Pro Bono Partners

Bain & Company

Taking my consulting experience to the next level

As a Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company, I had the opportunity to complete an externship with a not-for-profit for four months. Bain has a long-standing relationship with Civic Consulting Alliance, and I knew from conversations with prior externs that Civic Consulting leverages the skills built at Bain to drive civic outcomes to a new level. Needless to say, I was excited to join their team.

During my externship, I had the privilege of working with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). MPEA manages McCormick Place and several other important tourism and convention assets, which makes it a critical economic engine for Chicago. Each year, McCormick Place attracts more than 2.5 million visitors and hosts more than 160 events, creating more than $1.7B in economic impact for the city. To strengthen MPEA's continued economic impact, our team worked with MPEA to create a set of strategic priorities that would guide the organization for the next three years. These priorities incorporated the input of the MPEA senior leadership team, board of directors, the local community, and government officials.

As part of a small team, I wore multiple "hats"—from analyst to project manager to supervisor of the team's intern. As a result, I was primarily responsible for both ideation and creation of content to drive meetings and decisions with the leadership team. Now that I've returned to Bain, my Civic Consulting experience is helping me see my clients' needs more holistically by connecting individual workstreams to the broader project strategy.

For more information on fellowships at Civic Consulting Alliance and how you or your firm can participate, click here or contact Haley Sonenthal.

I am so incredibly impressed with Civic Consulting's ability to create extraordinary outcomes by combining its lean staff with external resources (like externs!) into a best-in-class public-private collaboration. It's clear why the organization has set a new standard for city level civic engagement to create impact.

Michael Sykes


Senior Associate Consultant


Bain & Company