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Sanya Ohri, Bain and Company

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A few lines about yourself

I graduated from Department of Textile Technology in 2015. Through my 4 years, I participated actively in various activities; I was the Chief-Editor at the Board for Student Publications during my 3rd year and one of the Core Team Members for Rendezvous. Post graduating, I joined Bain and Company as an Associate Consultant in the Mumbai office in August 2015. 

Was a job in the consulting sector always your dream or did you have your own fair share of uncertainties before deciding upon consulting as your aim?

I never really thought about a “dream job” until my 3rd year, when I saw my immediate seniors getting placed; that’s when I realised that as a next step, I would want to join a consulting firm. Consulting seemed like a great option, especially since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study further and didn’t want a core job. The skill set offered by the job is great – where one is driving the answer to a problem being faced by the CEO of a top company – who wouldn’t want to be in that position! I had interned in a financial firm and the Ministry for Human Resource Development – and while both of them were great learning experiences; I realised that consulting would be great place to start. 

What kind of preparation goes into training oneself for the interviews, especially for a consulting firm?

All consulting firms typically follow the same interview process. Post the shortlisting (which is basis the CV), the final selection is done basis interviews, which can be roughly divided into 3 segments. The first segment is an HR round – an informal conversation with your interviewer; where you are introducing and “selling” yourself. This is followed by a numerical test – a more formal round which involved a “guesstimate” – where you are expected to calculate a market size for any industry (eg: what is the daily revenue earned by the Nesci in your college?) The third round is the case interview; which is pretty much a more concise version of what we actually do in consulting – you are given a “problem”, which is usually a strategic question being faced by a company and you are expected to identify the root cause of the problem and provide solutions. These are of two type – either related to a company entering a new market (geographically or product wise) which requires a strategic “how to go about it” answer or a Profit-Loss issue being faced by a company (where you have to identify the problem) wherein you are required to simulate a real-life problem in real time environment and come up with a logical solution.  Usually an interview would have 3-4 rounds and the type of questions asked depends on the interviewer.

And how intense can this preparation be? How does one remain unaffected by all the distractions while prepping for the ‘job sem’?

It wouldn’t be fair to call this preparation easy! There is a ton of information and cases to practise, so it can get mentally exhausting. However, since cases are usually interactive in nature, you end up preparing with your friends and that makes the process much easier. Weekends in November were usually spent in SDA, meeting the allotted buddies from the different companies who would make your practice cases, which I personally found the most helpful part of my preparation.

As for the distractions; it is extremely tough to get distracted because everyone around you is also focusing on their own preparation! I was able to start mine with full focus only post Rendezvous, it was very split before that. Besides that, you have a BTP and majors to handle in November as well. It does become tough to balance so many things – all I can say is don’t ask me about my SGPA that semester!

So, what kind of work have you undertaken in Bain up and until now? Any interesting projects that have come your way?

I am already on my 5th case at Bain, I was lucky to get short but intense projects. So far, I have worked on cases for conglomerates in the Industrial Goods & Services sector and the IT Sector.  These were primarily strategy cases to identify the full potential for these companies and what is the roadmap to achieving this. At Bain, we also do a lot of commercial due diligences with Private Equity firms, where we work them to assess a potential investment they wish to make. These are usually done on shorter timelines and can be intense.  

That is surely an interesting aspect of your job. So, going back to your college life, what do you miss the most about it?

What I miss most about my college life is definitely the hostel life; besides the freedom associated with it, it was the comfort of having my friends in the room next door! Also, the vibrancy of campus life – there is always something exciting happening – either a lecture, a performance or an event. There was so much to do that I think I did not, I wish I could go back and do it now. Although I can easily say that I definitely don’t miss the mess food and having to do my own laundry!

One final question: Any word of advice or some final ‘fundae’ to your juniors?

It was always disappointing whenever my juniors would ask such questions as “Consulting/Finance/Core ki job ke liye kya karna chahiye? Kaisi CV banana chahiye?” Instead of concentrating on the resume, one should focus on figuring out what one likes to do – and then drive ahead with that! IIT offers so many avenues to follow (or to start your own!) – there is no reason to be running behind CV points over doing what you love! At the end of it, everyone will get a great job but if you miss out on the opportunity of doing what you love when you have the freedom to choose it, that wouldn’t be a regret you would want to have.