The people are all very friendly on the outset and sing praises of the family culture at Sendero. The office is in a fairly nice location and most of the business is concentrated in Dallas. Much effort is placed on making Sendero be the 'anti- big four' consulting company (claiming light travel and an understanding of a life/work balance) which, for the most part, does show.
I was drafted to this company because of their insistence on a unique, 'family-like' culture within a dynamic youthful company. This is completely true (the culture part, anyway)- as long as you prescribe to the same lifestyle and personal beliefs of the upper management (many of whom are directly related to Sendero's President or have been close with him prior to Sendero's founding). If you are a conservative, white individual whose professional aspirations reach no further than settling down as soon as possible with your heterosexual partner and 2.5 kids, then Sendero is the company for you. I say this only because many,many work lunches (some with the President of the company) revolved heavily around very specific, and unanimous, theological and political beliefs. I am usually an outspoken individual, but even I would feel extremely uncomfortable voicing my opinion in these situations. I would have continued to put up with this behavior if other aspects of the company were just spectacular, but that is not the case. This is an extremely green company and it shows; do not expect a very competitive salary or benefits. Other things that would be commonplace at a more established firm are overlooked aswell (i.e. parking- I'm not talking paid parking, I'm talking parking period. My offer letter included a 5 year old map of parking areas in downtown Dallas and a note that essentially said good luck). You can, however, expect many family cookouts where everyone can gush over everyone else's children. All in all, all I could think during my employment was 'I feel like my parents should work here.' Sendero may want to believe it is young and dynamic, but believe me it is not. I
Advice to Management
There is not much advice to offer, as the management is very set on its ways. I would suggest starting with a more diverse set of employees. I think they also need to realize the family-centric, locally based atmosphere they care so much about, while appealing to the older employees, is not going to help them draw in and retain the younger professionals they are targeting for employment.
I have been working at Sendero full-time
Real work / life balance; access to top leadership; good amount of PTO; great company culture; no required travel is real; genuine, caring people; lots of opportunity to grow skills and wear multiple hats
Pay is about 1 title below competitors; benefits are geared toward older employees, not college hires; training budget is too little to really be useful; non-consultants can do no wrong; feels like empire-building within internal positions; meaningful recognition of younger / mid-level consultants could be better; performance management constantly changes; some people have too much influence over decision making; some people who are bad consultants are kept around (or transfer to internal positions) because they are good culture fits rather than letting them go
Advice to Management
Limit influence of non-partners on strategic decisions; make sure internal employees are held accountable (maybe give them SLAs); come up with way to recognize and keep top talent; work to increase consultant pay so it is aligned with competitors
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