Bain's training ended with a blast yesterday. How much did I learn from 2 days of training... a lot, perhaps, but I don't think what I learned will stick around. One thing I did learn that will last: Bainies are a great bunch to be around. It's sort of like the start of business school, when I meet amazing people after amazing people... only this time they are all nice. Bain seemed to have filtered out all the nice people. How do you even do that!?
Anyway, it's 4 in the morning right now, and with a bit of nervousness and excitement, I'm off to Hong Kong. It'll be about 20 hours of travel and I will arrive in HK at about Sunday 10pm, 10 hours before I have to be at the office. Yes, Bain is already testing whether I can withstand cross-pacific travel.
With my name tag saying Eric Lam, Hong Kong, U of Chicago, fellow Bainies are invariably interested on whether I intend to stay in Hong Kong. Not so fast, I say, let's see how that fulltime offer comes along. All kidding aside, I did start to wonder what I am trying to accomplish this summer. The answer I finally got was surprisingly profound. True, Bain seems like a great opportunity and I will evaluate it as much as it evaluates me... but even more true is this: I'm trying to figure out WHERE IS HOME.
Let me just repeat that for emphasis: where is home. I had said that without much thinking at a bar event. And it has struck me and stuck with me. While most people are trying to find out whether they are made for consulting, I'm trying to evaluate my life. Where is home for you? I bet most people have one or two solid answers. Me? Not quite. Hong Kong? Haven't lived there for 11 years. Boston? Fun for undergraduate, fun for working... but the complacency I feel there always kills me. Chicago? No yellow food. West Coast? Sounds good, but I've never lived there. America? China? I mean, I just realized at a bar that the summer is a HUGE process for me. Who does this kind of thing at a bar? Well, me.
And with that, I'm off to Hong Kong for my Bain summer internship, trying to find out if consulting is right, if Bain is right, if family is right, and... if Hong Kong is right for my life.