Marakon Reviews

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4.4
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Mason Kissell
18 Ratings

25 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to learn

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

    I worked at Marakon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to build a skill set that is valued by both clients and future employers!

    Doing data analysis (becoming an Excel master) --> generating insights --> creating a compelling case and presentation (becoming a PowerPoint master) --> making recommendations --> having fact-base influence over business-critical decisions being made by executives.

    Pretty awesome to be able to learn how to do that.

    Great opportunities for internal advancement (e.g., sky is the limit, and without needing an MBA).

    Great experience to talk to on resume when looking for jobs elsewhere.

    Cons

    Lots of work, to both client work and internal firm responsibilities.


  2. Fantastic small-firm feel...you'll very quickly become part of the team

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

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people and culture are great. Other team members are smart, interesting, and driven - but the environment never feels competitive. It's the type of place where nobody has trouble pulling someone aside and asking for help or guidance.

    The standout element of Marakon from a professional development point of view is the training, which emphasizes hard and soft skills and is very well run. I got up to speed very quickly despite the steep learning curve.

    Cons

    Lots of time investment in pitch materials, and projects can last a bit longer than I had anticipated because of roll-over.

    Advice to Management

    Diversify client and don't be afraid to step into "non-traditional" projects.


  3. Helpful (3)

    A boutique consulting firm that does it the right way

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

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Having held full-time jobs and internships in a variety of professional services firms, I can say without any hesitation that Marakon is by far the best managed place I have been.

    Professional Development

    Management firmly believes that the firm’s employees are its greatest assets, a point demonstrated through Marakon’s comprehensive professional development program, transparent review and promotion process, and one firm culture. In less than a year at the firm, I’ve attended over 100 hours of exercise driven training modules, been clearly told what is expected of me if I wish to earn a promotion, and received thoughtful feedback and advice from managers at all levels.

    Culture and Colleagues

    People are friendly and professional. There are no cliques. Colleagues in the NY office often have lunch together, play foosball in the afternoon, and go for happy hour drinks to celebrate promotions, the conclusion of a project, a departing colleague’s new gig, etc. This is true from top management on down to the most recent hire. There also is a pretty regular schedule of firm outings, such as quarterly dinners and holiday parties.

    The Work

    The work is interesting, providing diverse and meaningful opportunities for personal and professional growth. Clients operate in a broad range of industries and are primarily large private sector companies, but there also are occasional projects for major philanthropic organizations and institutions of higher learning. Work hours can be grueling when approaching major deadlines, but project teams work together either in the office or at the client’s location, so you never feel like you’re the only one working hard.

    Most projects require teams of 4-5 people – usually one or two Associates or Consulting Associates, a Senior Associate, a Principal, and a VP (formerly Partners) – but there are larger and smaller teams as well. Teams are both hierarchical and not: each member has a specific role and certain expected outputs, but at the same time all members of the team are encouraged to contribute ideas and to help solve client problems. This openness is highly appealing because it enables even the most junior person on the team to engage with the high level aspects of the work instead of only the minutiae. Most projects last approximately 2-3 months and entail multiple phases that help keep the work interesting.

    The amount of travel is entirely dependent on the project. Some projects entail weekly trips to the client’s site for the duration of the project, while others include only a few trips here and there. One aspect of travel that distinguishes Marakon from the other major consultancies (read: MBB) is that we travel Tuesday through Thursday instead of Monday through Thursday. That extra day in the home office is nice, not to mention that extra night in your own bed.

    Entrepreneurial Spirit

    As a small firm, there are a variety of opportunities for Associates, Consulting Associates, and Senior Associates (ACASAs) to take on a firm-building role in addition to regular project work. Roles can be established ones, such as helping the training or recruiting teams, or they can be new and entrepreneurial. One Associate recently started a business development effort that he came up with while chatting with a VP over lunch. Another Associate is heading up an effort to provide community volunteering opportunities for those interested in giving back. Management encourages this type of behavior because they see it as contributing to our one firm culture.

    Cons

    When we have add-on projects with past clients, sometimes the same people who worked on the original project are asked to work on the new one as well. This limits the need to bring new colleagues up to speed on an industry or client, but it also means that you have less exposure to new clients and industries.

    ACASAs in NY sit in an open area with four long rows of desks. The open seating arrangement is conducive to collaborative work, which is both good and bad. Sometimes the conversations held between people can be distracting, and whenever you need to make a phone call you must find a separate room so as not to distract colleagues.

    Hours can be very long at certain points in the life of a project, which is true of all consulting work. On the upside, most managers recognize when members of the team need a break and reward them with comp days after pushing to meet a deadline.

    Advice to Management

    This is a great place to work, so keep doing what you're doing.


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  5. Great early-career opportunity with great people

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

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people are incredibly bright, driven, and ambitious. This could typically lead to an overly competitive working environment, but the emphasis on collaboration at Marakon ensures that colleagues are always willing to learn and happy to teach. This collegial nature extends beyond the office into frequent happy hours and group activities.

    Projects at Marakon truly deal with the core strategic issues our clients face. In addition, the more generalist approach offers early-career employees a rare opportunity to help solve the large problems and answer the key questions faced by companies across very different industries. Junior employees are also exposed to senior partners and key clients within the first few weeks on the job.

    Traveling Tuesday-Thursday is an added bonus, as the avoidance of spending Sunday nights packing and Monday mornings waiting in long airport security lines cannot be ignored.

    Great track record with admissions at top B schools

    Cons

    As is the case throughout consulting, hours can be long at times.

    Smaller consulting firms are bound to absorb a larger impact from market swings than larger firms. Marakon is certainly not immune to this, which can lead to longer stretches between projects.

    Relatively longer projects and a smaller pool of partners and managers can dilute some of the variety of work.

    Advice to Management

    Increase investment in junior consultants to build for the next generation of managers and partners.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Great Place to Start a Career

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

    I have been working at Marakon

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    People:

    It would be remiss not to mention first and foremost the people at Marakon. Marakon attracts the best and brightest, and I can't imagine working with a better group of people. Because of its small size, Marakon is very selective, but as a result, every hire is of the highest caliber and a great fit.

    Projects:

    Marakon is unique in its steadfast focus on pure strategy. While it has in part limited the growth potential of the firm, it offers unparalleled experience for younger associates. We are tasked with tackling the highest level problems facing multi-billion dollar companies at the c-suite level.

    Travel:

    Unlike those at most consultancies, Marakon's travel schedule is typically Tuesday through Thursday, offering better work life balance. Additionally, I've been fortunate to have traveled extensively outside of the US for projects (beside being based in Chicago), something I've very much enjoyed.

    Opportunity:

    Last but not least, Marakon offers quick career progression, especially for the most talented associates, and invests a lot in its people. Projects teams tend to have very flat hierarchies and progression is entirely merit based. Coupled with the high value project work, employees at Marakon have excellent options when they leave the firm.

    Cons

    Hours:

    For all the benefits it offers, Marakon does at times ask a lot of its employees. Weeks leading up to important client meetings are often rough, I've almost felt like a banker at times.

    Size:

    Both a blessing and a curse, Marakon's size does have some drawbacks, even at the associate level. Associates definitely have less choice in terms of project availability, and may get stuck working at the same client or in the same industry longer than other firms. Another minor drawback is that Marakon does not have the same name brand appeal of MBB, despite more consistently offering better projects, in my opinion.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in talent, from the newest class of associates to even the younger managers. Maintaining the quality of our work and culture starts with keeping as many of these people around as possible.


  7. Great learning & opportunities

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

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The people. A new colleague took me aside last month and asked 'Do people really get along as well as it seems they do, with no politics?' because he couldn't believe the contrast from his previous job. Some of the closest friends I have are from Marakon. Most afternoons we play foosball in the lounge. People are often nervous to play when they first join, but with daily practice they soon become pros!

    The work. We often work with high-profile clients on the sort of important decisions that will later be in the news, which can be really exciting. I'm so glad I came to a generalist consultancy as my industry & project type preferences are very different from what I'd expected when I started! You get great responsibilities early - I had a 1-on-1 client meeting within my first month, and now lead meetings with groups of highly senior clients.

    Travel. Marakon moved me to the US from London and let me stay here when I discovered I love NYC!

    Senior managements' attitudes. They really value their people and work hard to tailor the experience to suit each individual. Feedback is excellent.

    Cons

    The size means that after 2-3 years you start having 2nd & 3rd projects with the same managers / partners. As in any consultancy, hours can be long at times, though mine have actually been pretty great for the last year or so.


  8. Great place to get early exposure to senior clients, work on high impact strategic issues, collegial working environment

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

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - only high impact strategic projects, no operations and implemention type of work
    - exposure to senior partner and clients
    - fast career progression
    - collegial and super friendly working environment
    - excellent ongoing training program
    - international working opportunities
    - great exit opportunities (b-school, industry, start-ups etc.)

    Cons

    - sometimes time hours can be long, especially days before key meetings
    - many projects tend to be longer term strategy work - 6 months to 1 year, rather than 2 months due-diligence work, but learnings are tremendous
    - strong requirements on analytical skills and financial modelling for juniors


  9. Very interesting work & high level of responsibility & learning, but constrained by size

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

    I have been working at Marakon full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Pure strategy consulting is the best type of consulting work there is - Marakon only does C-suite level strategy projects, which makes the work intellectually interesting

    Great exposure to senior level executives right out of college

    The company's work is very grounded in valuation and financial analysis - great foundation to have for almost anything

    Generally a very flat, meritocratic culture with fast promotions for talented consultants

    No B-school needed - Marakon promotes from within & possible to reach post-MBA level in 2-3 years.

    Co-workers are all brilliant & accomplished

    Great exit ops

    Cons

    Generalist strategy consulting can be challenging in terms of the complexity and academic rigor of the analysis.

    The small size of the firm is its biggest shortcoming: less variety in deal flow, smaller alumni network, sometimes get stuck doing more marketing and firm building than you would at a MBB


  10. Great place to start a career out of undergrad

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

    I have been working at Marakon

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Opportunity to work with the senior leadership team of large multinational companies to tackle their most important strategy issues, right out of undergrad
    - Overall the firm provides a lot of headroom for professional development through strong formal and informal training and mentoring, a very collaborative working structure with partners and clients, and the opportunity for accelerated advancement through semi-annual reviews.
    - 3 days, 2 nights travel model of Marakon is much better for work-life balance than the Monday-Thursday model of most consulting firms
    - The ability to take 1 or 2 months long sabbaticals

    Cons

    - The work can be very challenging (both analytically and strategically) and at times will require long hours
    - Being under a publicly traded parent company has eroded away a bit of the free-spirited, entrepreneurial spirit the firm had when it was independent and added some bureaucratic issues to deal with, but it is getting better with time

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to invest in the junior consultants as you have been doing in the past couple of years which will keep morale high and attrition low
    - Keep going after big brand, long term client engagements but at the same time balance with shorter term engagements to keep the pipeline full
    - Provide a clearer plan for how to leverage resources of our parent company going forward


  11. Great people, culture, professional development - its like a family!

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

    I have been working at Marakon

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Inspiring people to learn from
    -great personal and professional development
    -clear meritocracy with an open feedback culture
    -the firm genuinely cares about its employees
    -entreprenurial environment

    Cons

    small firm which may limit options on the types of clients and engagements and exposure to working on different teams as not as much variety

    Advice to Management

    Continue to foster the unique culture, continue to invest in building and developing the talent pool



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