Stroud International

www.stroudinternational.com
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Stroud International Reviews

Updated February 11, 2015
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4.1
13 Reviews
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Stroud International Partner Nathaniel Greene
Nathaniel Greene
12 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Talented people, excellent learning experience and opportunities for growth, and a great culture

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

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The best parts of the company are the people and culture. There is a true sense of team, mentoring opportunities, and colleagues are just a wonderful, interesting, bright and fun group to be with. The learning and fast growth mentality are also excellent. Consultants are given lots of opportunity to step up and take ownership. The experience instills a mindset of proactiveness, logic, great problem solving, and the ability to cause change that is important in any future work.

    Cons

    Like most consultancies, the travel is demanding and makes maintaining a good social life at home difficult.

  2. Helpful (13)

    A Warning from Experience

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

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The company serves as a status symbol among Cornell engineering seniors. It has cultivated an image of prestige that is tough to beat.

    Cons

    I'm going to preface this saying that I really did not want to post a negative review, but I could not stand the idea that this company has 4.2 stars. As a senior in college, I received an offer from Stroud in my Fall semester, which was early enough (and exciting enough) to eliminate my need to search further for work. After graduating, I picked up and moved my life to Boston. I signed a summer sublet, a full year lease on my apartment, registered my car, and even got a first-day-of-work haircut. Immediately following, I received a phone call from the hiring manager notifying me that they would not be bringing in new hires as part of a reduction in force. This was the day before I was supposed to start work.

    When confronted about the late notice, our hiring manager said that they wanted to wait until the very last moment in prayers that work would pick up. Further research has revealed that work had been slow for more than a year prior to our scheduled start date.

    The aforementioned image of prestige is a guise. The company (as mentioned by another comment) incentivizes good reviews to boost their name. When I began my job search again, I thought that having a letter of recommendation from Stroud would be a significant boost in the consulting community. It was no such thing. Of the 10+ firms I spoke with, only 1 even knew of the company. And since moving on with my life, I have yet to meet a single person outside of Cornell who knows of the company. Finally, every person in any industry that I've met has agreed that laying off new hires is poor practice. The only other time I've heard of it was in banking in 2008 due to flailing market. Stroud did this in both 2012 and 2013 (and I sincerely hope they didn't in 2014).

    To be clear, I am not wallowing in my own pity. Stroud is a company full of talented individuals and managed by a group of tools. But they have wronged a large number of people, and I can't stand to see nothing about it on here.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage your company. If business is slow, either allow your employees to ride the bench, or give prospective employees some warning.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Stroud offers tremendous personal/career development and will do whatever they can to help you fulfill your career goals

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

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great induction program when you join. The people are extremely smart and capable. Management will do whatever they can to help you. The job itself is quite unique, challenging and your work environment will constantly change. The role is all client-facing.

    Cons

    Extensive travel can get weary. May not see fellow coworkers and colleagues often.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes teams of consultants working together on a project can be more successful then the individual parts working independently on different projects.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    Hard, challenging and definitely worth it!

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

    I have been working at Stroud International full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    I have worked at Stroud for 11 years. I love the work that I do and the development I’ve experienced as a result of working here. I’ve worked in dozens of manufacturing environments across the US, have seen how hundreds of products are made and have had the opportunity to help make them run faster and more efficiently. My role at Stroud has developed over the years, and through it all I’ve had great moments and really hard moments. The career path at Stroud forces you to continually develop and grow. A few years in, I was faced with the decision of overcoming an aversion to conflict or continuing my career somewhere else. I received support and coaching, and I still struggled. Fortunately, I was able to work through it and am better in so many aspects of my life because of it. As a result of my experience, I help ensure our current employees receive the same support that I did. Truly, the most rewarding experiences I have had are being able to help those I work with develop. My net Stroud experience has resulted in most of my closest friends being current and past Stroud employees. It has been hard, it has been challenging and it has definitely been worth it.

    Cons

    Significant travel! Our work requires us to be on location with the client. Our typical travel schedule is out on the first flight on Monday and back on whatever flight allows us to work a full day on Thursday. I have a wife and two young boys at home which has made it more difficult to leave each week. The main reason it has worked for my family has been my wife’s strength and independence to manage everything while I’m gone (not to mention while I’m home :)). There are some offsetting perks with air miles, hotel and car rental points which have enabled us to take very nice vacations … though, ultimately the reason I’m still with Stroud is because of details I listed in the “pros.”

  6. Helpful (6)

    Ruled by propaganda

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

    I worked at Stroud International full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -I learned more about management, how to run and lead meetings, effective organizational structures, etc. than I could have in virtually any other (non-consulting) role.
    -Living on the road meant I could expense almost everything every week. Free food, drinks, etc. definitely helps the bank account.
    -Airline miles!

    Cons

    -The whole culture is ruled by propaganda. One example is the whole "Best Consulting Firm to Work For". This rating isn't true. Employees are incentivised to rate the company well, even if it's not what they truly feel. Stroud laid off over 50% of their employees in the past year because they didn't keep enough clients to keep them all employed. Yet, Stroud still won "Best Firm". Does that make any sense?
    -The work life balance isn't as good as they let on. Yes you have 5 weeks of vacation, but you need it because otherwise you'd be totally burnt out. A typical day on site is probably 10-12 hours, plus a few more hours once you get home, and the occasional 4am night wasn't uncommon

    Advice to Management

    Work on business development. You need some more clients, or else you're going to have to keep letting good employees go.

    Stop lying about how good it is to work at Stroud. You're setting the wrong expectations. Stroud is definitely not a bad place to work, but it's appalling that you lie to get people to work for you

  7. Helpful (3)

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

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

    I worked at Stroud International full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Opportunities to solve real world supply chain problems and have meaningful interactions with senior leaders unusually early in a career.
    Sincere and intense interest in personal development throughout the company. Managers, Partners, and peers will genuinely invest in all staff to help them reach their potential.
    Not the typical pre-MBA associate or post-MBA analyst role - much more doing than suggesting.
    Being part of a small, entrepreneurial company: if you demonstrate initiative and capability, and earn the trust of a leadership team member, you will have the chance to shape the company.

    Cons

    Standard road warrior culture: work hard/drink hard/fly business class.
    There is only one career path - up or out. You are either on the Partner track, first drinking the koolade then mixing it, or you are on your way out.
    As evidenced by the photos on the leadership page, the company has struggled to maintain diversity of gender, race, and thought during its growth.
    It is a small company and very, very tightly knit - the company will take an interest in your personal life and "help" you make decisions, whether or not you ask. You can't spell culture without cult.

    Advice to Management

    You have mastered the university recruiting game, now your challenge is to offer experienced hires a similarly appealing professional journey. Attrition in the middle of the pyramid is extremely expensive. Lack of diversity is a risk to credibility and capability.
    Try a leadership style that doesn't depend on intimidation or control. You may find that a hint of vulnerability will inspire more people to follow you farther.

  8. Strong culture of personal development and success.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Strong emphasis on personal development,
    Very open and honest environment,
    Senior level consultants and partners very accessible,
    Good work / life balance (with respect to consulting industry average)

    Cons

    As an associate consultant, one does not get to chose which project he/she gets assigned to.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.

  9. Great personal development and real responsibility

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Stroud International

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Real responsibility from day 1
    The work is very tangible and the impact on clients is visible
    Exceptionally bright group of people
    True meritocracy
    Good work life balance with not weekend work and reasonable hours

    Cons

    Not unique to Stroud - lots of travel and being away from home
    Small firm culture is great but the lack of formalized processes can be challenging

    Advice to Management

    Maintain the small firm culture even as the firm grows

  10. Helpful (1)

    A chance to develop yourself and your career much faster than elsewhere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at Stroud International full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    I was working as a research engineer and looking for a next job when I met Stroud. What got my interest was the energy I saw and the impact the people were able to make on their projects in such a short time, especially compared to my past engineering projects.

    I had given a lot of thought to what I wanted in my job: interesting and challenging work that used my education, good compensation, a clear advancement path, getting an edge in future management roles or MBA applications, and something that would force me to learn strong interpersonal and leadership skills. Up to this time I thought the only things that fit the bill were an engineering position on a management track, joining one of the big name consultancies, or going out on a limb with a startup.

    I was surprised to learn about a company like Stroud that was young and growing and yet had worked with some of the biggest companies out there. I was impressed with the mentally sharp interviewers I met. But what sold me was how fast Stroud developed their new starters even at university level to lead teams right out of the gate. Their people less than one year out of university were working on a peer-to-peer level with industry managers 20+ years out. It was nothing like what my friends who had signed with big name companies were doing (usually they were working more behind the scenes doing analysis for the first couple years). With a good comp package, a clear promotion track and variety of work, it nailed the things I was looking for.

    Now some years later I can compare my career track and development to my friends from university and grad school. At this point most of them are either just graduating with their PhD or MBA, or are an engineer with their second or third company. Most have not managed a team of direct reports yet, have never been placed as the lead in a large team effort to transform a business, have never led a senior leadership meeting (or been invited to one), nor have had one-on-one strategy working time with VP level and up. These are the things I was doing in a typical week two years ago, and my sphere of work has further grown since. Aside from being way ahead in terms of personal development, career experience, and a network of senior business leaders I've helped across multiple continents, the other gem is my compensation now is well ahead of most MBA grads, the growth outlook is steeper, and I've been making a salary the whole time and taking on no debt. (It's sometimes fun for me to MBA-bash now, but seriously I had originally planned on doing it after a couple years, and there are several Stroud alumni who chose this path and have been some of the youngest accepted into top-5 MBA programs, including three this past year.) My peers at Stroud who have gone on to other things have joined companies at the senior manager and VP level (or startup CEO), which is crazy considering our age.

    Cons

    Stroud is not for everyone. If you're more interested in a job where you can punch in and punch out with regular hours, or if you're mainly interested in a status symbol on your resume for your next step, or if you're hoping for somewhere where you can excel with talent and less than your full effort, then it is not good fit. The work will demand your best and you need to be prepared to give it and respond to consistent feedback on what to improve. Given the high stakes and rapid timeframes of the projects, this can lend itself to very hard-working days. Also given that the firm has smaller team sizes and the length of a typical project is less than a year, it can at times make for uncertainty in where you'll be week to week outside of the middle of a project. The nature of work involves being on site in person with clients, which means travel each week if your client isn't nearby. This started out as an enjoyment of mine, especially the perks and vacations, and now being married and starting a family it's become something to actively manage and I've been working to reduce travel by landing clients near home.

  11. Helpful (1)

    Best place to start your career and occasionally volatile

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Associate in London, England (UK)

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

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

    Pros

    Stroud is THE BEST place to start your career. Compared to my peers the responsibility and the development you receive straight off the bat is the best around. In London, Stroud is relatively small and so all of the things that need to be done as part of any business are shared out among everyone. In my first year I had responsibilities (i.e. not just exposure) in delivering BIG results for clients (20% production improvements and suchlike), and also in recruitment, business systems, business development, technology and training (yep, training others in the office within a year – including people more senior). At times it’s a lot of work but you actually achieve visible stuff which really makes a difference, rather than just being a cog in the machine.

    The culture and approach to development and learning is also infectious. It’s a very high energy group of people who are great to be around. They’re also driving towards their own goals and are happy to share what they’re working on, their difficulties and their successes. I’ve seen the people I joined with move a million miles on some of the things they initially found difficult. Being around a talented group of people like this means you can’t hide the things you’re not good at. There is an expectation that you are always developing and moving towards where you want to be. This means you never end up stagnant or in a position where you feel you’re not progressing. Take the extreme case of someone who has worked out that the next thing to work on was outside Stroud (be that start-ups, big business or even a professional musician). That conversation is open and supportive and Stroud helped them with a plan setting them up to be successful. The mantra of “Unleashing Potential” is actually lived, not just on the branding (internally as well as externally).

    Cons

    It’s a small consultancy – that means two things:

    1. There’s a lot of travel, and that’s not for everybody.
    Stroud works on its client sites Monday to Thursday. We need to, in order to deliver the service we do. The London office serves all of Europe which of course means being away from home a lot and a lot of flying. Sometimes that’s very hard, particularly if you have a fairly active weekday social life. If you like travelling then it brings a couple of positives like a ton of air miles which you can use for holiday or visiting friends and family abroad.

    2. The business has been pretty volatile.
    One or two big clients can make a big difference to how much work there is. Just over a year ago we went through a quiet patch and that meant there we had a lot of people with no work and some were made redundant. A lot of them were close friends and that made it difficult. Looking at where they all are now, they’re all (I mean all) doing some pretty cool things in and outside of consulting. We’re hiring again now, but am I certain that at some point in the future it won’t happen again? No (but neither is anyone else!). What I am certain about, is the skills you gain in Stroud allow you to do almost anything else, and way better than you would have done before.

    Advice to Management

    Three things:

    - Mix the teams between offices more often, even if just for short projects. The development gains will be well worth the associated transport costs.
    - Small and agile is great, but investing in (or even outsourcing) some of the more mundane basics of the business will pay back in the long term. Don’t be afraid of outside help on some of these, I think we’re getting better at this but there a load more areas where a little bit of external help with turn some “good” parts of the our internals into “great” ones.
    - Keep being open about your own development. We know you’re not perfect (and we don’t expect you to be), but just knowing you’re working on your flaws is a big motivator.

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