Simon-Kucher & Partners - My worst work experience in a multi-decade career | Glassdoor
  1. Helpful (13)

    "My worst work experience in a multi-decade career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Simon-Kucher & Partners full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Really smart people and true expertise in pricing. Great spirit among people at the peer level at communal events. Great exposure to clients at high levels in their organizations. Consultants get lots of face time with partners. Good snacks in the kitchen. Travel is much less than at other similar firms. Some truly top-tier clients. Can get long-term international (mostly European) assignments. The firm is truly respected for its expertise.

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    Cons

    Staffing is a major issue: - High turnover rates. I was surprised how much recruiting happened in the U.S. for the size of the firm. There’s a burst of hiring at the end of each academic year as almost all new hires come straight from college (undergrad and masters/PhD programs). I was told that it was due to growth, but I later came to realize that rather it’s because turnover is incredibly high. When people leave before the next annual wave of hires come in, projects can be quite short staffed. And it’s really hard to maintain institutional knowledge when so much of it leaves each year. - This leads to >90% utilization rates at times -- and some partners forcing routine weekend work, all-nighters, missed holidays and vacation, etc. - I had been assigned to projects with no subject matter expert available, which led to poor outcomes. - I missed a red flag when I interviewed: I asked to speak with people who had experience outside the firm and was only put in touch with a recent MBA grad. People with outside experience don’t stay long. Partners are highly variable. Some treat their teams well and with reasonable expectations, and others are brutal. - One partner questioned my intelligence when I asked for help finding resources to learn new subject matter. - Some partners are standoffish. Some won’t spend much time helping staff that they haven’t worked with before, even on projects they are managing. It felt like a trust issue. Instead of developing staff, they have contempt for those who they feel aren’t as smart. - Some partners rely on favorite managers who can be quite immature who have not worked anywhere other than Simon-Kucher and not learned reasonable working norms. For example, one superior refused to talk to me during a project then gave me poor scores through the feedback system. They would not directly address their concerns with me when I scheduled a time to ask for feedback. -Partners are god-like. One partner made a mistake in presenting some info to a client. The team scrambled to find data to support the incorrect view. And it wasn’t even a big mistake. Work-life balance and office conditions: - One colleague was hospitalized due to exhaustion after several weeks of long hours and weekend work. The underlying issues were not addressed. - A recruiting video highlights a consultant whose wife was about to give birth to his first child. When he told the partner, the partner tells him he didn’t have to travel when the final presentation was a week before his wife was due. And the consultant thought this was such an unexpected surprise. To me, this didn't seem like something to brag about. (If you look on YouTube, you can find the video.) - When I had a legitimate medical issue that required me to get attention during the middle of a project, a partner glared at me like I was trying to sabotage the work. - Heating/cooling is a long-term issue in the Cambridge office. Temperatures regularly exceeded 85 degrees in offices and meeting rooms. After hours, HVAC sometimes turns off altogether, despite people frequently being in the office late. Personal development: - Very minimal personal development opportunities, aside from corporate trainings 1x/year at the world meeting, and not all staff is eligible even for those trainings. - The review process is not connected to reality. Scores are arbitrary. I always scored high until I ended up on a project that went sideways, and my past performance was no longer a factor. It’s entirely possible I wasn’t performing well because, despite my past high scores, partners do not want to show scores that are too low for internal political reasons. - Mandatory 8-day training (including weekends) for new hires at HQ in Germany. Topics were rudimentary for some and advanced for others, showing the little attention paid to personal needs. For most people attending training, it was a big party with late nights. One peer missed a couple of days of training with rumors that they were buying/using drugs at clubs; leadership made excuses when they found out - despite big talk otherwise. - Salaries are below market for firms Simon-Kucher wishes to compete with, which likely leads to departures.

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    Advice to Management

    Advice will fall on deaf ears, so I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

    Simon-Kucher & Partners2018-08-09
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at Simon-Kucher & Partners full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fun, friendly and smart people doing interesting and challenging work.

    Cons

    Can be long hours

    Simon-Kucher & Partners2019-11-29
  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great experience, Tons of Responsibility Early On"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Simon-Kucher & Partners full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I was in the Life Sciences division at SKP NY. I was trusted from day one to make a tangible impact on my team and to take on real responsibility. I can't imagine a better place to get responsibility early on and have more client facing opportunities. The mentorship was also great and allowed me to grow tremendously. The team was supportive and the culture was nice, fair, and reasonable. Additionally, the work was challenging. I was working with smart and motivated people. Our clients were companies with interesting challenges and I always felt like I was making a real difference.

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    Cons

    The major downside, which can be expected from any consulting company in NY, were the hours. Up to 50 hours per week is pretty typical, but you aren't going to find better than that in consulting, especially at a successful company like SKP

    Simon-Kucher & Partners2019-11-22

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