stayed for 23 years or 24 years, it’s that I stayed two years 12 times, right? And that you sort of keep – you think about what else is out there because if I’m going to work this hard, I have to be able to look my wife in the eye and say no, this really is the best place. And you only know that if you actually know what other places are. And so I, you know, I – you look, but every time I’ve looked I said no. Bain is actually the best place, and it’s by far. It’s not really a question for me and where we are at in our life. And different things change. Early on in my career my wife was doing her graduate degree at Stanford. I was like I will do whatever, just pay me. Like, you know, I’ve been at school for five years, let’s get on with this. And now we are at a different place in our lives where it’s more like well who am I working with, and what types of problem am I solving that’s more important than money. And that’s, you know, it’s not to say that one set of questions is more important than the other, but at different chapters of my life I just – I cared about different things and they were all right at that time, they are not right now.

Jenny Rae:

So good. Well, I have a couple of questions from our audience that I’ve selected that I think will keep the conversation spicy.

Keith:

Okay, uh oh.

Jenny Rae:

Not in a bad way. Good spicy. So the first one is can you talk about the most important skill that you learned, or that was imparted, mentored to you in your first few years at Bain that launched you into the partner plus role that you’ve been in more recently?

Keith:

Wow, you’re interviewing – really, that your opening question?

Jenny Rae:

Do you want a hard one? I can give you a hard one.

Keith:

No, you will get me in trouble.

Jenny Rae:

I’m just kidding.

Keith:

I, like a lot of people that are coming into Bain and into professional services and highly competitive fields from great schools and great programs, I think – I think I came in with a lot of confidence. And not, well, people will have different degrees of that, but I think learning to trust the intentions and the rigor that other people were putting into their work, and I’m talking about, I mean for me, when I joined Bain I was an associate consultant. So, you know, we’re not talking about consultant Keith, or industry hire manager Keith. We’re talking like right out of college, didn’t take any business classes in college Keith. And I tended to think that if you didn’t explain to me your rationale and I didn’t agree with it, you didn’t know what you’re talking about. And yeah, there’s just a lot of smart people here. That’s just not – that is not how it works. And so understanding that I may not understand your intentions, but I need to actually truly trust, which ironically is one of our operating principles, I need to truly trust that you have a rationale for why you did it that way, and I really need to trust that you did it the way it needed to get done. And you may not have time, Mrs. Manager, Mr. Manager, to explain to me why I need to do it this way, but I need to trust that there’s a reason and wait my turn. I bring that one up, maybe it’s a little bit of a recency bias, but I had a presentation that I did internally, pulling out quotes from my reviews as an AC, and one of the direct quotes – one of the direct quotes from our AC was Keith needs to focus a little bit more on output than justification. Right? I was like, huh, yeah, that’s good. And it’s true. And now that I’m on the other side of that I’m like look, I’m busy, I just need you to do this. I’ll explain it later. I do follow up and do that, but I don’t think that that’s where I was early in my career, and I would do things sort of a little bit pouty about things. And it’s just like no, get over yourself. This person’s been doing this job for a long time, play your position. You know, and that’s – that advice and sort of basically chilling the hell out actually help me a lot.

Jenny Rae:

All right, so here’s another one. Speaking of chilling the hell out and trying to figure out what we’re all doing now, let’s assume that some positions are going to be fully virtual this summer, and we don’t really know exactly what it’s going to look like. But what does that look like? How do you do that well? What is your thought and advice on that at the moment.

Keith:

You know, so we’re thinking about –

Jenny Rae:

And let me just really clarify here. I think that the nuance here is there’s a difference between extending relationships that you already had to the virtual environment, and beginning new ones.

Keith:

Yeah, to like new people like you’re getting staffed to a team that you may not know.

Jenny Rae:

Yeah.

Keith:

So first of all, I don’t think we have the answer, right? And I don’t think – this is new for all of us. And yes, like FaceTime has been around for a long time, and some of us has been online since the late 80s, which I have. You know, like it’s – but this, this whole thing is new. And I think there has to be an understanding that we’re going to make some mistakes, we’re going to do some things a little weird. I’m going to be on mute for the first few minutes of a Management Consulted call. You know, there’s just things where it’s like oh, okay,I didn’t know that was a thing. I’ll be on it. So I do think that there is, first of all, a baseline set of expectations where you just have to understand like it’s not going to be as perfect and as smooth, and we’re 47 years old as a firm, 48 years old as a firm, no, 47. Our summer associate program is a well-oiled machine, and this year we’re going to be onboarding a lot of people, you know, well over 300 people virtually. That’s new. We’ve never had to do that before. So I think there’s a little bit of just an acknowledgment of like everybody’s going to try their best. Again, trust my intentions, I’m going to trust yours and we’ll work from there.

I think what we’re going to do is, you know, it’s not a matter, and this is the companies that figure this out well, early, are going to succeed at the end of the day. It’s not taking what you do and putting it on zoom. You know, it’s different when we are in training and you went through this like I did. When you’re in training for eight hours a day, but you’re in the room and you can take a break, and you can it up and go to the bathroom, and you know, there’s going to take a one are break and them are going to go to dinner together. Yeah, I could do eight hours of zoom, and you know what? People would be like ready to jump off the bridge. People would be miserable. Like people will not like that. And so on the other hand, I think virtual allows you to open up opportunities that you may not have opened up otherwise because, you know, at the end of the summer we do our presentations. That has not changed. And usually it’s the team from the office with a couple of other LT members who want to join.

Well, now I might be able to have someone from the practice area leadership team join. I would never have flown them out for a 45 minute summer associate presentation, but if all they have to do is hop on the zoom call, like sure. So things like that. I also think, and where we’re at, kidding aside, like we’ll do the work. Our clients are doing it, people will figure it out. Frankly, a lot of your audiences, they are going to engage with us virtually after just having done it for two months at school. So, you know, who’s teaching who, right? I think we’re going to be different than a lot of places because working to focus a lot more on some of the nonwork, non-training aspects of the experience. And we are thinking about how do you translate some of the culture that you talked about, and that you’ve experienced, and that frankly keeps me here in most cases, right? How do I translate that to an environment where it’s fully virtual. You know, how do I – do we just – you know, I emailed our office services guys the other day.

When I’m in the office, I ride in with my family, my younger son and my wife drops me at the train on the way to school. So I get in like a crazy early, and I’m not a morning person us. So I’m in at like 7:45. And I’m like why am I here right now at 7:45. But I see the office services team setting up the office and getting it ready for the day while I’m getting my coffee and eating my glazed donut, actually. And so I emailed one of them last week and was like hey dude, like maybe like once or twice a week, or once every two weeks, can we just set up like a morning coffee so like I can see you guys and say hi? Because that was like part of my routine. And that’s just – we don’t need an agenda, we don’t need slides, you don’t need something formal, but just making sure that we can have that connectivity. Every office at Bain right now is doing some really cool stuff to just maintain that culture and keep people connected to each other. I mentioned some of it earlier, but I think how we do that during the summer is going to be even more intentional because people aren’t going to have the in-person relationship to rely on the way I do with my office, and the office services team. And so I won’t give anything away on this call, but we’re planning for some really great stuff. I’m actually excited about how the team is thinking about it, and the breadth of things that they’re thinking about. It’s not just lifting and shifting and just converting everything to zoom. That’s going to be boring as hell.

Jenny Rae:

One of the things that you mentioned, I just want to confirm you want to go on the record to say this. You don’t have to bring slides to a meeting. Is that really true?

Keith:

So there is a fine – I always – I joke around with some people because they say things and I say well look, there is a line between reality and fiction, and that line is a slide. Once it’s on a slide it’s real. I think as a firm, and maybe that’s changed a little bit since you were here, it’s changed a little bit over the years too. It’s not all about the PowerPoint. It’s about the conversation, it’s about driving the action. PowerPoint should actually support, you know, the points that you are trying to make. It’s not about the slides. The slides are there to help, right? The slides are there to illustrate the point. And so, you know, in this environment, yeah, it’s not about “the slides.” It’s about are we having the right conversation on the right issues. Again, as a photographer I tend to be a little bit more visual, so I need to actually see things to react. If you just talk to me I’ll just – I just – I don’t process it the same way, but I know that about me.

But it’s like I said, it’s going to be an interesting time for us to use technology in ways that, and stretch us in different ways. But what I think is, and maybe it’s too soon to talk about silver linings, but I think it will teach us that we can actually do this and be okay, right? We can actually engage by – you know, and a lot of your audience knows, people will fly for one hour meetings. I’m going to Asia because we have to do this two-minute thing. And I think what we’re going to learn here is we just don’t need to do that as much as we thought. And actually, we might be able to engage in different ways that are more beneficial, and more impactful because, you know, I could put that flight time back into spending an extra half hour talking to somebody that I may not have had time for otherwise. And that, I think at the end of the day, I’m hoping that some of those lessons stick. And we don’t look at this as sort of the lost half a year, we actually look at it as a time where we were forced to do some things. I used – it’s not a great metaphor, but why not. With my team this morning I said look, you know, you can either eat right and start exercising before or after you have the bypass. But if you could do it before you have to have the bypass, you’ll probably like your life experience a lot better. And this is forcing us to do some things that I can argue we probably should’ve been doing for years. And I mean us in industry, us corporate America. And so it is a good forcing function for us to do some things that frankly the technology has been ready for and our legacy and our inertia have prevented us from doing it. Now we have no choice. I don’t remember the last time I went two months without getting on a plane.

Jenny Rae:

Can I ask a – but we can do it. It’s possible.

Keith:

I don’t know. American emailed me this morning and I was like I miss you guys.

Jenny Rae:

I got that email too.

Keith:

Yeah.

Jenny Rae:

So I want to take one quick left turn, and then we’ll come back and land it.

Keith:

Sure.

Jenny Rae:

So left turn is about data and skills, and this is kind of a combo question from Angela, Shawn, Roger, and Dan. So this question is related to like do you just need to know Excel, or do you actually, to get in the door at Bain, do you need to know R, do you need to know SQL, do you need to know Python, do you need to know Tableau?

Keith:

I feel like somebody – somebody is asking because they saw me spark the ire of the Reddit community when I pointed out that in 2020, Microsoft Outlook and Excel and Word are not resume-worthy skills. I’m like I don’t know, in second grade my sons are using Google Docs. Like why are you in business school with Word on your resume. Like what are we doing. But seriously, I’m going to assume you know to use a word processor. You did type this letter, right? It’s not like they wrote a handwritten cover letter. I think that there’s a couple of things that I would say. No. I don’t expect people coming out of business school or undergraduate business programs, or even engineering to be Python programmers, so on and so forth. I do think that there’s a baseline level of skills that people should have. Familiarity with Excel, some people will be more or less familiar with it. That’s okay. We have training for that. I think the learning curve is going to be different for people that come in with those skills versus not. You know, as a master’s in engineering from MIT, yeah, I was pretty comfortable in Excel and building models. I didn’t know how to read a balance sheet. So like let’s, you know –

Jenny Rae:

So what did you model?

Keith:

Yeah, like who is better off? Like yeah, you tell me what to put in, I’ll build the model, right? So I do think there’s – people should keep in mind that we understand that people come in with different skills and that’s okay. I think when it comes to those more advanced tools like Alteryx and Tableau, I think that you’re going to have to understand at a baseline when those tools would be helpful, right? Like I don’t, coming out of my MBA program I wouldn’t say that I was a finance expert, but I knew what questions to ask my CFO clients, right? Like I knew enough to know when that would be helpful, right? Like when – and that’s for Alteryx, for Tableau, for Python, for R, you need to understand when that is the right tool for the job, right? And you need to understand when that would be necessary. Now you might have to learn it, and that’s okay. But I think that those are some of the skills, like you asked about skills, no nerd jokes coming up in the chat.

But two weekends ago, I had a Friday where I was supposed to go on colleges with my son. And so Friday and Monday, I had basically no meetings. Between Friday afternoon after lunch and Sunday morning, I spent 20 hours learning Alteryx and Tableau with a made up exercise that I did using the downloaded Pelaton data that I had because I wanted to learn how to cut the data, and I wanted just some rough familiarity with what it could and couldn’t do. I know Access really well, I know Excel really well. I didn’t know those tools. Am I an expert at it? No, but do I have some basic familiarity so I know when somebody says should I build this in PowerPoint? I’m like no, use Tableau. We’re talking about data visualization, PowerPoint is not the right tool. That’s going to be a pain in the neck for everybody. Could I do it? Probably not. But do I know that you can? Yeah, I do. And so I think that intellectual curiosity, which is one of the things that we look for at Bain, that manifests itself for people that have been here 24 years, and people that are just starting out, right? And I think that people have to understand when those tools are helpful, and be prepared to learn them if they need to. Just like they would need to learn an industry if they got staffed in that industry, or learn some other analytic technique if that’s what the case called for. That’s just part of – it’s – as I’ll say, an occupational hazard.

Jenny Rae:

Awesome. Okay, the final question is is there any chance that in our transformation to a new world that the case interview will become less relevant going forward? I don’t know if that’s partly a hopeful question, or a serious question. But I am interested in your answer.

Keith:

Yeah, no, it’s fair. You know, the case interview, again, I would like it – put it back to when you and I were coming through recruiting, which might have been different times but still the analogy will hold. We didn’t have as much access to students, and they didn’t have as much access to us, right? And so I think students when they – by the time I get to campus in the fall, whether it’s by Zoom or in person, students will know a heck of a lot more about Bain in September/October than they did a decade ago. And that’s okay. The case interview in context is one of several data points that we are using. You know, it’s rare that we are interviewing people in cases, and we haven’t met them outside of the cases, whether it’s in a case workshop, or some on campus events, and things like that. So I think that comes from a place of assuming the case interview is the end all be all, and it hasn’t been. It’s a little secret. Again, it’s just us on here, right? I can only see you.

Yeah, it’s actually not the big deal that people make of it because of the other things that I talked about. Right? And I spoke to somebody the other day who emailed me and was like you know, what do I need to do to get to Bain. I’ve done 80 practice cases and I was like well one, stop doing practice cases because that’s way too many. Right? Because those are the people who come into the case interview, and no matter what you asked them, just like when you’re studying for a quiz and you’re trying to get all the formulas on paper before you forget them, you know, because you are cramming in the hallway, you say so this company is looking at cutting costs and, you know, they want you to look at the manufacturing efficiency in their plant, and you’re like okay, revenue minus costs equals profit. I’m like what are we talking about here? Right?

And I think that’s when people over practice. So the case interview is important, but it’s important because of a couple of things that I have no problem saying this. Again, this is on the website. We look for problem-solving ability. Can you frame it, can you execute the analysis, can you draw out the insights and drive the conversation, and then can you communicate effectively and do I think you can take coaching and feedback to be a productive member of the team. That’s what I’m looking for in the case interview, okay? And that is, I would say necessary, but not sufficient because there’s so many other things that come into play. So the case interview is important, but I think students tend to think that it is the end all be all, and that’s not the case. And I think keeping it in perspective, and understanding again why Bain is the right fit, why consulting is the right fit actually turns out the yes is important. Having gone through the college application process with my other son two years ago, case interview is no different than like applying to college.

Like yeah, there’s a lot of 4.0 students out there with great SAT scores. Like you are not special in that sense, right? And you’re not special if you can absolutely crush the cases but when I stop and say so how is your week going and you’re like, I don’t know. I didn’t prepare for that question. You’re like okay, well that’s going to be a problem because a client might ask you how your weekend was. And you have to be okay with it. So I don’t think the case interview is the end all be all. It is very important, it’s important to prepare, you know, if you got to campus in September and you were interviewing in January and you did one case a week through the fall, you’re probably going to be fine. As long as you’re doing the other things to learn about the journey that you’re on. And that’s something that I can say here, people can listen to it, you can shout it from the rooftops, and 90% of the people won’t believe us.

Jenny Rae:

Absolutely.

Keith:

I have pretty good insight into our recruiting process. I mean what I say.

Jenny Rae:

Well, on that note we just want to thank you so much for your time.

Keith:

Okay, thank you for having me. Thanks for all your help, and thanks for the questions everybody. It was great talking with you. Bye-bye.