PA Consulting

  www.paconsulting.com
  www.paconsulting.com
There are newer employer reviews for PA Consulting

 

Good place to learn consulting but expect to put in a lot of work.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL
Current Employee - Principal Consultant in Chicago, IL

I have been working at PA Consulting

Pros

Collegial atmosphere working with very talented people. Good place to learn basic consulting skills. Good internal courses and emphasis on training. At least in the US you have a chance to work on a broad range of assignments and less likely to get pigeonholed in one area. Relatively flat hierarchy -- easy access to partners, short promotion paths. People tend not to "wear their stripes" so you can take on the responsibility and role that you want. People on a client team tend to work as peers regardless of their rank. Employees are encouraged to stretch themselves. Very diverse demographics.

Cons

As a UK based company it has poor name recognition in the US. Too much of the internal materials and corporatae initiatives seem to be based on the work in 123(the UK headquarters) where most people work in London, don't have to travel, etc. In the US, you often have to work away from home 4-5 days a week.

Employees are expected to put in a lot of extra work beyond client work, further impacting work/life balance. Even if you are working 40 hrs on an assignment you need to contribute to sales, write thought leadership, participate in prospecting efforts, etc.

Utilization and sales are key to bonuses and promotions. At the lower ranks, utilization may be out of their hands since the Managing Consultants and above generally determine who gets staffed on jobs. Your reputation is key. You have to build an internal network so people know who you are and will want you on their jobs. Beyond the consultant level sales ability becomes a more critical aspect of the job. Principal Consultants are encouraged to work for "virtual sales credits" to prove their sales ability but get nothing for it. The Managing Consultants and above share in the profits from a job through a complex allocation of sales credits.

There is no technical or operating career paths so to get to management you must demonstrate sales ability to advance. This tends to mean that managers are good at BS and presentations but aren't necessarily good administrators or personnel managers. Surprisingly, most of the managers are good at operating assignments and tend to be good in one or more technical area.

Seems to be a high rate of turnover and churn - many people don't last 3 years.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Create more non-sales career paths for technical gurus. Allow more specialization among the staff.
Create more US centric marketing tools - e.g. a US company web site, more US references and marketing collateral
Spread sales credits further down the food chain. It's hard for the consulting ranks to get enthusiastic about generating sales when all the benefits go to the management consultants and above.
Be more selective in hiring to expand in the US - not all new employees are up to prior PA standards.

Disapproves of CEO

161 Other Employee Reviews for PA Consulting (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Changes are evident, but still have a ways to go

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

    I worked at PA Consulting

    Pros

    Ability to craft some career paths going forward; some flexibility in creating propositions for services to offer to clients; intelligent people for the most part

    Cons

    Tight control by headquarters office with respect to all policies; highly U.K.-centric; the functional service lines continue to dominate the firm; industry "verticals" continue to be adjunct to the functional practices; senior leaders are protective of their contacts, despite sales credit sharing matrix (which looks good on paper, but seems to work only so-so)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow greater flexibility in offices not in HQ; make specific investments in industry practices; potentially revamping the sales credit matrix

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Consultant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA

    I have been working at PA Consulting

    Pros

    Allows one to build consulting soft skills. It's an environment where one has to be proactive. In addition, as long as one is clear where he or she wants to be in a couple years, one will perform well in PA.

    Further, managers are helpful especially when you need help from them. They emphasize networking internally which is a good thing to do anyway. Networking and performance will eventually let you select the engagements that you like.

    Cons

    PA operates in a way that utilization is top priority. A good deal of one's assessment is dependent on how 'utilized' is one throughout the year. This means you get on the first job that comes your way.

    If you lack structure in the things you do, PA is not the place to be. On the hindsight PA promotes pro-activeness and that will allow you progress upwards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Reduce pinching pennies when it comes to administration items.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for PA Consulting

Work at PA Consulting? Share Your Experiences

PA Consulting

 
Click to Rate
or

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