My KIPPternship at Bain SF

KIPP is a rapidly expanding network of charter schools that serves underrepresented and unprivileged communities throughout the nation. To date, KIPP has grown to 162 schools across 20 states serving more than 58,000 students from predominantly less privileged backgrounds. KIPP’s approach to education reform has seen an astounding 82% of its alumni from low income communities head onto college.

Bain’s partnership with the KIPP public school network began in 2010. In addition to pro bono consulting support, several of our offices have established unique programs with their local KIPP schools.  Below is one such example. Claire, a recent graduate of KIPP King Collegiate High School in San Lorenzo, California, reflects on her 3 week internship, or “KIPPternship” at Bain San Francisco.

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It’s still difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I interned at Bain. Although my group was logged into the network as ACIs (Associate Consultant Interns), we were really just KIPPterns.

From day one, we were openly welcomed by every single Bainie. I was blown away, the office was nothing like what I had expected. I expected the Wall Street stereotype and a competitive atmosphere where papers flew and desks were flipped. Instead, we were greeted by a group of trainers who were excited for our stay. It was easy to tell that the team had carefully planned out everything for the next three weeks. We had everything we needed to make us feel like we were actually working there: computers, supplies, key cards, not to mention our own office… name plates included.

I had no idea that I was going to feel valued. My mentors, supervisors, and trainers truly wanted me to learn what Bain stood for. It wasn’t just about learning what consulting was like but it was also about what happened backstage and it was about working together, considering not everyone pursues consulting as a career. I was so fortunate to interact with people who were down to earth and did not sugarcoat things. Everyone cared about whether or not we were having a good time and told us not to hesitate to ask questions about anything. My group really saw the reality of what consulting was like. Yes, it can be stressful. However, the people at Bain taught beyond consulting. I gained insight into what the corporate world is like, how to be professional, how to plan for my future after college. My experience here was partially shaped by the exercises I had every day but most of my learning came from talking to everyone who worked here.

As my internship came to an end, I realized that the greatest takeaway from the experience was the connections I had made. This included the team and also people who reached out to connect with me through different channels of shared interest. There’s only so much the team could have done to engage us in exercises and presentations. My positive experience comes first from having an open mind but mostly the willingness of others to teach and to share their own experience.

I am truly thankful for the three weeks that I had at Bain. I understand that I’m one of the lucky few who got to have an experience like I did. Many of my classmates were stuck in jobs that they hated, some were even interning at companies that were well known but their experience there can’t compare to the one my group and I had. I think my experience was irreplaceable. I hope others get the chance to experience what I did so that they too can use it to guide their futures.

I know that I am definitely considering Bain in my future after the experience I had here. Thank you, Bain San Francisco.

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