Cornerstone Research Reviews in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

Cornerstone Research San Francisco Reviews

Updated January 15, 2017
30 reviews

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San Francisco, CA Area

3.7
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Cornerstone Research President and CEO Michael E. Burton
Michael E. Burton
6 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The demands are hard to predict so work-life balance can be difficult (in 13 reviews)

  • Highly volatile hours with minimal opportunity to be compensated adequately for long hours (in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Nice company to work for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    Great benefits. Take good care of employees. Perks such as employees appreciation days. Good training.

    Cons

    May have to juggle many projects at the same time.


  2. "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menlo Park, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Smart people, thoughtful leadership. Don't underestimate how good this company is to you; as a first job out of college, can quite easily do worse.

    Cons

    Hours are unpredictable is the primary beef, but vacations are sacred and I'd you're a solid performer folks will work with you to lighten the load.


  3. "Good company; bad work-life balance."

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

    Pros

    The company culture is very good, and people are very nice and helpful.

    Cons

    As in most consulting firms, the work-life balance is quite bad.


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  5. "Great culture and work"

    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

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture and academic atmosphere. A lot of the data heavy work is very intellectually stimulating.

    Cons

    Hours can get long with certain cases and the firm has little room to compensate individuals for these extreme periods of time.


  6. "Analyst"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research (More than a year)

    Pros

    The analysts are such a fun group of quirky, intelligent, talented people!
    I get to solve interesting problems at work and learn a lot.
    This is a great place to work hard and develop great skills.

    Cons

    The hours are not only long, but volatile and unpredictable.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Great Co-Workers and Culture, Unpredictable Hours"

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

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

    Pros

    -Great analysts, highly intelligent and talented, fun to work with. Seriously, if you come straight out of undergrad you will love your coworkers.

    -Good culture overall

    -If you can get managers to look out for your interests you can get interesting work and opportunities to hone the skills you want to work on

    -Pay is generally pegged to be competitive with MBB, sets the standard for econ consulting

    -Great flexibility with vacation time, just plan your trip and let people know about it and you'll be good to go

    -Excellent exit opportunities. As an analyst, it's highly unlikely you'll stick around on the career track but your options are extremely open. Analysts attend top MBA programs, Law schools, PhD programs, or even Med schools. Due to the marketable skill set developed here (data, data, data), analysts regularly get poached by some of the top companies in the Bay Area (Google, Apple, Facebook, Uber, to name a few).

    Cons

    -Highly volatile hours with minimal opportunity to be compensated adequately for long hours... you don't really start getting any sort of additional compensation until you've crested sustained 60+ hour weeks.

    -Some managers bend over backwards to please the client, even if it means setting unrealistic deadlines and selling the analysts downstream

    -If you let yourself get pigeonholed you can end up getting a steady stream of very boring work, so make sure to push for work you're interested in or else you can get shafted

    -Analyst career path is practically non-existent. They are starting to change this a little bit, but for the most part Cornerstone tends to hire academically-minded, unproven people into the career track instead of giving opportunities for solid analysts with knowledge of the industry to move up

    Advice to Management

    -Provide more opportunity for analysts to move into career track-- you're missing out on proven talent! Having a more viable career track would also increase the attractiveness of the job to people straight out of undergrad.

    -Fix the extraordinary hours bonuses, it's insulting to barely be compensated for crazy hours


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst"

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

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

    Pros

    Cornerstone provides a very strong grounding in analytical skills, including economic and financial modeling in Excel, programming in statistical packages, and the creation and presentation of compelling exhibits for use in trial settings. Additionally, the firm provides meaningful opportunities to develop leadership skills, whether it is on casework, in which analysts can oversee the work of junior colleagues, or on non-billable activities where analysts can play leadership roles in recruiting. Overall, the casework and non billable experience are both highly valued by graduate schools, particularly business programs, and other employers.

    Cons

    While work weeks tend to average about 60 hours, this actually reflects particularly busy periods, when projects often have court-driven deadlines. During these periods, hours can increase significantly. However, one can generally work with colleagues in planning out vacations and the more efficient you grow at your own analysis and at teamwork, the more your lifestyle tends to improve at this firm.

    Advice to Management

    Continue the commitment to a supportive and collaborative culture, as well as to developing employees and helping them build strong foundations for future career success. One of the best things about Cornerstone is the extent to which it invests in employees' skill development, for example through brown-bag lunches in which employees share insights about a particular practice area or by paying for courses that are relevant to project work.


  9. "Great people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Menlo Park, CA
    Current Employee - Research Associate in Menlo Park, CA

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people and great culture. Interesting work. Really good place to work after college. Helps build technical skills and gives a lot of exposure to different types of problems.

    Cons

    Long hours and volatility in your work schedule. The nature of the work means that deadlines can change unexpectedly and you are always at the whim of your clients, so pacing your work can be very difficult.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to focus on maintaining the great culture.


  10. "Horrible Culture. STAY AWAY"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Administrative Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Contractor - Administrative Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cornerstone Research as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They have lots of food.

    Cons

    The culture, although it's billed as a "collegial team environment", is anything but that. On the administrative side, the women are incredibly insecure and negative. If you're a meek, timid cow, you'll fit right in. Rather than being like a hip, fun-but-productive place to work, the mentality and culture of a conservative, uptight law firm permeates every level. The new ASM is fantastic but the PSG team is hardly a "team". Everyone gossips and speaks negatively about the others. The analysts are no different. As an analyst, you have a shelf life, after which you're forced to choose between career stagnation and finding other employment. There are several analysts who have left because they were not given promotions, and were given bad cases. In addition to that, there are people who are currently working there who don't deserve to be there, who don't do their work, which means that others end up doing their work, as well as their own. There was no training provided and very little support in any way. Those people will throw you under the bus when you ask them to make good on their own promises. This happens at every level of the office, from corporate officers to VPs to principals and on down. ADVICE TO POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES WITH INTEGRITY, HONOR, AND RESPECT: don't work here. Honest people are not welcome. During my time there, I was repeatedly told by other employees that honest people don't last long there, and it's true. You will be asked and expected to violate your morals and values.

    Advice to Management

    Be transparent. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Support your own employees. Recognize the value in your human capital. When the officers say they want to change the culture, actually make the necessary changes.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Analyst"

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

    I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good Culture, Interesting Work, Good Atmoshpere among your peers

    Cons

    Work life balance can be tough, but better than banking or management consulting, and the compensation pays accordingly


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