Berkeley Research Group

  www.thinkbrg.com
  www.thinkbrg.com

Berkeley Research Group Reviews

Updated October 3, 2014
Updated October 3, 2014
11 Reviews
4.0
11 Reviews
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David J. Teece
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great travel experience

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

    I worked at Berkeley Research Group as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Travelled on a weekly basis so really got the feel for consulting

    Cons

    First batch of interns so the program was a bit rusty

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Be fully aware of what you are getting yourself into

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

    I worked at Berkeley Research Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    As an associate/senior associate, you are exposed to clients from many different industries, which adds a lot of variety to your work and keeps things interesting. There is always an initial period of getting up to speed with that industry, your client's place in that industry, competitors, etc., which is always very satisfying. There are chances to work on some very big and interesting cases, from which you will learn a lot. You will be working along very smart colleagues, for very big-name clients. In my experience, work-life balance wasn't so bad. Sure, we had very late nights around deadlines, but we also had weeks where there was very little work.

    You will be doing a lot of research. For those looking for a more academic environment, BRG provides a good mix of academia + private industry. The firm has access to sources such as JSTOR, Lexis Nexus, Thomson One, Bloomberg, and a great internal librarian who can help find 90% of the academic articles you're looking for.

    You will have the opportunity to form relationships with smart people (and I'm not only talking about the Ph.Ds). If you want to go to graduate school, these same smart people can be very strong references, as many are professors themselves. If you want to stay in economic consulting for a while, the company promotes largely based on merit, so if you work hard, I'm sure you can move up the ranks quickly. There are some very outstanding managers who do have your best interests in mind and will offer you guidance along the way.

    The real pro at BRG is that expressing interest in the right cases and a bit of luck will give you the opportunity to develop very strong technical skills. The more senior consultants do a very good job of putting you in the habit of making your work efficient and scalable. You will know Excel and SAS very well, and there are opportunities to learn Stata, R, and SQL (although this is very dependent on which type of case you work on... see Cons below). These will be very marketable skills for when you decide to leave economic consulting.

    In short, BRG will give you all of the building blocks, but with minimal instructions. But if you're truly ambitious and resourceful, and know exactly what you want from economic consulting, you can have a rewarding experience at BRG.

    You will also become very good at meeting client demands on short notices, because that will be a large part of your experience. Hopefully you're a patient person.

    Cons

    The biggest BRG-specific con I can think of is that the company pays below the market rate. This might be due to the fact that the company is only a few years old. As the company continues to grow, I hope compensation does too, or there will be a serious problem with retaining top talent. At least if you put in the time, you can receive a large bonus.

    To be fair, the rest of the cons listed here apply to the entire industry as well, and they're just things you should know before entering this industry.

    Lawyers. There is a dysfunctional love triangle between your team, the client, and the lawyer(s) representing the client. Lawyers love to wait until the last minute to tell you they want major changes made to the workproduct, they know no boundaries when it comes to communication (emails are sent throughout the night, and a lawyer once started calling our cell phones after hours), and they tend to make a big deal out of (what can seem like) the tiniest details. Despite this being a fast-paced environment where things get done, the lawyers can make economic consulting feel like a very, very slow and inefficient environment. You will need to be very detail-oriented and your work must be absolutely error-free, which can add a lot of stress. On the plus side, this is a good way of developing your client-relationship skills - know how to manage expectations, and make your work efficient to the point that last-minute updates don't set you back, and you'll be fine.

    Despite the firm promising the opportunity to work across many different practice areas, the reality is that the variety of your projects often depends on the director who is serving as the expert for said project. Experts focus on only a handful of practice areas, so don't expect to be able to jump between the many practice areas so easily. During interviews, be sure to ask your interviewers what kinds of cases they've worked on recently, and look at the expert's C.V. to get a feel for what type of work you can expect. Without a doubt, you will also run into some very bad managers, many with the same cons as the lawyers, but with the added negative of micro-managing you. There will be many short and stressful deadlines which can result in burning out.

    No matter how complex your analysis is, no matter how many hours you've spent in search of the perfect academic literature to support your argument, no matter how many hours you've put into double-checking every iteration of your team's report to make sure its 100% error-free, at the end of the day, the lawyers have the final say. Your analysis is nothing more than a bargaining point used for litigation. If you wanted to save the world or make a large impact, I don't recommend this industry.

    (These are cons that occur because 75% of your cases involve litigation. If you're lucky, you may come across the traditional business consulting projects)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Any director is only as strong as his/her staff. I hope to see the company spend more time encouraging growth and career development for the non-PhD's, especially the junior staff. I would also suggest regular outings or company sponsored events to boost office morale and prevent the junior staff from feeling disposable. Make office culture a priority. Happy employees are productive employees.

    Also please get rid of that horrible accounting system. Or at least allow the time spent entering our billable hours to be counted toward our utilization rates.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    Interesting work, but siloed and disparate offices, lack of accountability, and luck-based professional growth.

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

    I have been working at Berkeley Research Group

    Pros

    Smart people, different and interesting projects (no boring routine), chance to own analysis pieces.

    Cons

    When there is a client deadline, work/life balance dissolves entirely - this is largely an industry complaint, though. Professional growth is not promoted by the firm. The lifespan here is a few years and out if you start at the bottom. Management, in my experience, has not been internally grown even a single time. Advancement depends entirely on external circumstances such as which city you work in (access to bigger markets or big players), your managers/group and their workflow/business development practices, and the work volume in the group's pipeline. The firm itself doesn't seem to do much more than provide an HR/Admin/BD skeleton. A franchise model with experts peppering the country (and globe), running their own groups the way they see fit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great people, great pay, great opportunities

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

    I worked at Berkeley Research Group as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Work with experts from a variety of fields, get exposure to a variety of industries

    Cons

    No financial support for graduate programs

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Outstanding world-class construction litigation and risk management services.

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

    I have been working at Berkeley Research Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Privately owned entrepreneurial Environment, outstanding compensation, bonus and insurance programs; and flexible work environments for self motivated senior professionals.

    Cons

    Significant promotions are dominated by your ability to bring in work and keep others busy. Phenomenal growth brings logistical support challenges as company scales up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Visits to the branch offices where BRG is growing can foster cultivation of corporate culture and brand identity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Filled with highs and lows.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Berkeley Research Group full-time

    Pros

    Staff gets exposure to different projects in different industries.

    Cons

    There are period of extreme busyness or extreme idleness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better manage staff assignments to flatten out the high and low periods. Have more formalized training.

  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    An amazing professional experience, but highly individualized and team-specific

    Former Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC

    I worked at Berkeley Research Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    * Management of my practice was top notch, with tons of learning and advancement opportunities
    * A diverse range of cases and lots of analytically challenging projects within each case
    * A true meritocracy and wonderful team cohesion
    * Aggressively growing firm in an industry that is usually flat

    Cons

    * Very few experts are both good managers of people and big business generators. If you are not working for such a star, the experience can be lacking in various aspects
    * The firm's academic luster is diminishing as more and more experts are added in lucrative fields that are not traditional economic consulting.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in consulting staff development and training.

    Recommends
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Extreme lack of work/life balance.

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

    I have been working at Berkeley Research Group full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Salary, smart colleagues, many office locations, virtual employee opportunities, varied fields of practice within the company, privately owned company, growing company

    Cons

    Nonexistent work life balance, culture of workaholism, type A coworkers, some archaic HR policies, extremely tight expense policies for most projects, dress requirements in healthcare

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ease up on travel requirements. It's 2014, the majority of jobs can be easily done remotely, saving the client money. Stop encouraging a workaholic culture; this leads to burnout and resentment for one's job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Berkeley Research Group is a terrific workplace.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Case Assistant in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Case Assistant in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at Berkeley Research Group full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work at Berkeley Research Group is challenging and varied, and the staff uniformly excellent.

    Cons

    The hours at Berkeley Research Group could vary wildly from week to week, project to project.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Summer Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Summer Analyst in Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Summer Analyst in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at Berkeley Research Group as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Great exposure to different areas of consulting.
    - Small office feel. High levels of interaction with experts
    - Great training on Excel, Stata, etc
    - Good compensation
    - High and low times. You might be really busy for two weeks, but then essentially have a week off.
    - Free lunch every once in awhile
    - Nice offices
    - CEO is an absolutely brilliant man

    Cons

    - Long hours. You're expected to stay late if you're working on a project.
    - Not much advancement potential without a masters degree.
    - Not a fun start-up environment. You're not going to be getting a free gym, cafeteria, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More interaction with the young ones!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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