C1 Consulting

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2.3 10 reviews

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Rob Sederman and Elizabeth Rountree


22% of employees recommend this company to a friend
10 Employee Reviews
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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    8 people found this helpful  

    High expectations but many opportunities for growth and interesting work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThere are many opportunities to work on a variety of interesting projects. Projects tend not to be straightforward, so you always feel that you're learning something new. The work is challenging, and you do feel that the results matter to the client. As a result, you often feel more like you're a partner with the client than just another vendor.

    Office environment is very collegial. Co-workers are awesome to work with. Everyone is friendly, intelligent, and always willing to help even though they're busy. Because of the company's size, the structure if very flat and you can have input into projects at all levels. People are given a lot of freedom and responsibility from the start.

    Lots of room for growth within the company. Management has high standards, but reviews are fair and the company structure is a meritocracy. There is a focus on helping people develop professionally. While training tools may still be lacking, there are many opportunities to supplement internal training with external courses, workshops, and conferences. The management is very willing to invest in its people and find opportunities that fit your interest to help you grow professionally.

    Management does listen to its employees and have made changes based on feedback from employees. While every grievance cannot be addressed, they do make an effort in areas where they can.

    Work from home on Fridays - one of the best perks. Not having to commute one day a week and being able to work in your pajamas is pretty nice.

    Less travel than most consulting companies. On average, people travel about once a month, but this can depend on the nature of your projects.

    Company does try to offer small perks in the office - a wii, snacks, happy hours, and occasional free lunches.

    ConsSometimes time is not set aside specifically for training, so people tend to multi-task and may not get as much out of scheduled training events.

    Because of the company's size, development of internal documentation and training tools fall on those in the office, so you can have several internal projects in addition to client projects. Processes are continuously being modified, so you have to keep on your toes for the current process.

    Hours can be long but is expected for any consulting company. Policies are in place to help improve work/life balance and comp days are offered for excessive hours, but ultimately, it is up to each person to manage his/her hours.

    Project timelines can be tight. Feedback is sometimes given with less time than desired for turning around the deliverable to the client, which can be stressful.

    Benefits may not be as good as some larger companies but is pretty good for a small company.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSet aside specific time for training, continue to solicit employee feedback to understand what matters to people, maintain the current office culture as the company grows, and don't ever get rid of work from home Fridays.

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    8 people found this helpful  

    Pretty tough experience overall to work - not recommended

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood pay, work from home on most Fridays, free drinks and snacks.

    ConsPretty much everything else. The company is filled with very, very smart people - unfortunately, they have no idea how to train or retain their talent. Management continually scratches their heads about why their turnover rate (I HIGHLY ADVISE YOU TO ASK WHAT THEIR TURNOVER RATE IS AFTER TWO YEARS IF YOU GO IN FOR AN INTERVIEW), but they refuse to turn they eye of blame towards themselves.

    The working culture is very, very unhealthy for development. Middle management is filled with corporate types who have worked at large pharmaceutical companies. So even though this is a small firm, it has a rigid corporate atmosphere and culture, which completely negates the benefits of working for a small company. The company has lots of internal corporate buzz words and mantras that you usually only see in larger corporate structures. This is because middle and upper management have brought their experience at larger pharmaceutical corporations and applied it to this boutique firm, which really alienates a lot of people who were expecting a more boutique atmosphere. You will hear a lot about "Attention to Detail", which within company culture is used as a catch-all for any mistake that you may make. You will never actually be instructed on what you specifically do wrong - just told that you need to work on abstract concepts that don't really make sense. As such, no one improves. Work deadlines are tight, but that is expected at any consultancy - however, it is harder to hit deadlines on projects that actually matter when you are getting hounded about doing internal projects that no one actually believes matter. If you make little mistakes on your work (misspelling a word, or forgetting a period at the end of a sentence) it will be treated as a bigger deal than if you were to make a big mistake (such as completely misinterpreting some data and making the wrong recommendation). Ultimately, a disproportionate amount of priority is placed on the style of your work rather than the substance or content. This is complicated by the fact that a lot of "style" (such as what color bars to make your bar graphs) is personal preference - so one of your bosses will give you the advice to color things a certain way, and then when you take his/her advice, your other boss will get mad about doing so and tell you to work on your attention to detail. Overall, it was a very frustrating experience, that could be improved with better training, clearer expectations, more focus on the specifics of how employees can improve, and less rigid culture that disenfranchises employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter training, tell people specifically how they can improve, stop using so many internal corporate buzz words that are only used to make fun of people behind their backs who use them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    If the salary looks good, it is not worth it unless it is 200k+ with no experience

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsWork from home Fridays
    Good pay

    ConsEverything besides the pay.
    Cult of personality surrounding one or two individuals in your office
    They will work you 50 to 60+ hours per week and will have no respect for your familial life. Emails over Christmas holidays are the norm. You will be castigated if you do not respect the "on call 24/7" rule. Sadly, they don't tell you this going into the job. Expectations and training are non existent. Unless you have A LOT of Consulting experience and fully understand the industry, I would stay away. This is a terrible place to learn and develop your career out of undergrad/grad school, but could be a good option for more experienced workers who know what they are getting into. If you have less than 5 years experience, they pay will seem great, but taking a job here could likely set your career back a few years because you WIll get burnt out and hate yourself within 3 months. Just ask what turnover is at the company and you will understand. Seriously, if you get an interview, ask what turnover is in this company. That will tell the story. Middle management is out for themselves, will take credit for your work and blame you when things go wrong. Prepare to live a miserable existence if you want to succeed.

    Advice to Senior ManagementActual training. More emphasis on what you actually want done.
     More concrete instructions. Actually care about developing new talent.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    8 people found this helpful  

    It was an experience....

    Consultant (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsDecent pay given the educational/professional requirements, somewhat nice/lofty feeling office, work home on Friday

    ConsWhere to start. In my year of being there, favoritism was a big issue. Some people were part of the inner circle, others were outcasts. That feeling extended to meetings, bonuses and PTO. Hours were insane. Not working one day on the weekend but spending 65+ hours a week on a consistent basis with no incentive. The managing director would regularly send emails at 4am and that would be used as an excuse among consultants to work as hard. Well if I were the owner pulling down 500k+ a year, I'd work that hard too! Getting yelled at for a typo on a slide deck was the norm. Employees were being fired regularly and blamed for their performance without thinking internal processes could be the issue. Lots of talk to "improve" employee retention but in the time I was there, 4 people quit (those that stayed were looking for new jobs). Communication was very limited. No one talks at C1. The only time people talk is when you're being berated for doing something wrong.

    Advice to Senior ManagementShow that you actually care about employee retention and not just the bottom dollar. Any small company which regularly (every 2-3 months) has an employee quit or get fired needs to consider what they are doing wrong rather than duping prospective employees into doing the same thing. A few of the reviews I am led to believe are from either the managing director or one of her inner circle employees. I ask people to read those with a grain of salt.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    6 people found this helpful  

    Good for some, bad for others

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsInteresting projects at times (for example, working on different drugs), but in the end you're essentially doing the same kind of work, same kind of analysis, same PPT presentations and with the same company (90% of the time).

    Pay is good considering the size of the firm.

    You get to work from home on Fridays, which is an added benefit if you have kids.

    ConsThe first poster was a little harsh in the review, but I had experiences with each one of those issues. It's true new hires receive (or used to) no training. The idea was that smart people are hired so that they can navigate themselves and learn on the job. Sadly, I've seen people fired and other quit because of this line of thinking. Even top 5 consulting firms have training programs for MIT graduates. It's foolish not to have one at C1.

    The work ours are grueling, especially when traveling. You're expected to be in the office the same day you return from travel. Even when employees do interviews, you can see the work schedule taking its toll. When I interviewed, current employees spent little time actually explaining the cases to me and seemed rather miffed if I didn't understand a concept being asked.

    Clear favoritism from many angles. Analysts are certainly not in the inner circle with the MD. Even among consultants, there are clear favorites, which means either a) suck up to her more, or b)don't be a man. It wasn't surprising to see one person told that they wouldn't be allowed to take time off, but a different person be given the green light. It all boils down to the MD's view of you and your work, which is made all the more arbitrary considering the lack of her presence in the office.

    Take the job if you have nothing else, but chances are you won't be there that long. I would say at least 70% have not been there more than a year, with only one person who has been there over two years. Do yourself a favor, work at someplace established with clear guidelines and where you can at least get benefits common in the industry (paid cell phones, gym membership, etc.)

    Advice to Senior ManagementBetter processes, institute a positive culture, provide more reviews, create a real training program for new hires

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    Arbitrary and unpredictable place to work, but clearly on the upswing

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe reviews that are positive here reflect recent changes.

    It is true that because of the company's small size and recent history of losing many employees (some due to unfortunate hiring decisions, done partly out of the need to get more staff to handle how busy the company was), the management is now deeply invested in keeping its staff happy. This is a recent change and should not entirely be trusted.

    The small size means that one gets a full-range of experiences in project management and research. The co-owner and some of the more senior management are experienced and knowledgeable, and there have been efforts to start sharing that experience. The company is busy which means there's a fair amount of job security if you do your work attentively and can tolerate the occasionally erratic moods of the head of the company.

    There is a desire to do projects creatively, though sometimes this is understandably restrained by client interest and limited budgets, which is often the case in any company.

    The employees are smart and serious, but also willing to be social and have fun.

    ConsHigh employee turnover actually reflects problems with how employees have been treated. A couple of reviews note that review process at the company is fair, this is not actually true. There was (in the past, at least) clear favoritism and arbitrary treatment of employees. Bonus potential is generous, but withholding bonuses has been used as a reactive measure that seems highly inappropriate in an otherwise rigorous and empirically-oriented company.

    Time off was not distributed evenly and further reflected favoritism. For example, in spite of being exempt employees, I was told that in order to go to a doctor's appointment I would need to use my PTO, yet the company happily expected its employees to work 60+ hour weeks with (again somewhat arbitrary) little to no comp time offered.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt is clear that the management has started to treat its employees more respectfully, at the risk of losing well-prepared and smart employees.

    Instituting actual policies about time off, etc, would allow employees who are not treated fairly to have a policy against which to challenge unequal treatment. Matching the bonus potential to a concrete metric would also be useful.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    1 person found this helpful  

    Don't listen to the naysayer....

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Many opportunities to work on a variety of projects from simple to complex, all types of market research depending on your interests, variety of clients and it's less about your title and more about the skill set you bring to the table
    - Opportunities to interact directly with clients for all employees
    - Lower level employees not pigeon-holed into routine assignments but given the opportunity to explore other types of market research
    - People are really smart and very accomplished
    - Small size gives it an entrepreneurial environment

    Cons- Some processes like employee training are in currently being overhauled to address past issues, a vast improvement but still in progress
    - Unconventional interview process can sometimes be a little intimidating but don't let that stop you from trying
    - Limited access to managing director but steps are currently being taken to remedy this...

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    Know what you're getting yourself into.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsC1 can be a great stepping stone to other employment. I would recommend the company in this manner only.

    ConsIn my time at C1 I didn't meet a single person who wanted to be there. Many held a PhD or Masters level degree in psychology, biology, or other fields. Most were there for a paycheck and that's it. The typical tenure was only 1 year with veterans lasting 2-3. Management treated employees like children, often hiring under-qualified people, training them (not really), and then firing them for small mistakes. The company wastes a lot of money this way, but it's not unexpected when you have doctors running the business end of an organization.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGo to the library and get a book on organizational behavior. Read research on how successful companies manage employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    5 people found this helpful  

    Surprisingly corporate for a boutique firm

    (Current Employee)

    ProsThe project work is fairly interesting and will involve you in all aspects of project management- from vendor communications to conducting interviews all the way through to the final PPT. The compensation isn't bad, and being 'run through a meat grinder' will certainly prepare any entry person better for a parallel or upward transition later in their career.

    ConsTerrible internal communication; the projects and retaining clients take much higher priority over employee growth and development; projects tend to focus more on primary market research and secondary data analysis with little strategy work; poor communication both top-down and bottom-up; a LOT of favoritism and very little actual decisive action from upper management.

    One thing no one talks about also is the culture; there's definitely a culture of silence here where you're encouraged to voice ideas if it agrees with the social leaders. Not a great environment for any sort of innovation to take place.

    Advice to Senior ManagementSpend a little less time thinking about how projects can be completed, and a little bit more time about how to sustain the company's growth through internal initiatives.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    Run as fast as you can....

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsWorking with smart people who could easily be working somewhere else if not for the bad economy. We get free snacks. Yay for coke and peanuts.
    OK location unless you have to commute from anywhere except downtown SF.

    ConsWhere to begin....

    Terrible retention. They lose people every month or two. If you've been there a year, you're a veteran. What person with a PhD from Stanford really wants to work in market research?

    No direction from management. The managing director is there once every three weeks. You're told to do something but at the last minute told it's wrong.

    Hours are long. Don't expect to work 40 hours a week. You'll be checking emails at 10pm.

    Very sad working environment. No one talks in the office despite its small size. You could go all day and not hear more than 10 sentences.

    Extremely tight deadlines which means any event that impacts the project, even if out of your control, will be blamed on you. Except no sympathy.

    Training? Not in your life. Sink or swim. Many have gone down because of this.

    Do yourself a favor, work at ZS or Campbell Alliance. Or Accenture. Or Mckinsey. Or anyplace with a brand name which will make it the least bit more tolerable to work there.

    Advice to Senior ManagementActually have a manager in the office more than once every three weeks. Decrease work load. Inject some fun into this company. Make people feel like they want to work here.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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