PA Consulting Reviews

Updated March 18, 2015
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3.7
173 Reviews
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PA Consulting CEO and Director Alan Middleton
Alan Middleton
70 Ratings

Pros
  • good work life balance if you are a PA Partner and in the club (in 20 reviews)

  • Variety of work, progressive pay, very employee share plan, great people to work with (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • the work life balance can be terrible (depending on the job) (in 13 reviews)

  • No international travel, very public sector UK focussed (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. great place for the ambitious go-getter who doesn't mind fending for themselves

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

    I have been working at PA Consulting

    Pros

    smart people and great leadership team, great place for ambitious, self starters who like doing interesting, demanding work

    Cons

    lack of brand awareness in US, lack of work in local markets, lack of training/professional development

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    invest more in the development of your people - the limited internal training is not enough. identify and incent your top talent, make the path to promotion/advancement clearer

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. Okay company to start out in consulting

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

    I worked at PA Consulting

    Pros

    Good place to start in consulting - as you get pulled into proposal work and all kinds of analysis work all the time, and the MC(their equivalent of Senior Managers) and Partners are always excited to leverage any contacts, relationships or ideas you have, as they are always looking for another sales lead (as they should be!) and you have plenty of opportunities to get engaged.

    Cons

    While there is plenty of opportunities to be engaged, its often driven by the desperate need to find work. They have not been very successful in converting their success in the UK market to wins in the US market. There is a tendency to over-analyze and theorize (in managing their business - i.e client project delivery and sometimes proposals, and lot of it centers around people and personalities). However, there are exceptions to that culture, a couple of senior folks I had worked with were very pragmatic, and bright, and I would certainly welcome an opportunity to work with them elsewhere, or in a 'transformed' PA.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    While understanding client personalities is extremely important, a more simplistic approach, trusting your people, who work hard to win and deliver work, might help turn things around, especially in the US market.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. A great consulting career if you can stomach the corporate aspects

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

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Intelligent, motivated and friendly colleagues
    Good variety of projects
    Flat hierarchy enables access to all levels of consulting
    Excellent training and development courses delivered by active consultants and partners

    Cons

    Bonuses poor for non-partners
    Performance management is inconsistent, subjective and obsessed with utilisation vs. other measures
    Expense reimbursment is complex, manual and not arcane

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change business model to remove barriers to collaboration and investment in growth
    Knowledge worker productivity...?
    Be more visible and open with staff - C-level is often invisible and detached

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Amazing people, operations lean more towards the archaic, old-white-guy paternalism.

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

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people I work with are truly brilliant and experienced professionals. I continuously find myself building both sector and service knowledge and skills. It's a fun place to work and has an office that is much more collegial than I'd expect in a consulting firm.

    Cons

    Operationally, PA takes a command and control approach. New tools are developed, for example, but the company doesn't apply basic change management techniques and wonder why staff don't use their new tools. The operations group VERY RARELY asks for user input. Regular consultants aren't even informed that major projects are under way that will affect day-to-day activities. Changes are announced, but with little reason as to why or how the decision came about.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek out consultants opinions and expertise for operational aspects. We are all shareholders, yet we are only indirectly asked for help to improve how it's run. Be sensitive that the US business is very different from the UK. Applying the same business model to both will inevitably lead to inefficiency, disgruntled staff, and missed commercial opportunities. The truth is that people love PA and want to make it the best company it can, but are not included nor asked to participate in that process.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. An exciting range of client assignments and opportunity to effect change and influence management decisions.

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

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The PA team draws from a variety of backgrounds and works well globally, so a multinational client, for example, can be served cross-border.

    Cons

    Sometimes longer assignments can become tiresome, especially if extensive travel is involved to remote locations.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Pretentious

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

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Aura of self importance comes with the job

    Cons

    Aura of self importance translates to smugness

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. A great consulting firm with a conservative culture

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

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Many PA projects were Global 100 clienteles with substantial senior management interaction.

    Excellent training opportunities (outside project works).

    Most peers and partners were very nice and helpful.

    Cons

    The firm culture was generally less aggressive than others and overly focused on bottom line.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful

    This company is a joke!

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

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Compensation is ok but model benefits senior partners
    Some level of transparency

    Cons

    Zero intellectual capital
    Territorial partners with some of the worst values you'll ever encounter
    Passive aggressive culture

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    Great if you are British and a partner

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

    I worked at PA Consulting full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Midsize consultancy, fair HR policies, and some very smart people (heavy MIT recruiting). Leeway to be innovative. Good compensation.

    Cons

    The whole company is based on elaborate financials that essentially boil down to ever-growing annuities for the partners. If someones leaves their PA shares revert back to the partner body -- so the best get-rich path is to make partner and hang on. You are better served by having your buddies fail and get a piece of their shares than you are by helping them to sell. New US partners don't have a chance and the attrition rate is very high here -- that's because the managers and lower ranks are heavily indebted to partners for assignments and they reciprocate by selling on behalf of their "feudal lords". If you don't have such a team below you there is very little chance of competing.

    Note that people don't care if new partners and sellers churn out as they leave profits behind to be divvied up. Its a good company with a very cut-throat bonus/equity scheme. Be warned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire professional management with knowledge of the local customs and leave the consultants to do consulting.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. Great place to work, global culture, and interesting projects

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

    I have been working at PA Consulting full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting projects, great people, chances to travel globally, variety of opportunities, great office location, training is available to those that want it

    Cons

    Not all projects are exciting, sometimes travel can be exhausting, heavy emphasis on utilization

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    US management feels a bit disconnected from the UK management and improve the proposal process

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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