Altman Vilandrie & Company Reviews | Glassdoor

Altman Vilandrie & Company Reviews

Updated November 24, 2016
21 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

4.4
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Rory Altman & Ed Vilandrie
11 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Fun, bright firm"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Bright, interesting people; competitive pay and benefits; casual and entrepreneurial environment. Generous company events, lunch 2x. a week.

    Cons

    Infrastructure still evolving - company is at inflection point but some good leadership work is on the horizon.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Amazing Professional Development, Great People, Interesting Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you can handle the hours (see cons below), then AV&Co. is a great place to work. In particular, I think AV&Co. provides likely unparalleled runway, opportunities, and pace for professional development.

    Before I dive deeper into the professional development piece, here are some other quick hit pros:
    - Low travel: You'll likely average ~2 trips of a couple days each for most of your projects. Rarely will you find yourself on a classic Monday to Thursday management-consulting style travel project. In addition to the benefit of actually getting to live in the city you chose to be in, this also means more opportunities to build relationships with your coworkers, from peers up to the most senior-level members of the company, including the founders
    - Industry focus: There's plenty of variety within TMT (even with AV&Co's heavy emphasis on telecom), but the focus still means that you'll more quickly develop area expertise (which translates to more respect and engagement from clients) and avoid the risk of a generalist firm that you get staffed on something you find truly boring (assuming you find technology interesting)
    - Strategy focus: AV&Co's 'Strategy'-focused nature means that you're almost never working on internal efficiencies, cost-cutting initiatives, BU-reorganizations, or process improvement projects (read: real 'management consulting' is about firing people) -- instead, you'll generally be working on questions like "should we launch this product, or buy this company, or enter this market" or projects focused on a more limited scope within this vein (e.g. competitive research, growth initiative business cases, customer data analysis, network deployment planning)
    - Analytical bent, and dedication to quality work: Let's be honest, AV&Co. has a bit of a chip on its shoulder as a challenger to big-3 consulting firms for client business (frequently goes head-to-head with Bain/McKinsey/BCG, and frequently wins depending on what the client is looking for). When combined with some fanatically detail-oriented senior leaders, this means a serious dedication to high quality work. AV&Co also has a strong analytical bent, and which means you can be confident that anyone who makes it to senior analyst has real chops (including you, if you can cut it). You will become an excel expert, and probably become pretty proficient with large-data manipulation (either in SQL or SAS).

    OK, on professional development: AV&Co has (IMO) a remarkably transparent and fair review process, and truly places no artificial boundaries to how fast you can move up the ladder -- at least up to the consultant (post-MBA) position. If anything, the risk is the opposite: the expectation is that you will be constantly reaching for stretch opportunities technically above your role's definition, and there will be disappointment if you're perceived as resting on your laurels. You'll get formal project reviews after every project (multiple for projects that are over 6 months), and unlike the big-3's 2 or 3-year, time-oriented up-or-out approach, promotions at AV&Co. are evaluated every 6 months regardless of tenure.

    AV&Co loves promoting senior analysts straight to the consultant ('post-mba') position without an MBA. Making Manager may or may not be more political (there are more obvious potential math problems there on the ratio of managers to other staff, but I have no hard evidence of someone getting their promotion unduly delayed, and in one cycle a perhaps irresponsible number of manager promotes were made at once). Making it to partner/director level is a tough transition: there's an unfortunate inverse relationship between time/effort being a good manager and time/effort one can devote to selling projects, which is the required next step for principal.

    Cons

    I wish I could have started with cons, because it's pretty simple: The hours can be long, with high variability and short visibility. A slow week is ~50 hours. A standard week is ~65 hours. A bad week is ~75 hours. A terrible week (on average, a handful of these per year) is 80+ hours. 'Beach time', very rare if you're performing well, is of course a different story. So, not as bad as your I-banker friends, but not easy.

    If you've never worked hours like this, I encourage you to do some simple math in your head: a normal 65 hour week, if you're starting work at 9am, you're not working the weekend, and you're getting out at ~5pm on a Friday, translates to an average of ~11:30pm Monday-Thursday.

    If the trade-off of benefits (pros listed above) vs. long hours is worth it to you (it certainly was for me), then I can't recommend AV&Co. more highly.

    A bit more context on hours, lack of beach time, and AV&Co's general issues: AV&Co. has never had a problem selling projects and growing revenue each year. AV&Co. has had perennial problems hiring and retaining enough folks at a rate to match their annual increase in business. So, over the past few years, each year's 'peak season' would get longer and longer, with less and less 'beach time' across the organization, and more and more cases of unfortunate overlap between projects (below manager level, all consulting staff is on a single-project staffing model). These are great problems to have from a business perspective, but not great from a work-life trend perspective. However, as I was leaving AV&Co, awareness of these issues among the management was coming to a head, and I believe they've taken earnest steps to rectify the situation in the start of this year with a hiring push. I can't speak to the results of that effort.

    Advice to Management

    Most of you are aging-out of cultural participation. This is going to have long-term negative impact on the cultural strength of the company (think happy hours and ski trips with only analysts in attendance). This is compounded by the insistence that Boston remain the 'main' office, when most of your culturally active junior leadership isn't in the Boston office. Also, let's be clear that this isn't a one-off thing: it's a fact of life that, ceteris paribus, most of your young, motivated, smart folks are going to prefer NYC or SF to Boston (I'm not one of those folks, but it's true).

    I would encourage you all to make an effort to stay engaged (make sure that a management committee member is at every happy hour if possible), and stop fighting the inevitable that NYC and maybe even SF should be the 'starter' office for most new hires within 5 years. Otherwise, you're just like our more dinosaur-like clients fighting/denying the impact of the latest big technology trend.


  3. Helpful (7)

    "If you are pragmatic, seek to shine and not blend in - this place is for you."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altman Vilandrie & Company (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I have had a great experience during my time at this organization. This is the first time I have ever written a review regarding my employer. From the top the vision is transparent; you are invited in the "circle of trust" on day one; getting to soak in intellectual knowledge from industry leaders. Secondly the meritocracy they promote is real; I've consulted for Amazon and Facebook and Apple.... all these companies talk about a merit based environment but few implement it. If you are looking to blend in - join fidelity - but id you truly seek to make a difference and have your voice hear AV&Co is the place for you.

    Cons

    I would love to see some type of presidents club award given to top performers company wide. Where the recipients are given a week trip on the firm.This isn't even a con; its more of a suggestion box item.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. We solve problems that some of the greatest companies in the world believe are unsolvable.... and we have fun doing so. Thank you for providing such an engaging environment and quality coworkers, it makes work fun each day!


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Summer Consultant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Summer Associate in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Summer Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altman Vilandrie & Company (More than a year)

    Pros

    Low amount of travel. Reasonable work hours. Strong credibility and name within telecommunications companies. Good mentorship and succession planning.

    Cons

    Lots of industry experience therefore not as standardized on client management process.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "If you are interested in TMT and strategy consulting, this is the place to be..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting TMT projects, smart and fun colleagues, great learning environment!

    Cons

    Typical consulting lifestyle, similar to other strategy firms.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Great post-graduate stepping stone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    AV&Co. is a growing, small consulting firm, which means there is a lot of opportunity for ownership and advancement.
    AV&Co. also has a focus on telecom, media and tech (TMT), which means most projects are related to interesting content that helps shape you into an industry expert.
    Exit opportunities are great with many recruiters proactively reaching out to employees for their consulting background and industry expertise.
    Being a small firm with a flat organizational hierarchy means that younger tenure employees can work directly with (and learn directly from) senior management, which helps foster and advance an incredibly tight-knit, fun culture.

    Cons

    AV&Co., like other consulting firms, has long hours and struggles with a good work/life balance (consulting total compensation often offsets this a bit).
    Also, the elevated stress for working in a fast-paced environment for high-profile clients can be a burden (which can be quite intolerable for some)


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Fast paced, fun environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Analyst in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -Everyone's chill, understanding, and helpful
    -Data and results driven
    -Room for growth

    Cons

    -Sometimes, the expectations can be a bit high, but it is a fast paced environment that only bright people can succeed in.

    Advice to Management

    You all are doing an amazing job. Thank you for this opportunity.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Hard work and little balance for the bottom 80%, but very well compensated, great culture, and meritocracy."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    True meritocracy where you'll get paid & promoted according to the quality and quantity of work you complete. Lots of responsibility available to you to take on as you please. If you are labeled as a "superstar" you'll be fast tracked into the inner circle.

    Cons

    Seems to be all or nothing in terms of lifestyle. Either you go full burn and reap all the rewards or try to maintain balance and be pushed to the periphery. Doubt the firm will continue to grow much more than ~100-200 FTE, since the model doesn't scale with much efficiency and has started to show disefficiencies of scale. Limited growth means promotions will become slower and reaching the top 20% near impossible.

    Advice to Management

    The more analytical/big data the project the less you can treat it like the strategy consulting engagements you're used to. This is a new industry and others are doing it better with happier employees because they aren't tied to "business as usual".


  10. "Great work environment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The best reason to work at AV&Co is the work environment. The company does a fantastic job fostering community through activities such as participating in sports leagues, weekly happy hours, quarterly community service events, etc.

    Cons

    The number one downside is that you work alot. Also as a MBA coming in at the consultant level, it's annoying that the company doesn't require analysts to get MBAs for promotion into management rules.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Superlative people, work, and advancement opportunities combine for an excellent value prop"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Culture & People:

    AV&Co. has been able to attract and retain a group of very bright, amiable people.

    Part of this culture is driven by the way promotions are implemented- consultants do not compete with each other for promotions- they are promoted as soon as they are ready, regardless of tenure.

    As a result, there exist extremely rapid career advancement opportunities as well as a fast-paced and collaborative work environment filled with motivated colleagues who are more interested in what you have to say than your position.

    Business:

    Frequently win projects against "big 3" generalist firms, despite comparable pricing. The advantages derive from industry expertise, quantitative approach, and of course, top talent.

    Company is continuing to grow, actually turning down work due to lack of sufficient staff. Morale is generally high.

    The majority of work occurs in quickly evolving, complex industries which positions us well for future growth. As a result of our expertise and focus within these industries, we are skewed toward an uncommon proportion of high-level strategy work relative to the generalists, as businesses draw on our expertise to understand how best to position themselves for the next wave of innovation (e.g. what products to develop, how to price or market services based on these products that have never before been commercialized, etc.).

    Cons

    The primary threat to our business is macroeconomic downturn.

    The hours are in-line with industry- about 55 on average, though they can range from much lower to much higher, depending on the project.

    Only Boston and NYC offices (though there are ongoing staff exchanges with a European firm based in London and Munich)

    Advice to Management

    Overall doing a great job. Primary issue over next 18 months or so may be managing recent growth and onboarding new staff. Improved digital asset management will be a plus when that is implemented.


Showing 21 of 28 reviews
Reset Filters