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The Flex Factor

Elizabeth Henry Explores Different Facets of the BCG Experience

December 14, 2017

The alumni team sat down with Elizabeth Henry (operational innovation project senior manager, Atlanta) to talk about her career path at and beyond BCG, her return, and what has made the biggest impression on her the second time around.

Why did you leave BCG, and what were you doing until your return?

When I got married, I relocated to a small town where the nearest airport runs about four flights a day, and I no longer had the option to travel as much as consultants need to. I was sad to leave BCG but had the opportunity to work remotely for a market research company started by another BCG alum based out of Chicago. Through this experience, I was able to hone and develop my quantitative and qualitative research skills in a very focused, specialized way.

What motivated you to come back to BCG, and what did you miss about the firm during your time away?

Through BCG Reserve, an interesting project came up with the North America marketing team on leading in-depth interviews with senior business leaders and exploring their views on the management consulting landscape. I had the chance to interview CEOs, CIOs, CMOs—many influencers across industries—and put my market research skills to work. My background in consumer research, both at BCG and with my other employer, dovetailed nicely into the analysis we were conducting. The opportunity was a great fit, allowing me to leverage my experience while returning to BCG. I had really missed the work itself, that intense level of thoughtfulness and insight, but the number one thing has always been getting to learn from and collaborate with such engaging, thoughtful, amazing people.

How did you perceive the process of being rehired through "Talent Back at BCG"?

When I was making my decision on transitioning back, my two girls had just started preschool, and it was great to have a flexible opportunity that worked with my personal commitments and career goals. With BCG Reserve, you can give parameters on the experience you want to have, and the team matches your skill set and profile to project team requests. I received great support from the BCG Reserve program team and had a lot of one-on-one time with the career development lead, discussing what I wanted to get out of my return experience.

How do you feel your time away from the firm adds value to your BCG experience now?

I was able to develop a very specific skill set and bring that back into what I do now. In addition, understanding how an entrepreneurial company works reminded me a lot of how our teams work, in being nimble and pivoting and adjusting to client needs. It’s great to have that reinforcing experience, which also helps me to think more holistically about strategy, operations—basically everything that has to do with running a business—in my role today.

Is BCG any different from when you left?

I had been gone for five years, and it’s been phenomenal to see—and now be a part of—how BCG has been continuously transforming itself to be more digital, more agile, and even more attuned to client needs. The work has really continued to improve and grow in all directions, and many day-to-day processes have been upgraded. But through these changes, the culture has vastly stayed the same—and the people are as great as ever.

How does it feel to be back?

Fantastic! I’ve been staffed on four different projects since my return, with teams ranging from regional marketing to recruiting to global real estate to Consumer practice-area marketing. Getting to see so many facets of BCG has been amazing.

Through one project, I was introduced to a team driving digital transformation and exploring new operating models for BCG’s internal functions, and I accepted the offer to return full-time with them. I’ll have the chance to work cross-functionally with many teams and engage with the parts of BCG you don’t really get to see as a consultant. That’s the beauty of some of these alumni programs—you have the prerogative to explore many different experiences and the opportunity to build connections from one interaction to the next.

The Flex Factor