Mars & Co Reviews

Updated February 2, 2015
24 reviews filtered by
  • Any Location
  • Any Job Title
3.2
24 Reviews
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Mars & Co Founder & Chairman Dominique Mars
Dominique Mars
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Fun and great environment

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

    I have been working at Mars & Co full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Amazing coworkers, location and benefits.

    Cons

    Not any growth. For certain positions there is nowhere to go beyond where you are.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful

    poor management, painful hours, terrible HR - with little room for career growth

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - smart coworkers. but the good ones leave within a year or so of joining

    that is pretty much it

    Cons

    - little opportunity for career growth
    - painful hours with little visibility / control over work/life balance (managers might call you at midnight to do work, and be angry if you do not respond)
    - unmotivated, negative attitude among consultants
    - poor project management
    - little/no culture
    - lack of solid HR / recruiting teams
    - bad location (unless you enjoy living in Connecticut)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Some bright spots but....

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    For people strong analytics skills, Mars is a great place to learn how to be a consultant, especially for those who did not get into the Top 3.
    Good projects
    Smart people

    Cons

    Late nights are glorified rather than being seen as a symptom of poor project management.
    Travel
    Some bad projects lead to little skill development - can get into a rut

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    360 reviews
    Offer leadership and sales training opportunities - this will create loyalty among the consultants and grow the pie
    Compensation transparency - be clear about utilization, target bonuses, and deliver
    Don't treat consultants like prisoners
    Create a partnership based on revenue generation

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 14 people found this helpful

    Poorly Run Organization, But Learning Opportunities Exist If You Can Grin And Bear It

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

    I have been working at Mars & Co full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    • Get to work with some of the largest companies in the world. Most clients are #1, 2, or 3 in their industry
    • Opportunities for international travel exist if you want them
    • Staffing on travel projects can be minimized if you want it to be, though you take a hit in promotion potential
    • Moderately smart consultants at entry levels (Associate, Senior Associate, and Consultant), though as was mentioned in another review, there are a lot of ‘second bests,’ especially in terms of communication skills
    • Advancement can come quickly, though often it is a result of a person working very long hours for weeks/months to right a sinking ship
    • It may sound sarcastic, but the bad management and communication skills that run rampant in the company actually provide a great opportunity to learn how to be a good manager by observing what not to do
    • Good pay relative to non-consulting jobs (though below industry average within consulting)

    Cons

    • Poor management with complete lack of transparency. Basic things like relevant available data, cadence of meetings, and project deliverables may never be communicated and may be surprisingly hard to get out of your manager. Larger projects commonly see duplication of effort and people working for hours/days on obsolete modules, particularly with our soft drink client
    • High volatility in hours compared to industry average. This stems from poor top-down communication, leading to a ‘hurry up and wait’ mentality that often ends with a mad rush before a meeting that could have been avoided through defined expectations and a project roadmap
    • Complete lack of training: building a valuable skill set is a combination of getting lucky in whom you’re staffed with, recognizing your weak areas, and a lot of google searches. Some people never build competency in Excel, data analysis, presentation flow, etc., and you’ll be forced to pick up the slack if you’re staffed alongside them
    • Office location is inconvenient: either commute 1.5 hours every day and live in NYC or commute 20 minutes and live in Stamford, CT
    • A decent chunk of the organization is analytically-competent but socially challenged individuals, leading to dysfunctional teams and poor communication across managerial relationships
    • Management attitude: from day one you’re made to understand that you are basically a disposable cog. Especially at the AC and SAC levels, your intellectual contributions are generally not welcome. As one VP put it, you’re there to be an ‘excel jockey.’ This attitude starves off any investment in the success of the project and any feeling of commitment to the firm
    • No one seems happy. Out of ~40 people that I interacted with only 2 did not either say or demonstrate their unhappiness at Mars.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The root of the problems begins with recruiting: consultants are hired based almost wholly on their raw analytic capabilities, with communication skills taking a very distant backseat. The poor communication is frustrating when that consultant is your teammate, but it becomes a serious liability if that person advances to a Project Manager or Vice President role, and since we only promote from within, that talent pool is the feeder stock for these managerial roles.

    To solve this, give formal interviewer training (and no, a 10-minute discussion on how to run an interview is not formal training). Codify what you’re looking for and put less emphasis on math skills and more emphasis on good communication. The reason Mars has terrible managers is that the people you hire are bad communicators. These people are also bad at selling for the same reason.

    Next, allow managers a framework for improving these abilities by instituting bi-directional reviews. Most managers do not realize how bad they are at organizing, delegating, and transferring expectations, and no venue exists them to get feedback and work on this.

    Moreover, make promotions every 3 months versus 6. I understand that you don’t want promotions always looming in the air, but a talented and ambitious person that believes they should have been promoted in the last cycle is not going to wait around for 6 months to see if things change: they’ll just take another job instead.

    And finally, stop viewing your employees as disposable assets. Yes, the turnover in consulting is huge, but so are the recruiting expenses ($20k per new hire by my estimate), and even then it takes several months at a minimum to make that new hire a useful consultant. If you can keep people even a few months longer you reduce the time and cost invested in getting a new hire that can sufficiently replace someone who left. Attempts should be made to improve morale and the sense of community among the staff. Admittedly, the return of monthly happy hours is a step in the right direction, but the rationale for canceling them in the first place (‘people will just complain about the company’) is highly reminiscent of the idea that ‘the beatings will continue until morale improves.’ This philosophy doesn’t work, and instead of trying to silence dissent, you should be trying to understand where it comes from and how you can solve it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Steep learning curve and intellectual environment.

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    Work content is very rich and intellectual.
    If you are good in your work, you get a lot of ownership and visibility.
    Travel is less compared to other consulting firms.
    Fortune 100 clients.
    There are always good projects, very little beach time.

    Cons

    Leadership is not very good at maintaining relationships with alumni.
    Administration / HR head is autocratic.
    No processes or timelines around promotions like major consulting forms. There are people who got 3 promotions in 4 years and then there are people who got no promotions in 4 years.
    No expectation management when it comes to bonuses. Bonuses are random and much below industry standards. There is no link between bonus and performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain good relationship with alumni.
    Develop processes around promotions and bonuses.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful

    Extremely analytical, long hours, lots of Excel, no concept of EQ

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate Consultant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate Consultant in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's a small company so you end up having exposure to clients at much lowear levels than other companies. You travel when necessary, not every week. Great office location.

    Cons

    Long hours with very little recognition or appreciation, bonuses or lack there of will confirm that. Completely analytical, no concept of a holistic human centric approach. Quite robotic personalities with lack or social skills and connection. No concept of work - life balance. Moral boundries are questionable when evaluating companies.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Everyone knows that CEO Dominique Mars is known for saying that anyone below Project Manager is completely expendable. That attitude is conveyed through senior management and shows the lack of support and caring for employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. A small firm with a lot to offer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    *Strong analytic
    *Premium Clients
    *Small firm
    *Friendly and humble consultants
    *Minimal travel requirements
    *Good work/life balance compared to other firms
    *One of the best firms for CPG projects

    Cons

    *Lack of transparency
    *No upward feedback, 360 reviews would be welcome
    *No formal training
    *Managers who don't know how to manage
    *Great variability between how work is done by VPs
    *Tendency to "boil-the-ocean"
    *Lack of leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Push for strong leadership in the firm, push the brand, and grow you consultants

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. Outstanding clients and interesting work. Firm culture is hard to stomach for long.

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Clients are typically top 3 in a given industry. Consultants do not specialize, but rather gain exposure to multiple industry sectors. The engagements are important and interesting, and individual performance is recognized based on merit. Pay is competitive, and post-Mars opportunities are bright. Travel requirements are minimal compared to most consulting firms.

    Cons

    Authoritarian, hierarchical culture of fear that permeates from the top. Anyone who can stomach this environment and for more than a few years tends to be somewhat twisted (there are exceptions). Face time and long hours in the office are the norm, which does not encourage being productive and getting your work done quickly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Where do I start. Probably #1 is to invite the leadership into a true partnership. Eventually the culture would heal once people feel they are part of something, rather than a pawn to be manipulated.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Hit and miss experience

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

    I have been working at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    Premium client base
    Potential for client / executive decision-making exposure earlier in career
    Lack of specialization by industry and function can lead to broader learning opportunities
    High caliber strategic ability among senior leadership
    Relative lack of Mon-Thu travel compared to peer companies
    Potential for international experience

    Cons

    Low all-in pay relative to industry
    Extreme lack of transparency. For example: unlike peer firms no year-end bonus discussion - you only discover amount when you check your bank account (hope it is higher than other months). Promotions process is a similar black box
    No manager training - consulting experience varies dramatically based on assigned VP and PM
    Adverse selection for management - lack of people skills among some senior leadership drives away those who might bring this skill set to managerial roles
    The Mars brand is well-regarded by those familiar with it, but is not broadly known

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consultant cynicism and turnover carries hidden costs and is needlessly high. Blind 360 degree reviews and increased transparency would yield easy benefits, improving stability and output

    No opinion of CEO
  11. Bad leadership, but bright spots in some peers/project managers and client work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Consultant in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Consultant in Greenwich, CT

    I worked at Mars & Co

    Pros

    -Good work being produced: data/strategic analysis, data visualization and presentation
    -Good peers: on average, smart people to work with
    -Lifestyle: can be decent depending on project

    Cons

    -Bad leadership/management/processes
    -Below average compensation
    -Non-existent feedback/transparency about career/promotions
    -Bad location (should relocate to NYC)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

Mars & Co Photos

Work at Mars & Co? Share Your Experiences

Mars & Co

 
Click to Rate
or

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