Cornerstone Research Reviews | Glassdoor

Cornerstone Research Reviews

Updated December 8, 2018
143 reviews

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3.9
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Cornerstone Research President and CEO Michael E. Burton
Michael E. Burton
36 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Interesting cases with great people"

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

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

    Pros

    The people at Cornerstone treat each other uncommonly well, are extraordinarily bright, and work very hard. The cases that I've worked on (securities, retirement plans, merger antitrust) have all been interesting, and the level of technical skills used in the job is satisfying for someone who likes coding in R or Stata (though it can be avoided if you don't like that). I've worked on multiple front-page WSJ cases, but I didn't get to tell anyone about it because of confidentiality. Working on multiple cases at once can be stressful, but is good for varied experiences. The staffing system works well for a small firm, and I was able to consistently get on cases I was most interested in. The pay is pretty good for the number of hours that you work relative to management consulting and finance, and scales well at the analyst level past the first year. For people who are like me coming out of undergrad, I can't recommend it highly enough. From my perspective, Cornerstone has the best culture, highest pay, and most high-profile cases of any economic consulting firm. Exit opportunities are excellent and cover a wide range of options, including tech, data analytics roles, law school, econ PhD programs, and (most commonly) MBA programs. It didn't close any doors for me out of undergrad, which was important as my long-term interests weren't clear when I graduated.

    Cons

    The variance in hours you will work on a case means that some weeks you will be working all of the time, while others it will be a normal 9-6:30pm job. This can sometimes be anticipated, but sometimes it's out of the blue which can be really intrusive into your personal life. This variance averages out to about 50 hours a week, but I've worked more than 80 sometimes and more than 90 more than once. Management styles can vary significantly across cases and case managers, which takes getting used to but is actually nice in a first job. Also, no-one understood what I did, and it was hard to explain when people asked ("I do numbers for lawyers? But it's like, economics"). There's also almost zero name recognition outside of lawyers and other economic consultants.

    Advice to Management

    -Pay analysts 20% more: most of them can get jobs in tech that are less econ-focused (boo) and have fewer hours (yay)
    -Work to build consistent practices firm-wide regarding data management (Git, R). Part of the practice areas are using them and other parts aren't, but the knowledge and familiarity among analysts should be uniform.


  2. "Cornerstone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time

    Pros

    Good and smart people, generally interesting and challenging work, high quality company

    Cons

    Work like balance can be difficult

  3. Helpful (1)

    "If coming in as an associate, be very certain this is what you want to do"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time

    Pros

    *some interesting cases and good managers
    *coworkers are generally good natured and culture is collegial
    *work with very smart people: analysts, colleagues, professors, lawyers from big law firms
    *get to take leadership of cases very soon
    *pay is very competitive to the consulting industry , expect $170K (base) to start for associate and if you stay and make it to first year of Principal (generally 7 years) on average expect to make $450K (including bonus). Base pay doesn't increase very much from Associate to Principal but the normal bonus % will increase from 15% of base pay to 50% of base pay.
    *good benefits and flexibility to work from home as needed
    *very little travel required

    Cons

    *Average hours worked is 50 (40 billable on cases and 10 for firm development) but the hours week over week are very unpredictable. You can suddenly be overwhelmed by multiple cases with deadlines. Long nights and weekend work is normal. If you happen to get a very busy year you are barely compensated for the extra hours worked so no incentive to go above 50 hours per week. Hours and stress do not get better with seniority
    *once you establish reputation as having worked on a type of case you may be working on the same type of case over and over. Stopped learning
    *some terrible managers that can't manage nor communicate well
    *exit options are very limited for associates and up. Don't come unless absolutely sure you want to do economic consulting


  4. "Decent place, but extremely political"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager
    Former Employee - Manager
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart coworkers, great analyst pool.

    Cons

    Work life balance. Very important to have partners who will mentor you.

    Advice to Management

    Need to have better work life balance.


  5. "Former Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great people and good out-of-college experience.

    Cons

    Highly variable workload alternating between times where there is not enough work to meet your hours, and times when you unexpectedly have to cancel social commitments.


  6. "Impressive people to work with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Associate in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people are very intelligent and create a bridge between academia and business.

    Cons

    Nothing significant to say here.


  7. "Fantastic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time

    Pros

    Great culture
    Incredibly intelligent, humble coworkers

    Cons

    Some times work is tedious but thats the nature of the industry where every piece of work product has to be perfect.
    Not enough transparency about high level company strategy.

    Advice to Management

    make sure the growth is managed such that analyst culture is preserved

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good company to work for that is trying hard to turn from good to GREAT"

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

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time

    Pros

    -Great pay and benefits
    -Depending on your advocates, opportunities for growth and progression
    -Mid-size allows for lots of room to interact with individuals at all levels
    -Financially stable organization that rewards hard work

    Cons

    -Struggling to figure out how to move from just average to great; leadership mired down by fear of change
    -If you don't have a strong advocate, good luck with being positioned for growth and career progression
    -If you're not on the Consulting staff side of the business, at time you feel like just a cog to get the work down and that your opinions are not good enough to be taken seriously.
    -Noting the above comment...if you're strong and capable and don't take no for an answer, you'll eventually get in front of people who will take you seriously.

    Advice to Management

    -You have smart people here who want to help the company grow...listen to them; you're not always the smartest people in the room.
    -You've hired very smart opertaions staff in recent years and they know what they are doing, so let them do what they know how to do. Again you're not always the smartest people in the room.


  9. "Great firm"

    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 Cornerstone Research full-time

    Pros

    An excellent firm to work for with a friendly atmosphere, commitment to its employees and quality of work.

    Cons

    No cons to report on.


  10. "Amazing Firm"

    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 Cornerstone Research full-time

    Pros

    *Great compensation and benefits
    *Opportunity to work with smart, fun, dedicated teams
    *Interesting work
    *Senior people are very engaged and approachable
    *Lots of room for growth and advancement

    Cons

    The firm is growing quickly resulting in a lot of change.

    Advice to Management

    Don't overthink decisions.