NERA Economic Consulting Reviews

Updated May 11, 2020

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3.3
52%
Recommend to a Friend
74%
Approve of CEO
NERA Economic Consulting President Lawrence Wu (no image)
Lawrence Wu
51 Ratings
Pros
  • "Smart People, Good Hours, Good Management(in 22 reviews)

  • "Great career starting point with lots of training and learning opportunities; great work-life balance(in 20 reviews)

Cons
  • "sometimes difficult to manage work/life balance(in 18 reviews)

  • "Non existent office culture and little collegiality even between junior staff(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Antitrust is challenging, but a great place to learn and grow as you start your career"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends

    I worked at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Pay and bonus are strong, especially after the first full year -Constant opportunities to get hands dirty with real data and build technical skills -Exposure to a wide array of industries and methods of analysis - every project really is different from the last -Working directly with Ph.D.-level economists on a daily basis

    Cons

    -Work/life balance can be variable, so it's important to know going in that your hours can be unpredictable at times

    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-06
  2. Helpful (2)

    "NYC Antitrust Group - Long hours but great career move"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I attribute the successes in my post-NERA career entirely to my work at NERA. Nearly everyone who started as an analyst at NERA alongside me ended up at a top master's, PhD, or MBA program. Overall, the senior VPs in the Antitrust group takes explicit measures to chat with junior staff regarding long-term career goals, and do their utmost to put you on cases that can help you reach these goals (and are more than happy to write recommendation letters for grad school applications). These conversations are what led me to my current PhD program, as well as various data science positions at big tech companies. Personally, NERA forced me to become much more comfortable with coding (in particular with SQL-based logic) and econometrics (both the underlying theory, and implementing analyses using Stata and SAS), which helped me immensely in interviews with other firms after I'd left NERA. NERA was the first workplace where I managed a team of researchers, which gave me invaluable experience to draw from in future group-based research settings. And, the people I now work with have told me that they especially value my work organization skills, which draw entirely upon the rigor of 'NERA-style' formatting (e.g., automating everything that you can automate, making code modular and easily understandable, version control practices, etc.). Aside from setting up my career trajectory, I also appreciate that my coworkers at NERA are incredibly bright people with whom I still have fun and insightful conversations. And, NERA's compensation is generous when compared to competitors in economic consulting, even taking into account the high number of billable hours worked in the Antitrust group.

    Cons

    The high variance in hours can be unpredictable and stressful. Furthermore, most junior staff are managed by analysts a few years older than them with no management training aside from trial by fire. This can sometimes lead to resentment due to poor mid-level management, e.g. last-minute requests to work on weekends, poor communication about timing and expectations, and lack of work attribution. Requests for analyses from lawyers often came in at odd hours, and sometimes less-experienced managers would give time estimates for results that could not reasonably be fulfilled.

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    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-10
  3. Helpful (2)

    "NY AT"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at NERA Economic Consulting full-time

    Pros

    -The group includes ~30 researchers in their 20s and early 30s. Most people come straight from college, and bring with them an academic mindset and drive to work hard. Surprisingly for the consulting industry, the researchers are for the most part not competitive with each other. Everyone is willing to offer the helping hand where they can, and never undercut each other, as can be the case in management consulting. As a result, this group becomes very close knit and supportive. It is rare to not forge strong friendships with at least some of your fellow researchers, as you spend so much time together in the office. The culture is also such that people want to go out for drinks and cultural events together rather frequently. The friendly atmosphere in the office is one of the best elements of the group. -The starting salary is competitive, and the group provides annual or bi-annual opportunities for a raise. Bonuses are also significant after the first year, and increase even more as you gain management responsibilities. After I started managing, I was able to save a substantial amount of money, which afforded me the ability to plan for and go to graduate school. -The Managing Directors vary substantially in their style and approach to work/management. This offers some flexibility among researchers in the types of projects they can expect to work on, and learning how to navigate among different leadership styles. Typically, people will prefer working with one MD given either their industry expertise or their personality. If an MD and researcher work well together, the MD will invest more energy in that researcher as a mentor, offering them increased responsibility and room for growth. Additionally, the MD I worked most closely was receptive to my preferences about industries and project types. After a few years, he gave me projects tailored to my interests, which helped me gain experience for my graduate studies. -The skills learned in this group, less so through formal training programs and more through on-the-job training, provide researchers with a strong toolkit for future research, particularly in an academic environment. You learn to be extremely detail oriented, rigorous in backing up your findings, and gain strong problem solving capabilities.

    Cons

    -The hours can be grueling, particularly in the first year when you are still learning the skills of the job. In my first few projects, senior analysts would ask the new hires to stay as long as it took us to complete a task, late into the night. As I moved into a management role, I realized this approach to management was rather inefficient and unnecessary. These managers (researchers who had been at the firm for 3-5 years) often feared the client or the MD, and thus were afraid to negotiate on behalf of their research team. This sort of culture diminished during my time there. -The hours get more manageable as you gain responsibility, but there is still weekend work and late nights that can come up unpredictably. -The group has a few consultants, who are mostly PhD economists coming straight from academia into the firm. The consultants are vital to the projects, as they offer a rigorous economic backbone and provide expertise that researchers are not equipped with and MD's do not have time to provide for each project. However, there is often much tension between the managing researcher (typically Analyst or Senior Analyst level) and consultants. The breakdown of responsibilities is usually not clearly laid out at the outset of the project. Consultants can face the brunt of the stress from clients and the MD's, but may take frustrations of the project out on the other researchers due to their lack of management experience. The group should invest in these consultants more, providing them proper management and leadership training.

    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-11
  4. Helpful (1)

    "NYC Antitrust - great first job if you don't mind longer and variable hours"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Analyst 

    I worked at NERA Economic Consulting full-time

    Pros

    The learning curve is steep but I came out of NERA with a set of invaluable skills that have helped me immensely in being accepted to and progressing through my current PhD program. On the quantitative side, I became proficient very quickly in SAS, Stata, and Excel and I also picked up many generalizable programming and organizational best practices. Not only did the work at NERA bolster the economics, econometrics, and statistical theory that I had learned in college, but I also became knowledgeable and comfortable with implementing these theories in practice. On the softer side, researchers are given a lot of responsibility very early on and many begin managing projects in their 2nd year or so, working directly with MDs that hold PhDs in economics. Responsibilities included managing a team of researchers (creating appropriate analyses, assigning tasks, managing timing, etc) and as well as client communications. Looking around at my friends in other industries, no one I knew was given the same level of responsibility and leadership duties that I had at NERA. The associated hours are long and variable (see cons below) but the opportunities as well as salary growth and hefty annual bonuses made up for it in my opinion. The MDs in the Antitrust group are also very supportive of career advancement after NERA and will often take your interests and goals into consideration when staffing projects. After I expressed an interest in PhD programs, I was staffed on projects with stronger economics or research slants. Those interested in MBA programs are often given projects that are more client-facing and involve managing larger teams. The MDs often write recommendation letters for grad school applications and many of my colleagues have placed into top MBA, masters, or PhD programs. I received a lot of advice during my grad school application progress and while I made my final decisions. Finally, the people in the NYC AT group are incredibly hard working and generally enjoyable to work with (important when you often spend 60 hours a week in the office together!). I appreciated the various group activities including birthday celebrations and weekly baked treats!

    Cons

    Personally, I felt that there were two main issues working in NYC AT. First, and this is partially to be expected from a client-facing job, the high variance in hours and unpredictability of client requests can be very stressful. This is especially true in the first year or so when you often receive little insight regarding the bigger picture of each task and are more or less treated as an on-call data wrangler. Of course, this depends on the project manager. Some project mangers are good about managing expectations with respect to timing and workload as well as motivating each task with economic reasoning. However, very often this is not the case. Which brings me to the second issue: variance in mid-level management. As mentioned above, the NERA NYC AT group really provides a jumpstart to your career by providing opportunities early on in project management. Unfortunately, there is little in the way of management training. Feedback from more senior staff is typically one-off and not systematic. New project managers often learn by trial and error and rely on their own experiences from being managed. There is a mentoring program but it was not well utilized. While everyone tries their best, the result is that there may be sustained subpar managing practices including poor communication and expectations management for all parties (junior researchers, MDs, and clients). There is no official avenue for junior staff to provide upwards feedback either which could foster discontent among juniors regarding specific managers.

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    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-12
  5. Helpful (1)

    "Antitrust Group is Challenging Yet Very Rewarding, Sets You up for Future Opportunities"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working in the Antitrust group at NERA provided me with a handful of hard skills and a work ethic that have been extremely valuable in my career since leaving the firm. If you are looking to work at NERA in NYC, I fully recommend doing the Antitrust group over other groups. The skills you will gain and exposure you will get is unparalleled to other groups. Through working at NERA, I became fluent in SAS (and therefore SQL, which is used within the SAS program), worked regularly in Excel, and sometimes STATA. More importantly, you learn how to work with data and derive useful and nuanced insights from data, as well as learn how to manipulate and combine data of all forms. You also get lots of exposure working with high-level employees at the firm, such as the three partners, and consultants who have PhDs in economics. I left NERA to do data science and analytics at a tech firm, and I know that working in the Antitrust group set me up for success during my interview processes. I always nailed my technical SQL/data oriented interviews, and was able to speak to the extensive experience I had working with all sorts of data to drive business insights. As you get older, you also get experience working with lawyers, providing very valuable experience explaining complex data/insights to non-technical people. Additionally, I was given multiple opportunities to manage people and projects. I was able to speak to all of these skills during my interviews and felt like I had a leg up above many of my peers. Aside from the skills I gained, I also gained a family through working at NERA. I met some of my closest friends there, and although unfortunately it was late nights were what often brought us together in the first place, there is a culture of hanging out outside of work and creating lasting friendships in the Antitrust group. Additionally, the partners are generally eager to see you succeed after your time at NERA. They all know that most people stay <5 years, and so if you are open and honest with them about your interests, they will do their best to try to give you opportunities that you are either interested in or those that could help advance your career after NERA. If you care about money, you also get a very nice bonus after your second year there. It is definitely worth staying for 2 years! The first year you are really getting up to speed and the second year is when you get real management responsibility and more interesting work.

    Cons

    Working for the Antitrust group requires diligence and commitment and the ability to work long hours. The main con for me was the unpredictability of the job - you are at the beck and call of either more senior people or lawyers, and there is little flexibility in terms of your working hours. Last minute requests are not uncommon and usually require a quick turnaround.

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    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-12
  6. "Great first job"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    good compensation, and great opportunities to learn and gain experience

    Cons

    sometimes difficult to manage work/life balance

    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-01
  7. "Underpaid"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I have been working at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    small teams, academic work, career support programs

    Cons

    compensation, progression through the company,

    NERA Economic Consulting2020-05-03
  8. "NA"

    5.0
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in New York, NY

    I have been working at NERA Economic Consulting full-time

    Pros

    Very nice people to work with

    Cons

    No cons so far. Will update later

    NERA Economic Consulting2020-04-14
  9. Helpful (9)

    "Avoid the New York Anti-Trust Group At All Costs"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Good salary and bonus after the first full year there.

    Cons

    Everything else. The hours are horrible, with most people work 60+ hour weeks and senior staff not caring. There were nights I left the office at 4 am and then went to work the next day. Weekend work is a rule, not an exception. As you get more senior, you will work directly with lawyers and senior management essentially sets the expectation that you are on call for the lawyers. There were requests that came in out of nowhere at 3 pm on Saturdays and senior staff would tell lawyers that the junior staff will do without even checking to see if the junior staff was available. What's worse is that the seniors staff there is completely and totally toxic. They are rude, condescending, and aggressive towards junior staff and essentially look at junior staff as resources to be disposed of. They do not care at all about you, as much as they claim they do, and they set a really poor example for junior staff (including drug use at company events). Once they have an opinion of you, that will be that, and there is no changing it. The office culture is one of fear, with everyone basically afraid of the managing directors. It was an incredibly hostile and stressful work environment that I would not wish on anyone. There is little or no training and the system is basically throw someone in the deep end of the pool and expect them to just swim and then scream at or berate them for not knowing things. Most junior staff there are miserable and wants to leave (and over 14 of them left in just the past year alone), but are trapped either for immigration reasons or by the money. No amount of money is worth the abuse (both physical and emotional) that these people put their staff through. Furthermore, it is somewhat of a career dead end because the company insists on using SAS and Stata, which most companies do not use anymore due to costs and the development of useful free software. I would also give a warning about the junior staff, who often create their own little exclusive groups and are exceptionally gossipy. It was honestly like working in a high school.

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    NERA Economic Consulting2020-04-07

    NERA Economic Consulting Response

    April 17, 2020Director of Human Capital

    NERA is deeply committed to fostering a culture that honors the fundamental principles of human dignity, equality, mutual respect, and appropriate behavior; and an office culture where all employees feel safe to voice their ideas and concerns. Employees are urged to address any issues or complaints of improper actions to a manager, human relations team member, or anonymously through our Employee Relations hotline. NERA will thoroughly and fairly investigate reports or complaints and will promptly take appropriate remedial action to address the problem. The training and development opportunities NERA provides is a source of pride to everyone at the firm, and highly beneficial to many of our junior consulting staff who depart NERA to pursue graduate studies in some of the most prestigious programs in the world.

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Know what you want going into it"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NERA Economic Consulting full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn a lot about economics, modeling, and data work. This is a good experience if you know what you want going into it.

    Cons

    Experience depends largely on group placement. Very inconsistent utilization across groups. Some groups work consistent 40 hour weeks and some work double that. Some managers are good mentors, others are not. Often no transparency about group placement upon hire. Researcher skills learned are not particularly applicable to many other fields. Many researchers go to grad school to expand their skill set.

    NERA Economic Consulting2020-02-26
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