Avascent Reviews | Glassdoor

Avascent Reviews

Updated October 27, 2017
35 reviews

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4.2
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Avascent President Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin
21 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Avascent truly cares about its people"

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

    I worked at Avascent full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    For a young professional, Avascent is close to the ideal place to start your career.

    Direct Impact: Unlike many of its peers (BCG, McKinsey, Deloitte), at Avascent new analysts very quickly get the opportunity to build slides and present findings to clients.

    Personal Development: Related, Avascent's learning curve is steep, but incredibly rewarding for those willing to work hard. An Avascent year counts as several years in industry. This is not just empty talk. Many people that have been at Avascent only a few years leave to take Director level positions at clients. Avascent also alumni also have a high acceptance rates at the foremost law and business schools.

    Work-life-balance.: At Avascent you will be challenged, and as you'd expect in a client-driven industry, your hours can be long and unpredictable. However, management at Avascent cares about its people and analysts that work too much get flagged fairly quickly. Crunch times also don't last forever, and managers are very good about making sure you take vacation time.

    Culture: Avascent's entrepreneurial culture is one of its greatest elements. CEO Steve (who has approachable and has an open door policy) loves it when people want to take initiative, whether it is directly related to improving the business, or in the area of volunteering. Avascent's parties are also renowned.

    Cons

    Avascent does a great job hiring directly from campuses, and has a solid training program in place (you'll spend the first 3 weeks taking classes from internal experts). Avacent's ability to take college "generalists" and turn them into experts has been picked up by others, and Avascent struggles to hold on to employees for more than 2 yeasr. Many get picked off by the likes of Google, HBS, and various Space related start ups. This high turnover can sometimes be frustrating, especially at the project management level.

    Mid career professional: Avascent has had issues trying to figure out how to best onboard and integrate mid career professionals.

    Mid-level squeeze: Recently, a lot of the pressure to deliver good work has been falling on mid-level management.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Good starting job for generalists"

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

    I worked at Avascent full-time

    Pros

    Competitive Salary
    Excellent Resources for Research

    Cons

    Clique-y, frat environment, too much emphasis on "presentation" over content

  3. "Analyst"

    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 Avascent full-time

    Pros

    - great variety of work
    - autonomous working environment
    - solid feedback process
    - high level of responsibility for entry level employees

    Cons

    - unpredictability of work timelines/schedule
    - unique approach to consulting makes it difficult for new employees to assimilate above the analyst level

    Advice to Management

    Continue to work with employees to get feedback about potential areas for improvement (e.g., work/life balance, staffing process, reviews, etc.)


  4. ""Great company""

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

    I have been working at Avascent full-time

    Pros

    With some exceptions, a great culture that provides excellent consulting experience to new employees with strong alumni outcomes. For a consulting firm, work-life balance is very nice, and respected.

    Cons

    Ongoing complaints about 'bro culture' and favoritism, but has worked hard to address


  5. "Senior Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Avascent full-time

    Pros

    Interesting work and client opportunities

    Cons

    Long hours and unpredictable schedules


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Consultant"

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

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

    Pros

    Avascent is a great place to work for a variety of reasons. Most of the work is highly engaging, and the diversity of projects ensures that you'll rarely be bored (or if you are, then it won't be for long). The culture is collaborative, authentic, and supportive, and people genuinely enjoy working together. The expectations are high - but this is because the firm wants to achieve excellence, and this requires setting high standards. I also respect that its management supports civic engagement with numerous community service events every year - during the workday, rather than the more common "Yes, you should support the community...but on your own time."

    The people are what make the company distinct though. I found my colleagues to be caring, driven, thoughtful, and intellectually curious. The relationships I built there are ones I'll value for years to come.

    Cons

    In my opinion, none of the "Cons" of Avascent are unique to the firm but are common challenges of small firms or of the broader defense industry. Like many entrepreneurial firms, staffing and personal growth can be ad hoc and relationship-based, despite attempts to add structure. This can make it harder for mid-career hires to navigate a path, though the firm has taken many steps to rectify this. And as with the broader defense industry, Avascent is not the most diverse at the top levels of the firm, though it recognizes this as well and is working to improve the situation. I credit its management with working hard to be self-aware of its shortcomings, and putting time and effort into fixing them.

    Advice to Management

    The improvements you made or were in the process of making while I was there seemed like the right ones. I appreciated the focus on continual improvement, and I suspect the current and future employees will too.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great place to develop career.

    Cons

    Fun culture but a place where favorites are played.

  8. "Great place to start a career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Consultant
    Former Employee - Consultant
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Avascent full-time

    Pros

    Avascent was my first employer out of college and I worked there for 2.5 years - it was a fantastic place to start my career. The company provides strong mentorship and ample feedback which is always important but particularly in a first job. The company's upper management is friendly and open and genuinely interested in getting to know more junior staff. As an analyst, senior analyst, and consultant, I gained a strong toolkit of research, analysis, presentation, and management skills. As I moved into a new job the value of these skills only became more clear.

    Cons

    The hours can be long and the work can be stressful at times. As at any company, there are some mid-level folks who push a lot of work down onto more junior folks. However, this serves to encourage the development of strong time management skills.

    Advice to Management

    Keep focusing on creating a strong sense of camaraderie among staff.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Open, hardworking environment"

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

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

    Pros

    Senior management is open to learning, hard working employees, interesting work

    Cons

    Still growing, shifting management styles


  10. "Consultant"

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

    I worked at Avascent full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Caring Culture: Avascent is an outstanding company. While the professional benefits are exceptional, the core benefits stem from the unparalleled caring culture. From day 1 the Managing Directors know all of the employees by name. Not only do they know the name of the employees, but they also know their career aspirations and interests outside of the office. This caring culture fosters a collegial and productive working environment that makes leaving the firm so difficult.

    Trust: Employees ideas are valued and management gives employees true responsibility. Early on in an employees career at Avascent, analysts are placed in-front of senior clients and asked to directly relay their findings. This empowerment and autonomy helps analysts find value in their work. Avascent does a great job at helping analysts understand the impact of their efforts. These personal client engagement opportunities help to ensure that the work extends beyond powerpoint and into client actions.

    Professional Development Opportunities: Avascent staffs employees on multiple engagements simultaneously. This 'leverage model' exposes employees to a variety of different subject matters and client questions. Management does a great job at listening to employee requests and tries to align personal interests with project types. In less than 4 years I worked on over 60 engagements. This exposure helped me grow personally and professionally. Management did not pigeon hole me into one project type to ensure efficiency, but rather was flexible in letting me select my projects to ensure professional development. Additionally, all employees have an open door policy and everyone is on a first name basis. Employees who want to learn are given every opportunity to do so although the onus is often on the employee to ask for help / mentorship.

    Demanding - but Flexible Schedule: No one looking for a 9-5 job should apply to Avascent. Rather, Avascent attracts determined, hardworking individuals. While Avascent at times demands long hours, the firm does a great job at acknowledging other non-work priorities / commitments. When working at Avascent I had a client meeting pop-up on a Tuesday at 2pm (well within work hours). I had been hoping to take the afternoon off to go attend a ceremony where my girlfriend was receiving an award. It would have been well within the company's jurisdiction to ask me to miss the ceremony and attend the meeting, but instead the managing director at Avascent called the client and asked if we could reschedule for the following day. The client was more than happy to make this accommodation. Senior leadership at Avascent knows its employees work hard and they want to do anything they can to help employees retain a life outside of the office so long as employees are willing to put in the effort.

    Cons

    Growth Ahead: The company experienced extreme growth in my short four years of employment, but did a great job at maintaining the core values and tight-knit culture. As the firm continues to expand it risks losing some of that 'small firm' feel. With global offices and more on-site engagements teleworking is becoming more commonplace. A huge advantage of Avascent is the office culture and management will need to determine how to secure that while still enabling growth.

    Unclear Exit Strategy: Avascent operates much like a start-up and has not institutionalized a process to help employees off-board and pursue other career endeavors. While ~50% of the firm ends up at top business schools (Harvard, Wharton, Tuck, etc.) and much of the remainder goes on to brand-name firms (Google, Uber, ZocDoc) there is not a clear exit strategy and employees often feel like they need to pursue future career options in secrecy. Management is becoming more open to employees leaving, and hopefully will institutionalize a process in the near-future.

    Advice to Management

    Be careful about how much you give: The high employee turnover means that one-time events (e.g., full summer staycation, christmas break, ipads, etc.) often become expected. Avascent does a great job at rewarding its employees; however, management should be careful to ensure people are always grateful and gifts do not become expected.


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