RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I worked at Avascent (More than 3 years)
I worked at Avascent for almost four years before leaving this spring for a strategy position at a DC-based media/information services company. In almost every respect, I found it to be an ideal first job for an analytical and self-initiating college graduate, and it prepared me incredibly well for my next step in terms of both skills and experiences. --Skill Development: Avascent is truly unique in its opportunity set – after a year, I had developed financial modeling skills that surpassed friends at M/B/B; after two years, I was briefing director-level clients; and after three years, I was managing the execution of complex engagements that directly informed strategies for Fortune 500 clients. Rather than throwing its employees into these experiences unprepared, Avascent offers a balanced combination of training and opportunity that enables junior staff to feel confident taking on ever-expanding levels of responsibility. --Management Experience: Unlike two-and-out peers, Avascent offers the opportunity for its analysts to grow into engagement manager roles. This experience is truly unparalleled – at age 25, you may find yourself directly responsible to a director at a Fortune 500 company with limited top-cover. In order to transition its Consultants (junior engagement managers), Avascent offers a comprehensive course focused on developing managerial skills, which is tailored to personal strengths and weaknesses. Likely because of this early-manager experience and training, I have seen several close friends develop into excellent managers as well as true thought leaders and experts in their fields (cyber, healthcare) while at Avascent. I’ve also seen peers transition into top business schools (HBS, Wharton, Kellogg) as well as strategy roles at innovative companies (Google, Uber, Palantir). --Work/Life Balance: For a leading consulting firm, the work/life balance at Avascent is excellent. During surge weeks, you may end up working late nights or early mornings; however, even at the Analyst level, Avascent employees are expected to be goal-driven, strategic, efficient and self-regulating. Provided that your work is done well and on time, there is no mandated or expected after-hours time in the office. I found that while juggling a normal (2-project) load, I was frequently able to meet deadlines early by focusing on efficiency and front-loading conversations about anticipated roadblocks or strategic decision points with my supervisors. I also found that, generally, my supervisors and peers were highly accommodating of personal time and obligations, including regular workouts, dinners with my partner or friends, family emergencies, 3-day weekends, and vacations. --Culture: Culture is truly a differentiator of the Avascent experience. Because of Avascent’s collaborative atmosphere, I developed personal relationships with a wide array of colleagues, many of whom remain close friends. I was truly touched by the level of effort senior management made toward developing my skills and building mentor relationships with me. Many of the managing directors are among the most empathetic and talented leaders I’ve ever met, and the influence of these personalities is evident throughout the company. --Gender: One critique frequently levied at Avascent is its lack of gender diversity at the top. However, as a woman, I never got the impression that my gender was in any way holding me back at Avascent. I had two highly influential female mentors who provided strong role models for my career development, both as an analyst and as a manager. And due to management’s eagerness to promote gender diversity, I felt confident in my future potential at the company, and never doubted that men and women alike were committed to my success, particularly after I entered a manager role.
--Review Process: My only significant critique of my time at Avascent was that I felt at times the review process could be a bit political and feel slightly "fratty" -- certain outspoken managers would advocate heavily for average-performing employees, while stronger performers were occasionally overlooked due to the happenstance of having worked with quieter voices. However, the company has recognized this issue and when I left, leadership had made significant strides toward "quantifying" the review process to make it more objective.
Advice to Management
--Recruiting: One of Avascent’s great enablers to date has been its ability to recruit “the 1%” of college graduates. I’d encourage management to continue to focus on quality control in the recruiting process—as the company has expanded, I’ve noticed that standards for candidates may have tilted away from raw talent/trainability and toward “interest in the defense industry” or “potential for longevity at Avascent.” To maintain its differentiated human capital position, the company should dedicate focus toward continuing to attract individuals with intelligence, ambition and horsepower, not on ensuring that they’ll stay forever. --Developing Junior Leadership: At times, junior leaders (e.g., Senior Associates / Principals) do not seem to be appropriately coached for shortfalls in downward management, which can, in select instances, create a negative atmosphere among project teams. I’d encourage the promotion of a “culture above all else” mentality. Specifically, Senior Associates who have strong numbers but negative upward reviews should be mandated to develop these skills prior to consideration of the Principal role.
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Accepted OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
I applied through my school's career website and was given an on-campus resume and case interview, then a second-round in person at Avascent's DC office. Second-round interviews included meetings with a potential peer and manager, lunch with two junior staff members, an overview of compensation and benefits with HR, and finally a meeting with the company's President, Steve Irwin.
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