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My Experience with Bain

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 18, 2012 9:07 AM |

Bain Capital.

I can not recall in my lifetime as much attention being paid to a private company during a Presidential campaign as that paid to Bain Capital this year.

While I could write more on the scandalous activity surrounding Libor or money laundering activity emanating from HSBC, I digress today to address my experience with Bain. Interestingly enough, my experience did not occur during my days on Wall Street. Bain Capital did not have any business within the market segments that I worked while on Wall Street.

Long before summer internships came into vogue, I was fortunate to gain a referral and in turn a position as a personal assistant to a senior partner at Bain and Company, the entity from which Bain Capital spun out. The experience I had prior to my senior year at Holy Cross in summer 1982 had a profound and long lasting impact on my professional career. How so? 

In the midst of my work for this executive and extensive conversations with this executive I learned so many lessons. I remain indebted to him.

What did he impress upon me as he critiqued my resume and offered me insights on interviewing and business?

1. Accentuate competitiveness.
2. Pursue excellence.
3. Prepare exceptionally hard for the GMATs (business boards) and score as high as possible.
4. Learn about risk and embrace it prudently.
5. The pursuit of profit is exceptionally important but should never overrule the value of principle. Always play by the rules.
6. Character and reputation are everything in business.
7. Comport yourself with class and professionalism at all times.
8. Success has no ceiling.

I have never ventured to Bain and Company’s website until this morning. In quickly scanning their site, I see an emphasis on People, Passion, Results, and Innovation. Thirty years hence I would venture that the business lessons and values taught to me continue to be embraced by this company.

I think fondly to that summer. Throughout my career on Wall Street, I tried to practice much of the entrepreneurial spirit and competitive drive that was impressed upon me by that Bain executive. In an attempt to share his invaluable lessons, I incorporated much of his wisdom into my Career Planning link here at Sense on Cents.  I hope others, especially students, may benefit.

Might America benefit from the lessons this Bain executive taught me? I will let people draw their own conclusions.

Larry Doyle 

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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