Why I Coach—Marcus Edwards

Marcus E., an expert Leland coach, Stanford MBA, and Bain Consultant, outlines why he chooses to coach and what it means to him.

Marcus E.

By Marcus E.

Posted August 22, 2022

Applying for my first job out of undergrad, I felt nothing but dread. As a bioengineering major, I began my college experience convinced I would go to medical school. After scrapping that idea three days in, I attempted all manner of research positions and engineering internships. Unfortunately, I didn’t find any of them to be fulfilling enough. Worry quickly set in.

I expressed my concerns to a friend who suggested I consider consulting, specifically at Bain & Company, where his sister had worked. That, too, worried me; I didn’t come from a business background. And as a gay black man, I questioned whether I would find a community to call my own in the client services sector. I decided to have a conversation with his sister anyway. That chance call with her inspired me to apply at Bain.

Right away, I ran into a problem. I hadn’t so much as heard the phrase “case interview,” and mine was in 6 weeks. Thankfully, with a tremendous amount of support from business students and current Bain consultants, I was able to prepare for my interview, and a few months later, received an offer.

Bain opened a whole world of opportunities for me. I was able to help grow Bain’s LGBTQ and black affinity groups, and also did my part to repay the many people who helped me get there by offering case prep to virtually anyone who asked. During my first year alone, I gave over 70 practice case interviews, offering candidates advice on how to stand out in the recruiting process. In doing so, I deepened my understanding of how applicants can raft a compelling narrative.

Bain also helped me with my MBA applications, by providing every resource imaginable — funding for the GMAT, time off for school visits, you name it. The Bain network was tremendously useful; I was able to have conversations with alumni at all my target schools. These alumni were indispensable coaches. With their help, I was able to earn offers at Stanford, Harvard, and Yale.

Over the course of my career, both professional and academic, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to have coaches and mentors to guide me along the way. Today, I coach because I want the next generation of professionals and applicants to have access to the same. As a coach, I also have the ability to empower those from diverse, intersectional backgrounds to pursue accelerated careers and advanced degrees. I want to use the knowledge and privilege I’ve acquired to provide opportunities to those behind me. That’s why I coach.

Interested in working together on your MBA application? Click here for my Leland coaching profile.

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