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Mars & Co Reviews

Updated January 10, 2018
43 reviews

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3.5
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Mars & Co Founder & Chairman Dominique Mars
Dominique Mars
21 Ratings

43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Boutique firm providing quality work to Fortune 500s. Opportunity to quickly develop skills and work internationally"

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    • Peers are enjoyable to work with (very bright, hard-working, and collaborative)
    • Top tier clients, mostly Fortune 500s, provide interesting, strategic problems to solve
    • Exposure to many industries though heavy focus on manufacturing, CPG, beverages, retail
    • Broad range of consulting projects (growth strategy, market entry, pricing, org design, supply chain to name a few…) offers a great opportunity to gain practical business knowledge
    • Junior consultants can play a significant role on the team and present findings to clients... ability for consultants to develop quickly / at their own pace
    • Strong international exposure / incredible opportunities to work abroad. Mars works for large, multinationals but with offices in only seven global locations. Many opportunities for junior consultants to travel internationally (ranging from 1 week to 4 months in duration)

    Cons

    • Difficulty retaining good employees due to working location, compensation, etc
    • Limited visibility into upcoming projects / difficult to request specific assignments

    Advice to Management

    • Create a more collaborative model for change (anonymous surveys or way for employees to provide feedback related how the company could improve / grow)
    • Improve compensation model to increase retention and boost morale: 1) increase base salary to be more competitive within industry 2) redesign bonus process (offer small bonus for entry consultants, improve transparency of bonus range, create clear link between individual performance and bonus, etc)
    • Consider a NYC office, working from home on Fridays, or subsidized cost of commute


  2. "associate consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    high level clients and exposure

    Cons

    hours and travel required and management may be aggressive at times

  3. "Great place to learn and grow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Desktop Support in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Desktop Support in Greenwich, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    - Good environment to get your hands on a lot of different technology.
    - Conducive to learning.
    - Good work/life balance.
    - Good benefits, fair pay, good people

    Cons

    - Since there's a small IT department, growth opportunities are limited


  4. "Interesting work, good opportunities to expand skill set, questionable management"

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    Top tier clients who provide (for the most part) interesting work. The size and scope of the projects lends itself to providing junior consultants a chance to make major contributions to the project while also expanding their skill set. The recent salary adjustments have made the salary more competitive (although there is still a lot of room for improvement). That being said, the other benefits in the compensation package are excellent for the size of the firm. Work/Life balance can waver, but is pretty decent, especially when comparing to other strategy consulting firms. Overall, its a good place to learn how to be a consultant, especially for those that did not get into the Big 3.

    Cons

    With the compensation adjustment, the biggest issue now is probably the management. Current power structure is nucleated around a select couple people, who do not seem to want to modernize the firm. The other VPs need to be given more decision power. Company seems to be too obsessed with keeping costs down.

    Advice to Management

    Give VPs more power to make changes around the office. Move Greenwich office to NYC. Expand current client list to include more industries to attract more consultants from different backgrounds.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Some good learning opportunities but not a place to grow a career or stay long term"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Consultant in Greenwich, CT
    Former Employee - Associate Consultant in Greenwich, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    - Some really interesting projects
    - You get a lot of responsibility very quickly when you join
    - Promotions can be quick
    - There are some very intelligent people who are great to work with within the firm (however, many of these people leave/ are in lower positions)

    Cons

    - While high turnover in consulting is expected, high turnover of upper managers is not. While I was at Mars, I saw many of the best managers and senior consultants at the company leave which does not bode well for the company's future.
    - They don't do much to look out for employee's well being. Many projects are over sold and under staffed and you are expected to work as late and often as needed to fill this gap. A lot of this is due to an underlying fear within the company of losing clients because of the "one client per industry" model.
    - No bonuses at lower levels
    - There is no upward review system which definitely shows in some of the poor management
    - Promotions are not so much based on reviews but more on VPs pushing for people which leads to a fairly convoluted, opaque promotion schedule
    - They don't do much to stay up to date and relevant as a company (i.e. no internal office chat, no electronic expense form, etc.)
    - There are very few women in the company and no women in higher positions

    Advice to Management

    Ask and respond to employee feedback to try to grow as a company


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Mostly a good place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    Great young people. The older consultants can be a little distant. Reasonable hours. Big name clients.

    Cons

    Long commute from Manhattan. Cheap firm (fly coach internationally, pay below market, no bonuses). Minimal travel exposure.

    Advice to Management

    Show more interest in your young talent. It goes a long way.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Has bright spots but experience can be inconsistent"

    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

    Pros

    -There are some genuinely smart and nice people that come through Mars
    -Is fairly meritocratic, (but there are cases where you wonder why someone hasn't been promoted)
    -There are some pretty interesting projects, and clients are impressive within the boutique space
    -If you didn't get into big 3, and really want to do consulting it's a good place learn the skills

    Cons

    -Ironically political and slow-moving environment for it's size
    -There are mediocre projects as well, some literally feel like "fillers" sold for the sake of utilization
    -Leadership is inconsistent. There are very impressive VP's, and then there are cases of pushing questionable, inefficient, or unnecessarily complex analytical methodologies, not managing clients well, or doing a poor job of communicating direction to the teams
    -Compensation is not that competitive, bonuses are opaque and don't serve the purpose of motivating people to go the extra mile. Meanwhile, weird cost priorities such as employing more back office/support full time employees than seemingly necessary

    Advice to Management

    -Work on morale (monetary, non-monetary cultural aspects)
    -Pros likely outweigh the cons regarding moving the office to NY

  8. "Mars"

    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

    Pros

    Very bright people working on very interesting projects.

    Cons

    Room for improvement regarding the management.


  9. Helpful (12)

    "Stay Away! - All the drawbacks of consulting with none of the benefits"

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    The people (especially the younger consultants) are extremely bright and hard working. You learn from your colleagues every single day.
    There are some opportunities to get staffed internationally

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    - Extremely unethical organization. There is an attitude of "get the project done at any cost". There were multiple times when I was asked to overstep my personal moral boundaries and at least once that I was asked to overstep the firm's contractual/legal obligations.

    - The one client per industry is simply not true. The company accepts work from direct competitors (see the first point above). They do however advertise this to clients and it's the consultant's job to make sure the client doesn't find out.

    - Mars likes to pretend that it is a boutique competitor to the Top 3. It is not. It does not have the brand or relationships to compete with the top 3. Nor does it have the alumni network to bring in new business.

    - Just about all projects are CPG or CPG-related. Almost all involve competitive intelligence (which is a fancy way of saying - call up former employees of your client's competitor and see what you can find out). As such, you don't get the diversity of experience most generalist firms offer.

    - With a few exceptions, most managers have no management or leadership skills. There is no training and no culture of mentorship, so this is unlikely to change.

    - Bad management translates into horrific project management and even worse work-life balance. Mars work-life balance is bad even by consulting industry standards, where hours are typically long.

    - Fear-driven culture, with face time a very strong reality. Long hours are glorified and working all through the night or all through the weekend is seen as a badge of honor, rather than yet another result of bad management. VPs will yell at their team and use personal insults. This is seen as normal.

    - The org structure is somewhat odd. HR/Admin reports up to Paris, rather than the heads of individual offices and exists to enforce the will of the CEO, not support the consulting practice. VPs have no say in staffing, expense reports are often questioned, admin has a surprising amount of influence on promotions and bonuses.

    - There is ZERO transparency in promotions and bonuses. Reviews happen irregularly, if at all and you don't know where you stand in your career path. One day, an envelope appears on your desk with your bonus. You don't know why you got what you got or whether you did well.

    - Everyone is miserable. People talk about how much they hate their job every chance they get.

    Advice to Management

    I'm not going to bother - nothing I have to say has not been said before. Yet management doesn't seem to care and things at the company don't change.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Associate Consultant"

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

    I worked at Mars & Co full-time

    Pros

    Mars is a great place to be at. The clients are some of the biggest in the world and they ask Mars to do some very interesting work. A couple of the bigger pros are that there is a great mentorship program in place and they on board new hires almost immediately. You get a lot client exposure and learn a lot abut some of the finer aspects of handling and talking with clients

    Cons

    A few of the downsides are that some of the workflows tend to be delayed after meetings with project managers and VPs. Yes there are long hours and it can be frustrating to start something from scratch but this isn't really Mars specific but rather a industry specific complaint

    Advice to Management

    I would just keep doing the same stuff and try to organize some more interoffice events and definitely update the website.


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