By Claire Davenport
This year, five AUCians and graduates were hired for internships and full-time positions at Bain & Company, one of the “Big Three” consulting firms worldwide and a top employer of AUC graduates since 2006. The company currently boasts around 30 AUC alumni in its workforce and roughly 50 AUCians in its alumni network.
“The performance of AUC alumni at Bain is a testament to their preparation and potential,” said Yasmin Abougazia, manager at Bain & Company. “This track record of success is why we continue to come back to AUC year after year to recruit the next generation of talented graduates, pursuing our commitment to build a local pipeline of talent that is strongly connected to our region and market.”
Graduating senior Karim Ghaly is joining Bain’s Dubai office as an associate consultant. What he’s looking forward to the most is the diverse group of people who make up the team. “I lived in Qatar for 15 years, and I know that this region brings with it diversity in the workforce, so that’s something I’m really excited for,” he shared. “I’m also eager to handle a variety of projects across different industries. I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do, so the chance to explore these industries at a very high level with the flexibility of moving in between them is very intriguing.”
AUC’s Career Center often plays a major role in the student journey to the consulting world. “In my first year, I was confused about which major I should choose, so I went to the Career Center,” Ghaly shared. “Toward the end of the meeting, the career counselor said, ‘By the way, you’d be a perfect fit for a consulting job.’ I had no idea what consulting was back as a freshman, so I was completely confused again.”
Bain was Ghaly’s first proper introduction to the sector. He initially attended a preliminary session and later a networking hour, where he was drawn to the consultants and their stories.
A Day in the Life
AUC hosts a range of events with Bain, including information sessions, networking hours, a Women@Bain event — where young female students learn leadership techniques they can apply to their future careers — and Be a Bainie for the Day case competition.
During the competition, students are presented with a case and then meet with Bain employees who pretend to work at a made-up client company. After understanding the problem, the students must propose a solution.
One student who took part in this competition, Ahmed Abdelkhalek, said, “It helped me understand a day in the life of a consultant at Bain and what they face during their working hours. It actually made me interested in consulting because I had certain expectations and wanted to learn how consultants crack a case and ask the right questions to get the proper answers.”
Opportunities like Be a Bainie for the Day are a chance for students to experiment with consulting and see if it’s the right career fit, along with getting insights from actual employees into what the work and team dynamics at Bain are like. “These events connect us with students and potential hires, enabling us to better understand their career aspirations and support them in their interview preparation process,” Abougazia said.
The Special AUC Touch
At the end of the day, AUC isn’t just working to connect students to opportunities at Bain. It is also fostering a supportive environment that will ready them for a career in consulting.
Abdelkhalek said: “Consulting is the field I want to work in. AUC provides us with all the help we need to be prepared to join the sector, including access to data and assistance in writing our resumes and cover letters.”
Likewise, having a direct line to AUC students has helped Bain in recruiting and retaining the region’s top talent. “AUC students possess a combination of acumen, motivation and a strong work ethic — all essential for success at Bain,” Abougazia said. “Furthermore, the University’s well-rounded education, which emphasizes critical thinking, problem solving and communication, prepares students for a successful career in consulting.”
Abdelkhalek is grateful for his AUC experience and where it has led him. “Because of the University’s liberal arts approach, I’ve learned a lot beyond my major, making me a versatile person who can think and solve problems,” he explained. This is exactly what a consultant is — someone who can be handed a problem, regardless of the industry, and think critically about it.”