Marakon Reviews

Updated Jul 1, 2020

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4.0
81%
Recommend to a Friend
90%
Approve of CEO
Marakon CEO Mason Kissell (no image)
Mason Kissell
35 Ratings
Pros
  • "Client engagements are with c-suite, working on their biggest strategic issues(in 8 reviews)

  • "It starts with the work, Marakon is one of the few firms where you are guaranteed to be working on "pure strategy" projects(in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • "Size of company means hard to bring deep expertise on variety of functional or industry topics(in 5 reviews)

  • "Smaller firm leading to longer hours at times(in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "C-suite strategy consulting; best training ground for business strategy"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Consultant 
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time

    Pros

    Client engagements are with c-suite, working on their biggest strategic issues. Culture is entrepreneurial, with significant exposure to partners and to senior clients externally. Marakon beginning to move to build of analytics-based products. Expands opportunities for consultants to work on traditional client assignments and get exposure to product build.

    Cons

    Limited # of clients at any one time

  2. Helpful (9)

    "Dying firm with limited career development and very shaky prospects (in NY)"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Marakon full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - The work at Marakon can be great if you get on the right project, but you have no say in staffing because of how small the firm is (there are only 4 partners left, down from ~12 a year ago). Some projects with Ron and Mason can be true strategy work, a lot can be... not strategy work (e.g., pricing optimization, economic consulting, product development, whatever else can bring a $ in the door). - The younger people are great but many are on the way out or have already left (there's only one "senior associate" left in NYC and he's on the way to business school as well (were 5 senior associates a year ago). There's only 3 associate principals (or senior managers). They are all much more focused on client delivery than developing associates in any meaningful way. The headcount in NYC has to have declined over by around ~60-70% in the last year, which is never a good sign. - There is a lot of training for younger consultants and people have been able to leverage time at Marakon into pretty good exit opps elsewhere (strategy at Mars / other huge companies; Stanford B-school; BCG; Big 4 consulting).

    Cons

    - I think I've outlined these above, but please do yourself a favor and don't start your career here. The recruitment brochures and consultants at on-campus events paint a picture that is simply not indicative of reality anymore. It would not surprise me if the firm collapses within the next 18-24 months. - The other big con is client interaction: because the firm is so small (and basically reliant on revenue from two-three clients) the partners / senior managers are hyper-nervous about these delicate relationships and offer you virtually no opportunity to interact with clients. - Many of the quotes from the clients on the website are incredibly outdated and not indicative of the current situation at all. There's also simply not offices in Houston, Boston, or Chicago - one partner lives in Chicago (coincidentally the one in charge of talent development, which is great considering she's rarely in NYC to talk about your development in-person). The London office is apparently much better, but they might as well be completely separate consulting firms.

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  3. Helpful (5)

    "Would not recommend"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant 

    I worked at Marakon full-time

    Pros

    * It probably won't exist in a couple years, so there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. * Your last day here when you quit (or get fired) will be the most euphoric freedom you will ever experience. * The company offers good health insurance, though entry-level salary may barely cover the medical cost of the daily therapy sessions you may need. * Other large-company perks: occasional free lunches, free dinners on client’s dime (trust that you’ll be eating daily dinners at the office), some social events, office snacks, nice office and skyscraper views that you’ll become desensitized to by day 2. * Non-leadership people are great: smart, driven, fun to work with.

    Cons

    *Marakon is part of Charles River Associates and was probably CRA’s worst purchase to date. There’s constant fear that CRA will toss Marakon out because of Marakon’s subpar performance and minimal value add to CRA. *Management frankly can't sell projects. There’s no incentive to sell projects because management will continue to get their paychecks from CRA, so general laziness and lack of drive from the leadership team = a lot of people just sitting around making non-essential pitch decks that never pan out into actual projects. Competent, project-selling partners who actually cared about the consultants under them have all left the company by now. *“Toxic” is a great TL;DR summary of the culture at Marakon. Everyone's been quitting, from analysts all the way to partners, so take that as a warning. *There’s basically no growth opportunity. Since everyone’s always jumping ship left and right, leaving the company constantly short-staffed, project staffing is always need-based rather than taking into account peoples’ professional development needs/preferences. *Pay here is NOT competitive compared to other consulting firms, despite what they keep putting on internal communications and college campus brochures. *Leadership has no qualms about misrepresentation for the purposes of recruiting. Recruiting lies are so blatant that it’s often joked about within the company. *NEW HIRES/CURRENT UNDERGRADS TAKE NOTE::: there are no 11:1 or sabbaticals, no 3-day travel modes (you will be at client site when your partner tells you to), no "sustainable work-life balance" as advertised on their website (say goodbye to many, many weekends and holidays), no standard PTO submission/request process (project lead has to approve or disapprove PTOs and it’s very often that PTOs will be disapproved even in cases of emergency). Getting your PTOs approved is a nightmare. On top of that, even during your time off, you’re expected to answer emails. *Fixed mindset (rather than growth mindset) management: Some partners are not above throwing their consultants under the bus in front of clients, very much a finger-pointing culture with an unbelievable level of pettiness and grudge-holding from leadership. *The unofficial motto here: overpromise and overdeliver until the consultants burn out and the stress ends up manifesting into physical and/or mental ailments. *Partner team lacks innovative thought or initaitive, which results in the team often staying late to boil the entire ocean in tedious analytics in hopes that maybe an insight surfaces *The cherry on top with tedious analytics is that the company refuses to invest in any kind of tech upgrades to make repetitive/tedious work more efficient. Everything is still hand done on Excel & PowerPoint using its most basic functionalities.

  4. "Great First Role in Consulting"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Marakon full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great firm, impressive intellectual horsepower, and punching above its weight in terms of clients.

    Cons

    Weak firm leadership, particularly in terms of building and maintaining client relationships.

  5. Helpful (2)

    "A true strategy consulting firm"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Immediate exposure to partners due to boutique size Analytically and strategically challenging work Plenty of opportunities to get involved in internal business development to advance the brand and business model of the firm Smart, fun and welcoming colleagues

    Cons

    Due to boutique size some outside of the industry might not be familiar with the name

  6. Helpful (2)

    "A great place to start one's career"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great client exposure and ability to make an impact from day 1. Quick learning curve that prepares you really well for any future career path. Great exit opportunities for its size, especially in finance and to top 10 business schools.

    Cons

    Small size makes it seem resources are limited at times. The impact of small changes is amplified given the smaller size.

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Overall a great firm doing impactful strategy work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Focus on pure strategy work: you are guaranteed to be staffed on strategy work as strategy projects are Marakon’s focus. Coming in as an undergrad, it is a humbling and exciting experience to be sitting in the same room as senior clients of Fortune 50 or 100 companies. Professional development: early exposure to clients and senior leadership as well as a strong, dedicated team of junior staff to coach and guide make Marakon a great firm to learn and develop professionally. These skills are transferrable for any role for future moves, especially for people who stay in strategy, so the opportunity for such one-on-one development is invaluable. Size of firm / Entrepreneurial opportunities: this one depends on what you’re looking for, but for those looking to shape culture, introduce new firm-wide initiatives, whatever it may be, the size of smaller boutique firms is certainly the way to go. Outside of client work, taking initiative and executing on firm-related activities offers additional learning experiences that would be difficult to come around at large firms.

    Cons

    Hours / work-life balance: depending on what partner / project / industry you are staffed on this might be rough but nothing unexpected if you know you want to go into consulting.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing place to start your career"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Marakon full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    My two years with Marakon have been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I've worked alongside a diverse class of talented colleagues, learned from brilliant partners, and work on transformational work for amazing clients. Working for a boutique Strategy firm has a different set of tradeoff's than a larger firm, but the upside is undeniable. It starts with the work, Marakon is one of the few firms where you are guaranteed to be working on "pure strategy" projects. Small teams mean that there are immediate opportunities to stand out and increase responsibility. For those who have both the talent and the drive are rewarded with fast promotion sometimes making it to the post-MBA level in under three years. At a smaller firm, you also have the unique opportunity to grow and shape the culture of the firm. The firm asks more of you, but it is all the more rewarding when the firm building activities ( Training, Recruiting, Event Planning, etc.) pay off. The market recognizes the unique combination that is Marakon, winning head to head contests for both talent and projects against the industries big 3.

    Cons

    Stepping into bigger roles early in your career can be challenging and requires hard work and long hours. Smaller office means you end up being close with your colleagues but doesn't necessarily have the social scene of a larger firm.

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  9. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Manager"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Client exposure from Day 1 on the job, smart people passionate about what they do, Tier 1 clients, great place to learn a core problem solving and analytical tool kit that can be applied in many different sectors and roles in business, smaller firm/family culture, leadership really cares about consultant development and happiness, provides long-term career paths

    Cons

    Smaller firm translates into less diversity on types of clients one would work on

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  10. "Great place to start your career!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Early responsibilities, steep learning curve yet equally rewarding

    Cons

    Smaller firm leading to longer hours at times

Found 51 reviews