MaPS Reviews in Waltham, MA

Updated August 14, 2014
Updated August 14, 2014
17 Reviews
2.3
17 Reviews
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MaPS President Dirk Wells
Dirk Wells
8 Ratings

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  1.  

    Good for a first job in market research

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Research Analyst  in  Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Research Analyst in Waltham, MA

    I worked at MaPS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people in your cohort are great--usually very smart. There's a definitive "work hard, play hard" attitude, making it great for young people. It's a really great first job because you learn the fundamentals of survey research, including survey methodology and data analysis. Another pro is that if you want to stay with the company (if the first year doesn't burn you out), then there are very clear paths to promotions.

    Cons

    The hours are LONG. When I worked there it was a 50 hour minimum work week, but that usually meant about 60-65 hour. Looking back, the salary didn't justify those hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get an HR department.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Just so-so. Some opportunity for growth as a consulting firm in general

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

    I have been working at MaPS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Company is small, there's opportunity to stand out

    Cons

    Life work balance is hard. But they just started a pilot program that ends the day at 6 pm, which is much better than staying late after 7 pm

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful  

    A classic Principal-Agent problem plagues this company, with finance/banker style hours and misaligned compensation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant  in  Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Waltham, MA

    I worked at MaPS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Insight into the marketing world of Fortune 100 companies, with projects on advertising campaigns, concept tests, and brand image. Potential to advance quickly, though potentially necessitated by the fact that individuals come and go so often.

    The people are continuously said to be one of the reasons why they stay for so long. This is true, though slowly changing. I have easily met some incredibly wonderful and intelligent people at MaPS.

    Cons

    The banality of the work is mind numbing to the point of depressing, with variable deadlines that can be adjusted on a whim by clients and managers, thus creating a frantic rush to finish the assigned soul deadening tasks (all while preaching high quality). When combined with the fact that the number of tasks and time required to complete tasks results in 10-12 hour days, MaPS can feel like the spice mines of Kessel. Let me state here for the record that I have had jobs shoveling horse manure in -5 F temperatures that I enjoy far more than the tasks I was burdened with at MaPS.

    The amount of work a junior level employee receives is highly dependent on the projects to which they are staffed. Each individual is staffed to at least two projects, sometimes resulting in wildly unrealistic deadline conflicts. Some employees can show up at 9:30AM and leave by 7 every day, while some individuals can be stuck working until 2AM multiple nights in a row with managers breathing down their necks looking for something to give the client. Attempts to speak to upper management about the amount of hours one is working results in little to no change, presenting the image that they most likely don't care.

    Then there is the meaninglessness of the work, the sometimes racist or classist style of reports and client based initiatives, the lack of any sort of economic theory, higher level statistics, or coherent business strategy proposed by MaPS to clients. When this is accounted for, one begins to question how this company can even think of calling itself any sort of consulting firm. The lack of interdisciplinary value being created, combined with the fact that the data being gleaned from surveys created by MaPS is worthless for a plethora or reasons creates a disconnect between managers who are looking to add value and create story driven reports and junior staff who look at and work with the data and know the futility of the exercise and inconsequential nature of the data.

    In relation to being unable to add value, resources always seem to be an issue. Sometimes it can be from outside sources like panel vendors, but mostly it's internally based. Projects have trouble getting the technical resources and support as planned. Individuals deemed key to the success of the project by junior staff are at times bullied out of the company at the whim of Vice Presidents and senior partners. Technical issues can create nightmare-esque situations for managers and junior staff alike, bringing projects to a grinding halt or creating massive amounts of rework.

    As I stated in the "Pros" section above, the staff MaPS hires is changing. Most staff come from a privileged upper middle class background, but the staff was non-judgemental, relatively professional, straight forward, honest, and hardworking. Egos have begun to creep into MaPS, however, and backstabbing and manipulation have begun to creep in. Managers push forward timelines to appease clients in ways that are unnecessary, and could only possibly benefit themselves in regards to future promotions. The rat race accelerates after about 2 years at the company, with individuals looking to get the extra leg up in an attempt to make more money (middle management is compensated based on relative performance to peers).

    This creates a mentality within management to always be selling as much as possible as quickly as possible, and let the consequences be damned. The typical cycle of over-promising, under-performing, and over compensating with a high quality and low value product needs to be broken as soon as possible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Internal Improvements:

    - Encourage efficiency building and collaboration with engineers and others to minimize time spent on mundane project tasks

    - Realign compensation and expectations to accommodate for sheer amount of time spent at the office/compensate for the fact that life outside of MaPS is limited at best (Since we are continuously deemed to be the best in the industry, this should not be an issue. Make yourself competitive to BCG, McKinsey & Co, Charles River Group, etc.)

    -Upgrade physical capital and technological processes to be cutting edge (this is finally occurring with Tableau workshops, though started as a client based initiative)

    - Promote more free time and internal office activities to distract from some of the drudgery of the job (Look out for signs of the doldrums, including, but not limited to glossed over stares, contagious yawns, and loud sighs)

    Labor Improvements:

    - Shift the most boring and tedious tasks to interns/co-ops/unskilled labor positions to create time to add value by linking data to academic and real world theory or data outside of what is produced via the surveys created at MaPS

    - Solve resource issues by hiring more aggressively in technical positions, even if it means changing the current pay structure

    - Make the junior level positions more of a traditional job and less of a life, because MaPS isn't important (MaPS doesn't save lives, stop terrorist attacks, fight real fires, or do anything materially important in regards to enriching peoples lives). (If you require long hours by junior staff, then allow them to skive off work at some point in the future. Make the 50 hour work week a two way street so that if an individual works 40 hours in the first three days of the week, then they need only work 10 hours between the last two days.)

    Product Improvements:

    - Commit to becoming a true consulting firm (strategy based) or drop the misnomer of calling yourself a 'market research and "consulting" firm', because this creates a misalignment of expectations between clients, MaPS, and potential hires, and junior staff

    - Test run placing some individuals on a single project to create ownership of the product and expertise in the area studied on the project, while simultaneously giving employees the tools to create real value (SPSS, statistical training and knowledge, application of economic, political, and market theory).

    -Incorporate industry knowledge, sister and parent company products, economic metrics and figures in an attempt to create actionable reports that reflect market conditions

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A Very Difficult Place To Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant  in  Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Waltham, MA

    I worked at MaPS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    MaPS hires top notch employees and you get to work with really cool companies. They are good at what they do, and try to teach you the ins and outs of market research. There are fun parties and firm events. Everyone is really young and you can make some good friends.

    Cons

    There is no work life balance, forget about your girlfriend/boyfriend. Following the process seems to be the best way to get ahead, and questioning the process is a bad idea. Promotions are very political, some people get ahead just because of who they know. Turnover is horrendous and really was a drag on the environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take what we have to say to heart. We feel like you don't care what we think. You hire really smart people, listen to us..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good to learn a few things then move on

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

    I have been working at MaPS full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible working hours (can be long sometimes). Exposure to many industries and interesting studies. Funds for team-building available.

    Cons

    Higher turnover recently. Junior work can be tedious. Though open office, not enough interactions. One can pass you in the hall way while pretending that they did not see you...

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    MaPS is a challenging, rewarding, and occasionally frustrating place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst  in  Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Waltham, MA

    I have been working at MaPS

    Pros

    Smart people, competition drives you to succeed, and the opportunity to work with important businesses is a learning experience both professionally and technically. The laid back environment helps foster a community of peers.

    Cons

    The same competitive drive that pushes you along can frustrate when the moniker of "meritocracy" receives little adherence. There is not a great deal of respect for the work/life balance which is very important in this business. The same laid back environment can lead to a blurring of roles between the levels of employees. The company needs to be more proactive than its current reactive posture to the business environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The leadership needs to be a bit more honest with its employees. They are very good at sharing numbers and talking about clients. but more attention should be paid to the changing landscape. So much of the market research business depends upon perceiving trends and MaPS would do better to practice what it preaches.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    A poor work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Research Analyst  in  Waltham, MA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Waltham, MA

    I have been working at MaPS

    Pros

    If you're straight out of college, you can learn a thing or two about Powerpoint and Excel. Working at MaPS will also give entry level employees a better idea of what they want from an employer and what they want from a career. Plus, there are a lot of young people working here, so you may meet some interesting co-workers.

    Cons

    MaPS has some of the highest turnover of any company I have seen. Hours are long, the work is awfully tedious, and management tends to be opaque and generally not very much fun to be around. Expect to be in the office for 70% of your waking life and expect to see your friends from the office either quit or get laid off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Less opaque management and better hours would be a start. I'd also recommend letting prospective employees know what the working day is really like as a way to lower employee turnover.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place to start working, but the hours were tough.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Waltham, MA

    I worked at MaPS

    Pros

    Smart and talented people. Clients are Fortune 100 companies.

    Cons

    Very long hours. Entry level work is very boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    none really.

    Approves of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    GREAT people, but this conservative company lacks creative spirit and innovation

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - N/A  in  Waltham, MA
    Former Employee - N/A in Waltham, MA

    I worked at MaPS

    Pros

    The absolute best reason to work at MaPS is the people. I don't know how, but their hiring and recruiting practices seem to attract some fantastic people that I know will be lifelong friends. It's a great first job in that they pay decently, there's lots of other young people, and they are a relatively intelligent, interesting group of people. It's a "real" company and they actually do act professionally, unlike a lot of smaller companies.

    Cons

    Do not work at this place if you want to be creative. If you're in the lower ranks, you'll spend most of your day doing mind-numbingly tedious tasks like checking numbers and reading outputs of stats files. Fun, right? Only if you are an extremely anal, detail oriented, and quite frankly, boring person. That said, no one at the company really likes doing this type of work, and since most of the people there have degrees from really good colleges and grad schools, it's mostly insulting for everyone to do this type of work. Maybe they should consider hiring temps to do number checking?! Either way, you won't really get to use your brain until you are a project manager/associate or higher. But, by the time you rise to those ranks, you may not want the job anymore. There were a few folks who sneaked up to the top through sheer ability to navigate the politics of a very tightly-knit group of partners, either by marrying their friends or playing lots of golf with them. (The people who moved up, rather than out, were never the really nice folks). Other than that, if you are even remotely an "individual" of any sort, you will stick out here like a sore thumb. Everyone dresses in very conservative Boston attire (not suits, but the same J.Crew outfits), and while everyone is super nice, innovative ideas are NOT welcome here. Most people stay for about 1-2 years and go on to bigger and better things.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the beginners use their brains every once in a while. Allow for more creativity and innovation. Let newbies go to conferences and other networking events where they can meet people in the field. Explain to people you are hiring what the day-to-day is REALLY like.

    Doesn't Recommend

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