A.T. Kearney

  www.atkearney.com
  www.atkearney.com

A.T. Kearney Reviews

Updated December 16, 2014
Updated December 16, 2014
259 Reviews
3.8
259 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
A.T. Kearney Managing Partner and Chairman Johan Aurik
Johan Aurik
86 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Interesting programs for improving work-life balance after manager levels (in 17 reviews)

  • Lots of learning experience and great people to work with (in 17 reviews)


Cons
  • Intensive hours; work-life balance can be a challenge but is addressable if one is willing to (in 38 reviews)

  • Long hours, but that is standard across management consulting (in 36 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Work hard, build lasting relationships, and access amazing opportunities while doing impactful work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A.T. Kearney is growing quickly. Consultants have numerous opportunities to grow and take leadership roles on projects and within practices and internal firm building functions. Individuals and teams typically work very hard, but hard work is recognized with a merit-based bonus structure, profit sharing, trips, extra time off, etc.

    Cons

    Partners run the gamut in terms of management styles and some try to make up for their deficiencies by pushing their teams beyond what might be considered reasonable. Most teams/projects have checks and balances in place, but there are some senior leaders who seem to be immune to these and will run their teams hard.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus more on developing partners and principals people management skills. Don't be afraid to let partners/principals/managers go who continually go against work-life balance initiatives and who create work environments that result in A.T. Kearney losing some of it's best young talent.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    High growth firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Detroit, MI
    Current Employee - Associate in Detroit, MI

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Challenging and diverse work, collaborative people

    Cons

    Significant growth means a significant workload while hiring is ramped up accordingly

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to ramp up hiring of high quality candidates to maintain a sustainable work-life balance during above industry growth

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3.  

    Great culture, excellent growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Principal in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart people, collaborative culture, high impact

    Cons

    Not a 9-to-5 job, demands high degree of commitment

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5.  

    Down to earth, but culture is suffering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney

    Pros

    Great opportunities to learn consulting skills (especially if interested in operations and procurement), and explore a variety of industries. People are genuinely down-to-earth and collaborative (if you find the right network). A lot of responsibilities and opportunities are given to junior consultants to craft their own paths, and the firm still feels small enough that one has unfettered access to the partners leading practices, board members etc. Great strides made on diversity front.

    Cons

    Horrible work life balance. The firm has been focusing on growth at any cost - projects are being sold at a furious pace, utilization of consultants below partner level is extremely high compared to industry and demands placed on consultants are destroying the culture A.T. Kearney was known for. Weekend work, work over vacation, 18 hour days seem to no longer be an exception, which results in a lot of manager/associate talent leaving, in the same time that the firm is furiously hiring partners/principals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I guess one way to ensure ATK is not acquired by the big 4 is to make the firm undesirable to work for, but that's not the point really, is it?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Growth at all cost is destroying culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Global footprint, smart people, strong in operations

    Cons

    Deteriorating culture, horrible work-life balance, heavy focus on operations work, serious envy of larger strategy firms, weak brand

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A.T. Kearney fell off the Consulting Magazine list of best firms to work for in 2014 and dropped significantly in the Vault 50 consulting ratings. Not a surprise. It isn't the same firm it was just a few years ago. The fear of becoming chum in the water for the Big Four accounting firms pushed the firm into a relentless growth effort that is neutering what once was a unique culture. Hyper growth mode is bringing in outside senior talent that doesn't understand the culture. Veteran consultants are focused on selling any work to meet growth targets, which largely means more operations work (its strength) and way fewer new and interesting strategy ideas (its future). Elbows are sharper now and backstabbing is on the rise. Despite all the hype around the essential rightness mantra, trust and openness are dropping as dissenters are targeted. Even if the goal of doubling revenue by 2020 is achieved the reality is that A.T. Kearney will still be second tier to larger strategy firms McKinsey, BCG and Bain that are growing at least as fast off a larger base. The pressure from partners to earn at the same rate as others at more prestigious firms with stronger brands creates continuous internal strife. Clients still get good work, but the majority of the people producing it are utterly miserable as bonuses shrink while demands and egos continuously expand.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Working on challenging CxO level issues with brilliant people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal
    Current Employee - Principal

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have learned so much during my time here. The consultants they hire are so impressive. Very generous paternity leave program (6 weeks at full pay). The work is challenging, but invigorating. I get exposed to senior executive issues far sooner than I would have if I went into industry.

    Cons

    Travel can be a grind, but you also get tons of points that you can use for your vacations. At times, there are late nights, particularly during the end of projects.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more business analysts! They are the lifeblood of our firm.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    A.T. Kearney Response

    Oct 30, 2014Senior Recruiter

    Thanks for your feedback!

  8.  

    Solid legacy and going in the right direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Principal in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Principal in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Opportunities to work on interesting projects - very quick access to senior clients
    Flat management structure and inclusive attitude - people are valued at each level
    Great opportunities for international exposure and work
    Fantastic programs for work-life balance - part time options, great leave of absence options, opportunities for projects with flexible travel

    Cons

    Work-life balance can be tough - for any consulting firm, but the firm offers options

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Doing things well - do even more to encourage global collaboration

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Winning in the marketplace...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    positive trend, new culture of high performance, solid accounts

    Cons

    longer projects, pay for seniors, recruiting strategy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    transparency

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    A.T. Kearney Response

    Nov 3, 2014Senior Recruiter

    Thanks for your feedback!

  10. 43 people found this helpful  

    Elite consulting experience without Big Three (MBB) brand name

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    I worked at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    For better (or for worse) you can have an extremely similar experience at A.T. Kearney than at McKinsey, BCG or Bain. I joined straight out of undergrad, went to b-school sponsored, and came back to repay. My high school and college friends (20+) who also worked at MBB firms and A.T. Kearney have shared very similar experiences. Here is a summary: (1) Pure-strategy work remains elusive and operations-focused projects are by far the bread & butter. Arguably, our competitors do a better job at marketing the type of work to new recruits, but its mainly marketing. Many of my friends at MBB firms were lured in by the potential to do "pure-strategy" just to quickly find out that operations are the meat & potatoes of the industry. I did plenty of strategy work and never did a sourcing project, but that was definitely not the norm. Many of my colleagues did tons of boring projects. (2) As in other firms work-life balance is "OK" at A.T. Kearney. Occasionally the crazy “horror” project does trap you, but again this is quite similar to what happens elsewhere (a friend at McKinsey had a nervous-breakdown and was hospitalized). You might get a crazy 2-week due diligence but then get a more manageable 6-month steady project. (3) Compensation remains largely benchmarked, particularly in the U.S. and coming out of b-school. What you see in the b-school self-reported placement reports is pretty much what you get. If you are a sponsored student (i.e. an ATK scholar) you might get a slight bump when you come back, but nothing to get too excited about. MBA tuition is entirely covered if you are a scholar, but that is also true in any MBB firm. (4) As an analyst or pre-MBA associate your main exit opportunity is to get an MBA and you can feasibly get into Harvard, Stanford, Kellogg, Booth, Wharton, Columbia, etc. I got into 3 of them and without breaking a sweat. However, as you progress in your career, particularly when you become a manager or a principal it does get harder to jump ship. Similar to other MBB firms most sponsored b-school students come back only to eventually leave. Of the last 5 scholar classes around two thirds of the people have already left. This seems to be on par with what my MBB friends have seen.

    Cons

    The main problem with A.T. Kearney lies in its poor brand name. Everybody in the market knows about it and have it in high esteem, but within less informed circles the name does not mean a lot. Many even confuse ATK with other Big-4 audit firms. Ironically, from the perspective of the partners, this is actually good for business. After the financial meltdown ATK did pretty well. Many longstanding clients hired us because of our operations focus (i.e. lots of sourcing, cost-reduction, transformation projects) and we did not have to compete head-to-head with MBB. However, for the vast majority of the employees the lack of a strong brand name does have significant cons: (1) There is a Catch-22 in terms of work content. Clients do not see us as strategic advisors and we limit ourselves to operations-focused work, which in turn limits the experience that consultants get, and ultimately leads to fewer exciting projects in the long run. (2) There is also a Catch-22 in terms of image. Although other firms do plenty of operations work, people in ATK view themselves an edge lower than those at MBB, which in turn leads to a lack of swagger and pride shown to clients, and in turn having a weaker brand name. Actually, in an annual partners meeting, a big-name client (CEO of Fortune 100 company) told the audience that ATK consultants lacked confidence and could benefit from being more assertive. (3) Exit opportunities beyond the analyst/associate role are quite narrow. The longer you stay the harder it is to leave. Most managers and principals leave to become sourcing managers/directors at former clients. Perhaps many stay because they can’t leave elsewhere. Cool jobs in the Valley (Google, Apple, Facebook, Uber) or investor-side private equity gigs (Apax, Blackstone) are a quite a stretch. The only private equity role you can realistically bid for, not surprisingly, is on the operations team. As everyone that leaves consulting, many of my friends from MBB firms struggled to find attractive jobs but I've found that very few managers or principals from A.T. Kearney have made stellar transitions. The lack of brand name and operations-focused roles significantly limits your job prospects. While I was recruiting for general manager roles at the Valley and other startup hubs I had to carefully outline who A.T. Kearney was. I commonly told my interviewers: "It's like an MBB consulting firm". (4) Travel seems to be a bit higher than the norm but not excessively so. Old-time partners prefer a very "on-hands" approach, which essentially means working 4-days a week at the client site. The problem with having a weak brand name is that partners want to “impress” clients and try to "over deliver" by having as many troops as they can at the site. Of course clients care about the presence of consultants but trying to over deliver through that way seems to be missing the point. (5) While progress has been made in improving alumni programs, those that leave A.T. Kearney are still seen somewhat as "defectors" and not really as a natural thing of the industry. Very few ever become a partner, and that is anywhere in the industry. ATK consultants (non-partners) rarely attends alumni events. The few that attend those events are mainly former staff members (whom I love and admire...but you get the point).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on improving brand. Or even better, focus on building swagger and pride. Take more chances in new industries and new clients. Or even better, reward partners that sell interesting or new work. Take it easy when people leave. Or even better, help people when they want to leave. Try travelling a bit less. Or even better, try to reward managers that make their teams travel less.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Excellent Employer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at A.T. Kearney full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent growth opportunities, interesting projects, intelligent people. A.T. Kearney has ambitious growth plans and is on a strong growth trajectory.

    Cons

    Minimal complaints about being a consultant at A.T. Kearney. There are few changes I would make to the organization.
    I have had a very positive experience.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    A.T. Kearney Response

    Nov 3, 2014Senior Recruiter

    Thanks for your feedback!

Work at A.T. Kearney? Share Your Experiences

A.T. Kearney

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.