In addition to getting the inside track on a job at what is arguably America’s best employer, Bain’s 150 summer associates get sent to a Cape Cod mansion resort for three days of training, team-building, and luxurious recreation.
Even better? The consulting firm’s newbies, usually between their first and second years of business school, are also allowed to bring their significant others with them if they choose.
Here’s the private beach at the Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club, the 429-acre paradise where the retreat is held:
From reading descriptions of the retreat posted by summer associates on Bain’s website, we get the impression of an event that is both intensely competitive and lots of fun.
After being welcomed to a room just “100 steps” from the beach, a University of Texas MBA student named Caroline writes that she and her suitemate, a student at Harvard Business School, were given time to explore the premises before joining the rest of the associates for a kickoff dinner.
It was there that she learned what elite company she was in: of the 9,000 people who applied to the internship program from around the world, fewer than 200 made the cut.
The following two days are mixture of free time, group training, and fun team-building activities.
During training, the summer associates are split into teams of five or six, and led through exercises on how to be effective and give strong presentations.
This includes being schooled on Bain’s famous Answer First method, through which consultants are taught to develop an early hypothesis for a client and then refine it throughout their work on a project.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the retreat is the Bain Olympics, in which associates are grouped into teams of 13 for an ongoing competition in athletic events ranging from limbo to races to water balloon fights.
Of course, with such high-achieving people, things can sometimes get pretty heated. Matthieu Remy, a summer associate in 2011, writes how one associate bled profusely after taking an elbow to the head during a volleyball collision.
“The injured party headed to the local hospital where he got three stitches and inherited a massive headache,” Remy writes.
The interns also enjoy a lobster and clam dinner, a casino night, and the opportunity to bike, swim, and surf on the resort grounds.
Remy concludes his blogpost by saying that while he didn’t come away from the retreat with much new business knowledge, it was an eye-opening experience as to the quality of his fellow associates.
“I wish I could say that I learned a great deal about strategic frameworks and other consulting tools but the truth is that we only skim the surface of what is awaiting us this summer,” he writes. “What I really learned is that Bainies are fundamentally nice people … with whom it is very enjoyable to hang around.”
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