LFS Alumni Success: Navigating McGill, LSE, and a Career at BCG

LFS Alumni Success: Navigating McGill, LSE, and a Career at BCG

Dorian Rachel, an accomplished alumni of the Shanghai French School, has carved out an impressive career in consulting. With a strong academic foundation from McGill University and the London School of Economics (LSE), Dorian’s journey reflects a blend of rigorous education and strategic career moves. Currently a consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Dorian shares insights from his educational path and professional experiences.

Hi Dorian, could you start by introducing yourself and what you do today?

Of course. I am 29 years old and currently work in consulting. I’ve been in this field for five years, with two and a half years in London and two and a half years in Hong Kong, where I started my career with BCG.

Before that, I completed my master’s degree at the London School of Economics (LSE). This program included a year in London, six months in Chicago, and another six months back in London. Prior to that, I did my undergraduate degree at McGill University, Canada.

Coming from a French Chinese family, I spent the first few years of my life in France. We moved to Shanghai for my mother’s work. This is when I started to attend the Shanghai French School (LFS) from the age of six.


Can you tell us about your language learning journey and which languages you use daily now?

Besides Chinese and French, I picked up English pretty quickly through language classes back in primary school at LFS. When it came to Chinese, I opted for all the available options for the baccalaureate because, even though I was already in the highest-level group, I felt a bit lacking in literature and culture. That decision led me to even take math classes in Chinese, which was fascinating as it offered a whole new perspective on mathematics. So, at that point, I was juggling three languages, and later, I added German to the mix.

Today I use French for everyday life, English for work-related matters, and Mandarin for humor and casual conversations. My wife is also French and Chinese, which adds another layer to our multilingual household.

How did your studies at McGill and LSE shape your career path?

McGill was pivotal. I had a solid understanding of Europe and Asia, so I wanted to explore something new and North America seemed relevant. LFS’ guidance counsellor, Ms. Santolini, played a significant role in guiding me towards McGill. This blend of English and French education perfectly matched my background and opened numerous opportunities, plus, it’s one of the top schools in Canada. My bachelor there was in Economy and East Asian Studies.

Moving from McGill to LSE was a significant transition. McGill’s environment was North American with a relatively generalist diploma, while LSE offered a more European perspective into business. So I chose LSE because of its business-oriented programs and its prestigious standing in the field of economics and social sciences. It was a very intensive program.

Reflecting on your time at the Shanghai French School, what are the key takeaways from that experience?

Friendships definitely stand out as the most memorable part. Even at my wedding last year, half of the friends in attendance were from LFS. Forging such lifelong bonds is incredible.

And then, there’s the educational aspect. If I were to have kids today, I’d enroll them in the French system because it’s so comprehensive. The emphasis on critical thinking is a major asset, alongside the broad cultural exposure. At LFS, I delved into the History of China, Europe, and the United States. I was lucky to have such a broad range of knowledge. That really helped me seamlessly transition into McGill and later on to London.

What I also found amazing at LFS was the caliber of our teachers. We had such diverse profiles, especially for languages. All our language teachers were native speakers from different corners of the world. Learning with such diversity was incredibly enriching.

The music scene at LFS also left a lasting impression on me. I was part of a rock band and the choir, and I had fantastic rapport with the music teachers, who helped me grow musically in piano, guitar, and singing.


How did LFS prepare you for university admission?

First, I was connected with an alumni who had attended McGill, and his insights were incredibly helpful. But honestly, without my guidance counselor, I don’t think McGill would have even been on my radar because I wasn’t familiar with it. Additionally, understanding all the steps of the admission process with their deadlines wasn’t straightforward. These are super tough decisions for teenagers, so having assistance with that is essential.

Can you tell us more about BCG and your current role?

I’m a consultant at BCG. We provide strategy consulting, helping the world’s largest companies develop their strategies. It’s intellectually stimulating work, but also known for being quite intense. There are weeks where I finish late into the night, but right now, I’m working on clients and incredibly interesting issues. I genuinely love my job and see myself continuing in it for the foreseeable future.

Huge thanks to Dorian for sharing his journey with us!


Dorian Rachel’s path from LFS to BCG through McGill and LSE exemplifies the strength of a robust educational background paired with strategic career decisions. His story underscores the significance of diversity in the educational setting and the high-quality education offered by LFS in cultivating critical thinkers and globally savvy individuals proficient in multiple languages.