Cornerstone Research

  www.cornerstone.com
  www.cornerstone.com
There are newer employer reviews for Cornerstone Research

1 person found this helpful  

Great First Job

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Senior Analyst in Menlo Park, CA
Former Employee - Senior Analyst in Menlo Park, CA

I worked at Cornerstone Research

Pros

Smart people, collaborative culture, good work-life balance, great graduate school opportunities afterward, may get nice office, managers are often understanding and good leaders

Cons

work tedious at times, 2 degrees removed from companies (clients are law firms and you don't interact much with them as an analyst)

Advice to ManagementAdvice

do a better job of retaining top talent, give analysts more input on the projects they are put on

Recommends
Approves of CEO

77 Other Employee Reviews for Cornerstone Research (View Most Recent)

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  1. 8 people found this helpful  

    Completely different for analysts v. senior staff

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

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research

    Pros

    The work is very interesting and challenging - cases can be mini problem-solving exercises and it's enormously fulfilling to file a report and finish up a project.
    Smart people from top colleges are good to brainstorm with. People are generally hardworking and do not slack off, so there is a lot of cooperation and a collaborative work style.
    Management rewards being a "good corporate citizen" so it's easy to get help, advice or extra hands to pitch in for tight situations and deadlines.
    Cornerstone pays well compared to competitors. Management tries hard to maintain a congenial work environment with various social activities organized on a regular basis.
    Good opportunities to keep in touch with academic, attend academic conferences etc.

    Cons

    If interviewing for an Associate or above position, reviews by Analysts are not relevant because it's a very different world for the two groups of people.
    Promotions for analysts are no-brainers, they are always promoted within the analyst role (3 titles).

    Pre-2007 that used to be the case for Associates and Managers as well.
    But due to the recent realization that Cornerstone has too many middle management layers, recently promotions for Associates have almost been at a standstill. A lot of Associates who joined in 2007 and 2008 have left (almost entire classes) due to dissatisfaction about the critical, negative performance review cycles that are specifically geared towards giving reasons to deny promotions.
    At higher levels, there has been a mini-exodus in managers, senior managers, and Principals who have been either asked to leave suddenly (sometimes even after a recent promotion), have been demoted or have exited on their own.
    Management needs to be more transparent about the changing criteria for promotions, the new "up or out" policies they are stealthily introducing, and also to be upfront when there is not a good fit in the early stages. Because of the niche industry, the higher you go, you get more specialized, and those who have been asked to leave after 8-9 years have had a hard time finding good opportunities.
    Management consulting firms that have "up or out" policies are upfront both about the policy and about promoting exit opportunities to those who have to avail of it. But Cornerstone's management is very opaque about their plans and the change in upward mobility (or lack of it) opportunities.
    I see the firm recruiting new associates with the same rhetoric about promotions but the reality has changed significantly in the last several years since I joined.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More transparency. Introduce a title "Senior Associate" so that the first promotion is near-automatic and weeds out only those who are a really bad fit. This allows associates to develop self-confidence and provides positive reinforcement for growth.
    Also provide better and earlier feedback for those who are not a good fit.
    Do not hush up the fact of senior folks leaving or being asked to leave. This is very demoralizing for the managers who worked with them. It's also confusing for new associates since they're not sure what actions lead to such negative consequences.

    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Company, Great People

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst in New York, NY

    I worked at Cornerstone Research

    Pros

    I enjoyed my time at Cornerstone, the people are wonderful and the work intellectually engaging at times. Management is generally really good with time off, whether for vacation or longer term (such as extended time for pregnancies far longer than legal requirements). Integrity in work and in the way people interact (at the analyst level anyways).

    Cons

    As anywhere, if there is something boring, the most junior analyst got it. But it's educational, and the managers generally try very hard to take analyst development into consideration, but sometimes there are things that the team just have to wade through.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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