I have been working at The Beacon Group full-time (Less than a year)
I can think of no better place to begin a career than at Beacon. Right from your first day on a project, you are expected to drive your own research, manage-upward when you need guidance, and remain vocal and critical of yours and the assumptions of those around you. The most rewarding element of working at Beacon is that your own research as a consultant is the life-force behind our recommendations to our clients. In cases where a project’s senior leaders are thinking one way about a topic, you have the opportunity to engage those beliefs and dispute them just by trusting your work and allowing the research you did to speak for itself. The senior leadership is receptive towards your analysis of the data and welcomes disagreement in order to develop a more robust, detailed story.
The consultant position promotes self-management really well, in that you are expected to communicate with your project team about your process in meeting your goals, daily research quotas, and your personal schedule. The daily communication with project managers and VPs allows for a collaboration that heavily involves the junior consultant much more in the development of strategies and tactics than it might at other firms. Beacon stands out among the forest of other consulting firms in that junior staff can grasp onto this process as much as they want to. On some of my first few projects, I was providing market disruption strategies for some of the largest healthcare companies in the world that I helped create based on my own research. Beacon brilliantly leverages the market knowledge gathered by junior consultants over the course of a project, which contributes mightily to developing confidence and pride in your work and the knowledge that senior staff think they can rely on you.
The client-facing nature of the consultant role can be intimidating at first, but after your first project, you begin to let your guard down and more and more you just allow your research and your analysis room to breathe. Beacon’s process accelerates a young, recent college grad’s comfort-level and confidence with presenting and engaging directly Fortune 500 executives.
The opportunity to work in a business development/client management role provides an insight into the lifestyle of Directors/VPs at the firm. By assisting in this process, junior consultants are able to contribute to the overall targeting strategy for evolving Beacon’s relationships with existing and emerging clients.
There is complete freedom for junior consultants to leave the office for coffee, notify their managers they have to leave early, etc. A big benefit of working at Beacon is that the level of individual independence is not negatively impacted by the high responsibility and expectations. The typical day is between 9 and 10 hours, but consultants are encouraged to make the most of their time and leave the office earlier, if possible.
Non-Mainers: It’s worth some time considering your desire to live and work in Portland. Portland is a diverse city in an otherwise ethnically homogenous state, and is full of young professionals and networking opportunities. If you have nothing to cling to besides your work, you will find that Portland can feel like a vacuum. You have to actively seek out the things you enjoy to make a Portland lifestyle work for you.
I’ve seen some reviews claiming that the work hours are “insane.” My response to this is that 50-60 hour work weeks can definitely be insane to those allergic to productivity and success.
Advice to Management
As a person of color, I felt like there was no clear promotion of diversity throughout the application process. That said I do believe that the lack of proactive efforts to include a more diverse pool of applicants is something on the mind of many senior employees, but I’m not sure steps are currently underway to tackle this issue. I recommend Beacon take more seriously the importance of seeking out prospects who are of non-white backgrounds and who live in states outside Maine. Perhaps this can be done by investing resources in attending business school summer programs and undergraduate campus recruiting/career fairs at places outside of Maine or in ethnically heterogeneous areas.
I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at The Beacon Group (New York, NY) in March 2016.
First interview was a phone interview, it was more of a conversational interview, with the I will tell you about the company, how fast we are growing and what a great place it is to grow a career in consulting. After that, you talk about yourself, your resume, work experiences, all the expected phone interview topics. I felt it went pretty well, there would be challenges, but they sounded very interested in my background and that it would be a good fit for both. The director of recruiting ends it with, a "let's follow up early next week" after they talked to a few other applicants that were being considered but didn't have the experience and progress towards the MBA that I did. Early next week comes and goes, nothing, from them, I send an email reiterating my interest, nothing. Another week passes, nothing. I finally dismissed the opportunity all together. They couldn't even send a "Sorry we went in another direction". It kind of left a bad taste in my mouth.
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