In 1992, Dan Pierce was at a crossroads in his consulting career; get out of the consulting business altogether, or find a consulting firm that more adequately reflected his values. As he thought about the issues he continued to see across the consulting business, it came down to a few key points; consistent delivery that clients could count on, commitment and loyalty to the organization and collaboration between colleagues to provide greater value to the client.
To overcome these issues, Dan knew that employees needed a company that would offer more than just a job; they needed a sense of community, security, mutual respect and trust. With these needs met, consultants would be free to focus their talents on client needs. In August of 1992, Dan founded SEI in Cincinnati, Ohio following 4 core values; Excellence, Participation, Integrity and Collaboration. They energize our people and allow us the opportunity to showcase our intellectual capital. These core values served as the basis of our operations then and continue to permeate all areas of our business.
Today, our company has grown to 8 local offices – Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, New York, Phoenix and Washington, DC. We continue to hire seasoned professionals with extensive experience and knowledge across industries and functions. Our consultants live, volunteer and raise families in the same communities where they work; creating long-term, sustainable relationships with our clients.
SEI is entirely employee owned, so our consultants own and manage the business with a shared focus on client delivery. And our flat model ensures that there aren’t any competitive roadblocks that prevent collaboration across offices – providing local expertise combined with nationwide support and knowledge resources beyond a single consultant.
We’re constantly striving to be the very best, but one thing’s missing: you. At SEI, we stock our team with the industry’s finest consultants so that each of our offices is strong, skilled, creative, and diverse. We’re always looking for passionate, dedicated consultants with industry experience and local expertise. If this sounds like you, take a look at one of our eight local offices to find out more about their unique corporate culture and job opportunities.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
The day in the life of an SEI consultant varies from day to day. As employee owners, our consultants are empowered to drive our business forward by getting involved in activities across the offices that create value for our clients and our business. It’s not uncommon for a consultant to start their day with a networking breakfast, conduct an interview over lunch or attend a happy hour with colleagues. One thing remains the same, however, providing excellent service each and every day to our clients across our local offices.
I have been working at Systems Evolution full-time (More than 5 years)
Great people who will support you as if you are family
Over 40% of the consultants in my office are women
Growth targets that assume slow sustainable profitability; not trying to grow too fast
Simple financial KPIs that ensure the office is healthy
Employee ownership of drivers that contribute to the business(client work, hiring, business development); management takes care of the boring stuff like benefits, where the holiday party is, performance reviews
Not a lot of structure and process; consultants need to govern themselves due to flat org model
Not a get rich quick opportunity; consultants need to invest roughly 5 plus years to benefit from the ownership model which is sort of the point that they don't want you to leave
Hiring is not perfect; we still hire some folks that are not a fit for SEI
Strong culture will be hard to maintain as offices get larger
Advice to Management
Stay true to the model set up by the founder; keep balanced focus on all 3 pillars
Improved communication from the CEO to the offices
Keep the work hard/play hard culture
I applied through an employee referral. I interviewed at Systems Evolution.
I interviewed in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2015. I wasn't looking for a change, but was frustrated where I was, and a previous colleague was telling me unbelievable stories about the company he was working for. I decided to give it a shot, but went in interviewing SEI as hard as they were interviewing me. The interview process gives you a lot of time to ask questions and think about the answers to then ask more questions. The interviewers reserved most of the time for you to ask any questions you have. The interviews threw me off a little, because they are not just traditional behavioral based interviews (like you would see at a large company), but after joining SEI, I can see how the interviewers are searching for the whole package in the entire interview, vs. the correct response to a specific situation-based question. The advice I would give is 1. Interview SEI as hard as they are interviewing you and 2. Bring your A-game, the entire time, for every interaction with SEI.