Pros: Welcome to Bain. I'm going to give you a problem that neither the CEO nor his entire management team could solve. And I'm probably going to give you lots of different opinions and imperfect data sources. And then I'll ask you to focus in on where the most value is and convince all those people with different opinions that you're right. But don't worry, I'm also going to give you a Bain team. Those associates and consultants are going to be tenacious in coming up with creative approaches. Those managers and partners are going to knock down barriers for you, connect you where you need to be connected, guide, support, direct and re-direct you. The office support staff is going to fix your computer after you spilled coffee on it for the third time, find you the unfindable data source, and smile and hand you a baked good after you ask for help re-doing dozens of slides. You are empowered and accountable but you are not alone. And the best part is you can't fail. Because after all, what all those people are reinforcing is that a Bainie never lets another Bainie fail.
Cons: Here's how you know you've made it at Bain. The reward for doing a good job is getting a bigger, tougher problem next time. Meaning, you are always solving the easiest problem you will ever solve again. This takes a lot of resilience and active managing of self-expectations to remember that you are not actually getting worse, the problems are just getting harder. So my advice is to remember that. And then take a second to realize that it would be a lot less fun if the reverse were true. And isn't that precisely why you wanted this job in the first place anyway? It sure was for me.