Internship Spotlight: Celeste Mesa, Bain & Company

Woman with brown hair smiling standing in front of the union station.

Celeste Mesa BSBA ‘24 (Finance) was an Associate Consultant Intern (ACI) at Bain & Company in Denver, Colorado.

What was the process for getting this internship, job, or summer experience?

Securing my position at Bain was a full journey that involved various stages. Initially, I applied for Building Entrepreneurial Leaders (BEL), a program offered by Bain for diverse sophomore students. The process involved two interview rounds, with the second round affording me the chance to travel on a week-long program to my preferred office. This immersive experience allowed me to learn more about Bain as a company, join a live project, and immerse myself in the office's culture. 

After this experience, I was given the invitation to join as an Associate Consultant Intern the following summer. That is where I found myself now and after my 10-week internship in Denver, Colorado, I was extended a full-time offer to return as an Associate Consultant in the Bain Denver office. Being among the first undergraduate students to break into Bain is an incredible opportunity. I hope that my journey serves as an inspiration to others, motivating them to explore consulting!

What was your favorite part of the experience?

The best part of my experience was all the amazing people I got to connect with during the summer – my project team, fellow interns, and everyone at the Bain Denver office.

Every day when I went to work, my team brought so much positive energy to the tasks we were tackling. Right from the beginning, their happiness and support made me feel like I could be myself and that I belonged. 

My fellow interns were a fantastic group with lively personalities, and together, we went on all sorts of adventures, from climbing waterfalls to getting ice cream.

Overall, Bain Denver is a relatively new office, and it's filled with individuals from different offices who transferred there. What really stood out was how welcoming and helpful everyone was. If I had a simple question about how to do something or asked for a food recommendation, there were always people jumping in to help. Experiencing the office's passion has made me really excited about going back and being part of the great work environment they're creating.

What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar experience, or advice for future students to be successful?

For students interested in a path in strategy consulting, my advice is to start building connections early! A big part of my success is owed to the incredible people who guided me throughout this journey. Take advantage of valuable resources like career coaches, consulting programs, classes available through Eller, and definitely the Arizona Consulting Club. These support systems played a major role in my future career. Navigating the strategy consulting recruitment journey is a challenge but with self-determination and the right support, it is absolutely an attainable goal!

How did Eller prepare you for this experience?

Eller set me up well for this experience, mainly because of the skills I gained in Excel and Tableau. As a Finance major, I took a course called FIN360L, which taught me basic Excel modeling. It turned out to be very helpful during my internship and I knew shortcuts that saved me time while building models. The funny thing is, I didn't think I'd use Tableau that much over the summer, but it ended up being a big part of what I did. Luckily, I had a basic understanding of the software through BNAD 277, so I could start with the basics and improve as I went along. Working with these tools made a big difference – I could tackle more complex tasks and make an impactful contribution to my team's efforts.