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I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time (More than a year)
The analyst culture at Cornerstone is incredible. You work with brilliant, motivated peers in an extremely non-competitive environment. There are so many social events and everyone has a great time together. From my understanding, it's much more pleasant than working at a bank but offers you the same (and probably higher) quality of peers (with regard to intelligence, motivation, etc.). The work itself builds excellent skills. Quantitative and technical skills really grow at Cornerstone but you also gain a ton of organizational and presentation skills. Cornerstone analysts come out really well rounded and have great opportunities in Finance, Tech, Consulting and also have great stats for graduate school admissions. 2-3 years at Cornerstone usually translates into top 5 business school admissions, which not many places can say. You also have exposure to non-billable projects that are very good for diversity of workload and offer opportunities for leadership.
The clients are top law firms whose employees work 100 hour weeks and need things fast. Weekend work is not uncommon and late nights are frequent. Working here you'll have months where you're working every weekend and staying til 10/11/12 every night. That said, you'll also have a fair amount of weeks where you come in at 10 and leave at 6. The hours aren't nearly as bad as banking or management consulting but they can be at times, and you're not really compensated for it fairly. I think that overall the excellent skill building and incredible culture made this all worth it, but it's not sustainable really, and analysts really should be paid salaries more in the range of what other very demanding jobs pay.
Advice to Management
Pay more -- the quality of talent you hire has a lot of outside options and it is tough to retain with the current compensation structure and hours.