Altman Vilandrie & Company Reviews | Glassdoor

Altman Vilandrie & Company Reviews

Updated October 22, 2018
33 reviews

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4.0
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Rory Altman & Ed Vilandrie
21 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Internship Experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Internship program was organized and thoughtful, with many opportunities to learn
    The employees are friendly and the company atmosphere is fun and welcoming
    Weekly happy hours are great and build office morale
    Compensation is good

    Cons

    Interns are not made to work the same hours as analysts, so it is hard to get a true sense of the actual hours worked by full-time analysts.


  2. "Oversell"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time

    Pros

    Incredibly smart co-workers who put a premium on enjoying working with each other.

    Cons

    The work is incredibly tedious with most of the higher level, more strategic projects won by other companies. AV&Co's niche is in telecom consulting and number crunching. If you work here you will become an expert in all things telecom including building out the more detailed models than you can imagine.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the work correctly - it's not a balanced TMT firm even though that's the aspiration.

  3. "Losing its grip with hiring and retention"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Current Employee - Analyst
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    close-knit community, low travel, no weekend work, less political than most other consulting firms

    Cons

    The company is bleeding in talent as more and more find themselves suitable for jobs in the tech industry with better pay and much less headache. With a close-knit culture, departure of revered employees drags down the morale, and prompts more to leave. The firm's failure in trying to fill their spots with new hires becomes a serious burden for remaining employees to "hold their hands" through tough projects - it's a downward spiral from there

    Advice to Management

    Time to rethink who you're competing against in terms of talent acquisition. Banking and consulting used to be the two most popular entry industries among the top students, and it was a perfect balance with consulting being a bit less pay and a bit less intense. The time has changed now, as both have lost its attraction among the younger generation - with recruiters from tech industries relentlessly targeting your employees, how are you going to convince them to stay?


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    High impact work. Great way to get prepared for B-School / PE / industry jobs

    Cons

    Awfully long hours especially for high-performance analysts. There's no fairness in staffing in that the best analysts always get put on high-burn projects back to back, and mediocre ones are on the beach all the time without getting much pressure from management to leave the firm. It's a good thing for those who are trying to stay at the company and get promoted to consultant without having to go to B-School, but for the majority of us here who want to move on to other roles after 2-3 years of consulting experience, high-performance only gets you a bad work-life balance and an awfully lot of specific telecom industry knowledge that's nowhere to be used if you want to switch industries later in your career

    Advice to Management

    Take care of your best employees and try not to burn them out


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Smart people and interesting project work

    Cons

    Long hours and passive aggressive formalities


  6. "If you're ambitious and hungry, this is the right place"

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

    I have been working at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time

    Pros

    - The work is high impact and challenging. You'll consistently find yourself in new and challenging situations. This pushes you to grow tremendously in a short amount of time. This leads me to my next point.
    - You learn a lot. At AV&Co, you'll develop a universally applicable arsenal of tools ranging from broad critical thinking / problem solving, to advanced financial modelling and presentation skills.
    - Senior Management is very friendly and the firm operates on a fairly flat structure. Informally, this means you can casually talk to pretty much everyone.
    - Fun staff. Co-workers are very friendly with one another and people hang out outside of the office all the time. It's very pleasant to work with your friends.
    - Very structured and explicit opportunities for advancement. The firm is growing steadily over the years (historically, perhaps a bit too fast, but growth is slowly becoming more manageable), which also creates an upward "vacuum" that allows you to stretch into the role above you. It's not uncommon for analyst/senior analyst level people to find themselves managing the day to day of a project.
    - Exit opportunities are phenomenal. Employees who leave the firm consistently go on to work at top TMT firms (e.g. Google, Twitter, Verizon) in high-impact corporate strategy roles and often fly through the ranks at those companies. Others go on to study at the top MBA programs (e.g. Stanford, Harvard, etc.).

    Cons

    - High number and variability in hours. In some weeks, you'll do 70 hours, in others you'll do 40. It's fairly unpredictable and makes it difficult to make plans outside of work. Average (including beach time), is probably somewhere around 50-55 depending on who you're asking.
    - High variability in 1st year performance with pay not fully reflective of true value. Afte the first year or two of an analyst class, you start to see a very wide range of capabilities, with some high performers (usually will then get promoted) and underperformers. Pay does not generally reflect true output, with a very strong tenured analyst only getting maybe 5-10% more than underperformers. This is extra frustrating, as underperforming analysts will typically be staffed on easier or more internal projects, meaning they also tend to work fewer and less stressful hours

    Advice to Management

    - Increase the share of pay that is performance / bonus based, even at lower levels. There is too much complacency among underperforming staff
    - Continue efforts to improve work-life balance, especially for higher performers - Continue to promote internal promotion, especially for mid-management roles


  7. Helpful (2)

    "I left more qualified for life than I arrived"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time

    Pros

    AV&Co. will prepare you for a very successful career path if you are willing to put in the work. If you join, you will learn strategic, analytical, and management skills with the added benefit of opportunities to find mentors and friends along the way.

    The firm is more like a community than a company, and low travel translates to strong interpersonal relationships where partners and analysts can often be found engaging in informal discussion. Lack of competitiveness empowers the camaraderie that develops within each starting class of analysts and these people become a core part of your social life both while you are an employee and after you have left. Employees are accessible, highly intelligent, extremely collaborative, and broadly very kind. Partners are passionate about TMT, and this enthusiasm tends to trickle down and generate industry enthusiasm among the less-tenured folks. Despite the lesser-known brand, AV&Co.’s industry focus becomes a resume differentiator upon departure, as employees not only develop consultant skills, but also build a stable foundation of industry knowledge that is appreciated by large corporations.

    The firm operates on a hybrid model of apprenticeship and trial by fire. Learning happens on the job, and it happens as quickly as you are willing to allow. Those who succeed are the ones who embrace the discomfort of never knowing how to do something you’ve been asked to do, as these people find that there is always some way to learn. Due to the thin middle-management structure, analysts requiring less guidance can set themselves on rapid career trajectories that find them leading day-to-day of project teams two years out of undergraduate.

    Cons

    Beyond the expected complaints of long hours and other client-services-related matters, a major challenge at AV&Co. is its growth management. A recent hiring initiative resulted in a large onboarding of new employees, which took a toll on the existing consultants who were expected to push ahead on their own work while pulling up the many inexperienced teammates around them. Off-cycle hires have had a much higher failure rate due several factors: 1) supply bias toward more un-fit employees finding themselves in the off-cycle job market 2) a lack of support network to train and learn with upon starting (as compared with on-cycle analyst or consultant starting classes). This challenge is amplified by the fact that many analysts only intend to two-years of consulting, and so the need to fill gaps at the mid-level is greater. Better candidate filtering for historical promotions and trajectories as well as interviews that include Excel and PowerPoint skill testing may improve this problem.

    Closely linked to the hiring matter is the issue of work distribution. Those who are most successful will probably find themselves with unlimited opportunities to dedicate time and effort to the firm. Gaps in project staffing will be infrequent to non-existent for these people, while others find themselves unstaffed at regular intervals. High performers will find many mentors, and likely feel strongly committed to the work products and well-being of the firm. As a result, during difficult projects or negative team situations, it can be challenging to detach from work-related stress and distress. The outcome of this dynamic is that the strongest performers from analyst up to partner level are consistently at highest risk of burn-out.

    Advice to Management

    The analyst class community is the most powerful tool for retention. When morale breaks for a sub-set, the whole group feels it, and when members begin to leave, the likelihood of others departing increases. Continue to support analyst-class events and activities. Show interest in the newcomers even though they are becoming less relatable to you. Keep pushing on the firm initiatives and keep involving analysts, senior analysts, and consultants. Analysts are at the bottom of the consulting power ladder, so the only way to empower them is give them more influence on internal matters. Try to sympathize with their concerns even when they sound like endless complaints.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "So far so good!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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

    Pros

    Smart people, great friendships, nice offices, stimulating work, strong commitment from HR and MC to make improvements. It’s unique to find a small firm, founder led, that can still attract some of the same people as the bigger consulting firms.

    Cons

    Long hours, typical of consulting and law...though not worked one weekend since I started. Pay is competitive and benefits are fine. Free gym in Boston and SF.

    Advice to Management

    Keep making improvements, consider raising benefits coverage to 100%


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Top-notch strategy shop with unparalleled TMT expertise"

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

    I have been working at Altman Vilandrie & Company full-time

    Pros

    -Amazing culture among colleagues; truly wonderful people who are supportive of each other and have a great rapport
    -You'll never doubt that the analyses your team is churning out is best in class work, arguably higher quality than Big 3 given the level of AV&Co's expertise in TMT
    -Very high standards of management means you will challenge yourself and learn a lot
    -Wonderful admin/HR staff that truly makes staff feel like their professional development is a priority
    -Low travel; a rare find in consulting
    -Interesting, intellectually challenging projects and subject matters
    -Comp is at or above market level across the board
    -Meritocratic culture makes you feel like you are in control of your career

    Cons

    Hours are long but I won't even go into that because anyone entering this field knows that work/life will be a challenge. Nothing nuanced to say here.

    My biggest (and maybe only) pain point is the feeling of complacency that seems to emanate from senior leaders lately. The founders and management committee members seem perfectly happy with the firm staying where it is (roughly) in terms of size, scope, revenue, etc. Totally understandable for guys in their 40s who've had a long and intense 15 years, but not exactly an exhilarating notion for younger staff or new hires. Would be great if there was a greater sense of innovation and forward thinking at the firm; after all part of the reason to work for a smaller firm over the McKinseys and Bains of the world is the prospect of getting in early on a business that is *growing*. It seems like the short- and medium-term plan is for the firm to stay the course, which isn't exactly an inspirational mission.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic firm. Steep learning curve. Amazing opportunities!"

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

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

    Pros

    - 100% focus on strategy and diligence projects only. No dilution in project quality by taking up operational projects like other best in class strategy firms have been doing
    - Quick 4-6 weeks projects are pretty typical. They keep things interesting but that also means that you are on a steep learning curve for at least the first year
    - Access to top clients early in the tenure
    - Extremely talented co-workers who are fun to work with
    - You will learn more about Excel and PowerPoint than you thought was possible
    - No need for face time and analysts are encouraged to stay at home if there is no need to be in office
    - Strong and detailed review process after every project and then bi-yearly reviews to discuss promotions. Completely merit based and comprehensive review forms provide tactical feedback to work on
    - Very helpful HR and Admin staff that make life so much easier

    Cons

    - Obviously working hours are challenging. No surprises here. Typical week ranges from 55-70 hours / week. However, this is pretty typical of consulting in general and expected when joining. One great thing is that management has taken strong steps to kill weekend work. I haven’t worked even a single weekend during my tenure here. PTOs and personal time are very well respected
    - Staffing decisions can be ambiguous; Although it is difficult to get them correct because it is a function of projects in pipeline, personal preference and capability
    - Need more flexibility for inter-office transfers


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