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  • Writer's pictureGarrett Passamonti

As they say... A New Year, A New Onboarding Process

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

Brock Mullen and the new hires playing a Kahoot to help get to know one another.

Every business sees turnover, but not like us. We see about 25% turnover y/y.


Our company prides itself in being student owned and operated. So, each year when a class graduates from University, a class of consultants go on to ‘graduate’ from Bear Studios. Our alumni do some incredible things at firms across the world, from world-renowned management consulting firms and PE/VC firms with over $2 billion in assets to global non-profits supporting education and community development. But I know what you are asking…

How is this turnover sustainable?

We ensure our clients get the best because we hire and train the best. With each year, we do not just hire a new class of consultants, but we double the size and breadth of our internal methodology, best practices, and tricks for the trade. This combination of excellent people and a swelling knowledge pool help us grow every year and ensure our clients’ success.

At the turn of 2021, nine applicants were extended offers to join Bear Studios as the year’s new class of Strategy, Design and Technology Consultants. This group of Washington University in St. Louis First-Years and Sophomores each demonstrated their ability to lead, solve problems, and generate strong insights over the course of a four-phase recruitment process. After submitting an application and resume, candidates completed an extensive and complex mock-client deliverable before participating in two unique, virtual interviews. Their demonstrated capability astonished the Firm’s recruiters and me. We are so excited to be 28 Consultants strong with the addition of this new cohort.

A New Onboarding Process

In late January, Brock Mullen, Director of Training, led the new hires through a 6-week intensive onboarding process. Mr. Mullen built, from scratch, a robust program meant to teach the skills, techniques and methodologies we have kindled for six years. Under his keen leadership and deep expertise, the hires spent two hours each week in an onboarding workshop learning the skills necessary to function at the level required of a Bear Studios Consultant. During this time, Mr. Mullen led interactive, hands-on skill workshops on problem identification, conducting market research, proper meeting conduct, effective communication strategies, financial fundamentals, client outreach/intake strategies and more.

When I joined the Bear Studios team I was really excited to get to work on my first project, though I didn't quite have all the tools I needed to succeed nor did I know the rest of my coworkers all that well. Some great mentors from the team helped me learn these tools, but I saw our onboarding process as a key function to improve. I was inspired to create a new onboarding program to insure that all our new Consultants would feel both part of the team and adequately trained to execute their responsibilities. I think the training program turned out very well!

- Brock Mullen, Director of Development

Beyond those weekly seminars, the new hires shadowed Senior Consultants on active projects, accruing invaluable client exposure from day one. But, at Bear Studios “shadowing” is not what it seems. Our hires undertook real portions of the work – designing wireframes for websites, building brand materials, creating a market-entry strategy, to name some of their deliverables.

The onboarding process for Bear Studios taught me the ins and outs of financial analysis, client outreach, and market research. I am beyond excited to put these skills to use in my work as a Bear Students consultant

- Nidhi Krishnan, New Strategy Consultant

Unlike other businesses, who fear turnover, we embrace the opportunity to develop and iterate on our expansive methodologies and best practices, to train, and to, ultimately, improve the way we do business each year at a remarkable rate.

My experience with Bear Studios’ onboarding has been collaborative, guided, and fun! Brock and the other Executive Directors’ continued support made training an unique experience that taught me consulting fundamentals such as how to conduct research, client outreach, and more. Having the opportunity to be concurrently staffed on a client project during training allowed me to bring my background and experience to the table in a way that made a lasting impact. Beyond that, my favorite part of the onboarding program was its seamless nature and the firm’s growing emphasis on social reinforcement—a refreshing and needed change during the pandemic!

- Puja Patel, New Strategy Consultant

Thank you, Jacob Oscherwitz, Nidhi Krishnan, Katherine Yu, Kashish Gupta, Kayzad Bharucha, Min Yoon, Lucas Abrams, Milo Santiago and Puja Patel for your excellent work, tireless spirit and can-do attitude. We are so happy you are part of our team.

At Bear Studios our mission is to empower problem solvers. We leverage top quality talent from Washington University in St. Louis to provide our client businesses with impactful and game-changing solutions. Since our foundation in 2014, we have worked with over 100 businesses across the country. These companies have gone to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in seed funding, partner with global industry leaders in their respective fields, and change the world. If you are a small business owner, hoping to take a break from the ‘safe’ and start your own business or looking to improve your services, send us a note and ask for your free consultation today.


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