- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I have been working at CAST Management Consultants full-time (more than 5 years)Pros
I’ve been with CAST for over 5 years and am delighted that CAST is entering a growth cycle on the back of new service offerings and an energized partnership. The team here has been resilient throughout the aftershocks of the Global Financial Meltdown, and is looking to begin expanding again to support a growing project pipeline. The workforce is growing primarily from the ranks of the Associate Consultant development program, where I started out. The program is a real strength for CAST, with a focus on rapid development and no “ceiling” for entry level employees – people have advanced from Associate all the way up through Partner in CAST’s 28 year history.
New Associates start together as one class and go through CAST’s “boot camp” to learn the hard skills and soft skills of consulting directly from experienced staff. In terms of professional development beyond “boot camp”, the firm has a high ratio of partners to staff, creating an environment that exposes new hires immediately to the partners’ knowledge and experience at a rate that is hard to match for consulting firms of this size.Cons
The firm is small enough (35 consulting staff) that the project pipeline dictates what projects you will be staffed on, sometimes without much room for personal preferences. Not typically an issue as the firm will sell a wide variety of work, but occasionally projects of specific types will pile up and the whole firm will be dedicated to one particular service offering – an issue if your preferences are elsewhere.
Projects tend to be spread out across the country, so it can be hard at times to stay in close contact with the firm beyond your immediate project team as you travel week-to-week.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Continue to invest in new service offerings that are exciting to staff and make CAST a dynamic place to work.RecommendsPositive OutlookApproves of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Application Details
I applied through college or university. The process took 6 weeks – interviewed at CAST Management Consultants in November 2014.Interview Details
I first learned about the firm when they came to an on campus recruiting night and I applied through my university career website. Started with a resume screen and about a week later I had an on-campus interview. First interview was pretty basic, 45 minutes with a manger. About 10 minutes talking about why I was interested in consulting and why my background (in organizational psychology) would be useful at a consulting firm. It was mostly conversational, just sharing info about my time in school and the path that led me to apply for consulting. The next 30 minutes were taken up with a case. The interviewer walked me through different components of the case, starting general and asking how I would go about gathering information to make recommendations, and getting more specific as more information was introduced, and eventually asking me to do some calculations based on market-share forecasts. The case was tricky for me because I don't have too much business acumen/experience doing case interviews, but I think they're more interested in the thought processes that go into formulating a response, rather than explicit accuracy or getting the correct answer. I was able to explain clearly what I would do and the case was conversational throughout.
I didn't hear anything for 3 weeks so I assumed they passed me over, but then I got a call that I was being invited to a final round interview in a couple weeks. I was also invited to a social hour to get a chance to know the other recruits and some other employees. The social hour was great and it was really nice getting a chance to talk to everyone more informally.
Finally was the "Super Day" final round interview. It consisted of 5 interview parts: a writing sample, group case, quantitative case, situational interview, and behavioral interview/resume walk-through. There was also a presentation by the partners to talk about why CAST is great, and they took us all out to lunch. Overall I felt that I did well, but I couldn't exactly tell what specific competencies or traits they were looking for. Despite it being a long and tiring day, it was generally enjoyable and a good experience getting to chat with other employees more and get to know the other recruits. Everyone at CAST really seems to enjoy working there, and it sounded like great environment in which to start a career. Unfortunately, a week after the final round I was notified that they were not going to give me an offer. I think perhaps I just didn't manage to stand out enough against other, more outgoing, recruits. They look for specific individuals that are "thick skinned" and assertive, and they really hope that everyone they hire with stay with CAST for the foreseeable future. They recruit a wide variety of degrees/backgrounds so the employees aren't all just business/finance/accounting backgrounds, but come from other areas of study like English, engineering, neuroscience, and psychology. They're focused on discovering how you think and how you will perform in consulting, as a team and in front of clients, and they know they can teach more specific consulting skills on the job.Interview Questions
No OfferPositive ExperienceAverage Interview
- What would you do if you and a partner were presenting recommendations/results to a client, and you realize the partner has made an error in the calculations? Answer Question
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –
CAST Management Consultants provides management consulting services to retail and commercial banks and insurance companies, as well as other financial services firms. The company helps clients develop sales, marketing, and overall corporate strategies; analyze competitors; structure organizations effectively; and make better use of information technology. Customers have included financial heavyweights such as Bank of America, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and Wachovia. CAST (short for Center for Applied Strategy) was founded in 1986.