Stroud International Reviews | Glassdoor

Stroud International Reviews

Updated February 5, 2017
16 reviews

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4.0
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Stroud International CEO Nathaniel Greene
Nathaniel Greene
14 Ratings

16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "If you can, start your career here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Several things stick out:
    - You do unique work. The approach to clients is all about finding and doing what they don't think is possible. If you like solving hard problems, getting your hands dirty, and learning about a broad array of industries, it's a great place.
    - Learning - Stroud focuses on developing leaders, not just developing employees. Because of that everyone puts a lot of emphasis on development and feedback, not just for trivial work things like presentation style or grammar, but the big things that will unlock your core leadership abilities in your career
    - People - Folks from Stroud are some of my best friends, even the ones in other offices that only see once per year. It's a unique combination of sharp and fun, and if that's what you want it's a great place.

    In short, I would (and have) strongly recommended joining.

    Cons

    Business Development has been a challenge, so there's a risk there may be gaps between time with clients. The firm is small and entrepreneurial, so that comes with the pros and the cons that will differ from a bigger firm.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Unleashes potential, but cult-like, myopic and glass-ceilinged"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in Boston, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Consulting with impact. You will learn to do things that create huge immediate visible $ impact
    - You will become a pro at execution, project management and problem solving
    - All of these skills are very transferrable if you do it right
    - You will learn to challenge your mindsets, and improve how you approach life
    - You will work with people who are constantly challenging themselves, and challenging you
    - You will learn to challenge flawed thinking and get better everyday
    - You will be surrounded by eager, energetic and fun people who've graduated from top schools
    - The cumulative and residual impact that Stroud will have on you will last you for a lifetime
    - In this, I do not disagree with most of the positive things that others have written on this board

    Cons

    The Cons however negate most of the incredibly positive things the firm does for its consultants
    - The focus on narrow slivers of operations consulting topics is very myopic
    - The work is usually with stressed companies in dying industries, with the odd exception
    - Your clients will barely be university educated, and during your early days you will work with some unexceptional individuals (e.g. a stubborn set-in-his-ways factory shift supervisor with barely a high-school diploma)
    - At most client sites you wear clunky safety shoes and/or a hair net/hard hat 4 days a week
    - Most of the work you do will have a tenuous link to strategic goals, and will be quite uni-dimensional. Stroud has limited to no serious clout at the Board level or in the C-suite of multi-billion turnover global corporations
    - Your network development will be very narrow and "nichey". Aside from one senior manager at a client, I've not found either the Stroud network or the client network of much use

    In addition to this:
    - The firm has never been able to scale up as they typically have extremely volatile and cyclical business. By all rights they should have been able to scale-up, but it seems like they are unable to retain flywheel clients, move people up to partnership and hence unable to build pyramids under them in a sustainable manner
    - In the past 10 years, they have gone through round after round of layoffs (not up-or-out but layoffs pure and simple) because they have overhired at times and then have lost large clients. This is not a one-time thing, it is a chronic issue
    - Worse, when employees are laid off, there is no severance, and they make it sound like its a performance-related firing (I was top-performing, and then laid off when business slowed). All of this is very questionable from an HR perspective, but partners are judge, jury and executioner
    - Additionally, they will destroy your self-worth by telling you lies about yourself in a very convincing manner. They just sow the seeds of self-doubt and create a haze of negativity. The partners are very manipulative and the level of negative feedback is not balanced with positive developmental feedback
    - Many people who were laid off for "performance issues" have since gone on to do fantastic things, and some have gone on to successful careers at blue-chip firms like McKinsey, Bain and BCG, or been accepted to top B-schools
    - Partners do not support consultants going back to B-school for an MBA. They will browbeat you into not going to B-school by dangling promotion and partnership as a goal - things that will never materialize
    - Partnership is a moving target and the goal-posts are ever-shifting. Even loyal employees in front of whom partnership was dangled 10 years ago, and who helped build the firm, never made it to the top. In fact, they all were recently laid-off. The partners have created a glass ceiling, and you will never make the money they make, even though they will continuously promise that there is a path to partnership
    - The partners have a cult-like vice hold on people just below them, even on their personal lives. Its Hotel California - you can't check out. Once you've drunk the koolade, there is no escape until it is too late. The partners are self-seeking, and the culture is extreme when it comes to protecting the profit-pool, to the detriment of employees, especially fresh-hires from universities

    Advice to Management

    - Be open-minded and develop broader practice areas i.e more that just running machines in a factory faster or simple process improvement.
    - Encourage people to broaden their outlook. Recognize that people are multi-faceted and that they can bring a lot to the business than just the "weekly chart" showing client results
    - Be less controlling and intimidating towards your employees. Be less negative and soul-crushing in how you deliver feedback
    - Be less selfish and take a longer-term view of things. You've missed a trick by not exiting your employees properly. Not only is it extremely unprofessional and cruel to those in their early 20's, but it is damaging to their future prospects, and by extension to yours. Take a page out of McKinsey's book. Even when they exit employees through up-or-out, they help them land in a way that is good for their ecosystems. Today's consultant is tomorrow's client
    - Develop your network and help your consultants to develop theirs, and by that I mean, develop a real network at the Board level, with PE firms and with the C-Suite
    - Pay it forward. The world is a small place, and it can't be good that there are so many ex-Stroudies who have such lingering negative opinions of Stroud. It mars all the good experiences we've had with the firm


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Talented people, excellent learning experience and opportunities for growth, and a great culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The best parts of the company are the people and culture. There is a true sense of team, mentoring opportunities, and colleagues are just a wonderful, interesting, bright and fun group to be with. The learning and fast growth mentality are also excellent. Consultants are given lots of opportunity to step up and take ownership. The experience instills a mindset of proactiveness, logic, great problem solving, and the ability to cause change that is important in any future work.

    Cons

    Like most consultancies, the travel is demanding and makes maintaining a good social life at home difficult.


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  5. Helpful (21)

    "A Warning from Experience"

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

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The company serves as a status symbol among Cornell engineering seniors. It has cultivated an image of prestige that is tough to beat.

    Cons

    I'm going to preface this saying that I really did not want to post a negative review, but I could not stand the idea that this company has 4.2 stars. As a senior in college, I received an offer from Stroud in my Fall semester, which was early enough (and exciting enough) to eliminate my need to search further for work. After graduating, I picked up and moved my life to Boston. I signed a summer sublet, a full year lease on my apartment, registered my car, and even got a first-day-of-work haircut. Immediately following, I received a phone call from the hiring manager notifying me that they would not be bringing in new hires as part of a reduction in force. This was the day before I was supposed to start work.

    When confronted about the late notice, our hiring manager said that they wanted to wait until the very last moment in prayers that work would pick up. Further research has revealed that work had been slow for more than a year prior to our scheduled start date.

    The aforementioned image of prestige is a guise. The company (as mentioned by another comment) incentivizes good reviews to boost their name. When I began my job search again, I thought that having a letter of recommendation from Stroud would be a significant boost in the consulting community. It was no such thing. Of the 10+ firms I spoke with, only 1 even knew of the company. And since moving on with my life, I have yet to meet a single person outside of Cornell who knows of the company. Finally, every person in any industry that I've met has agreed that laying off new hires is poor practice. The only other time I've heard of it was in banking in 2008 due to flailing market. Stroud did this in both 2012 and 2013 (and I sincerely hope they didn't in 2014).

    To be clear, I am not wallowing in my own pity. Stroud is a company full of talented individuals and managed by a group of tools. But they have wronged a large number of people, and I can't stand to see nothing about it on here.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage your company. If business is slow, either allow your employees to ride the bench, or give prospective employees some warning.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Stroud offers tremendous personal/career development and will do whatever they can to help you fulfill your career goals"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Stroud International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great induction program when you join. The people are extremely smart and capable. Management will do whatever they can to help you. The job itself is quite unique, challenging and your work environment will constantly change. The role is all client-facing.

    Cons

    Extensive travel can get weary. May not see fellow coworkers and colleagues often.

    Advice to Management

    Sometimes teams of consultants working together on a project can be more successful then the individual parts working independently on different projects.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Hard, challenging and definitely worth it!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Principal in Marblehead, MA
    Current Employee - Principal in Marblehead, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Stroud International full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I have worked at Stroud for 11 years. I love the work that I do and the development I’ve experienced as a result of working here. I’ve worked in dozens of manufacturing environments across the US, have seen how hundreds of products are made and have had the opportunity to help make them run faster and more efficiently. My role at Stroud has developed over the years, and through it all I’ve had great moments and really hard moments. The career path at Stroud forces you to continually develop and grow. A few years in, I was faced with the decision of overcoming an aversion to conflict or continuing my career somewhere else. I received support and coaching, and I still struggled. Fortunately, I was able to work through it and am better in so many aspects of my life because of it. As a result of my experience, I help ensure our current employees receive the same support that I did. Truly, the most rewarding experiences I have had are being able to help those I work with develop. My net Stroud experience has resulted in most of my closest friends being current and past Stroud employees. It has been hard, it has been challenging and it has definitely been worth it.

    Cons

    Significant travel! Our work requires us to be on location with the client. Our typical travel schedule is out on the first flight on Monday and back on whatever flight allows us to work a full day on Thursday. I have a wife and two young boys at home which has made it more difficult to leave each week. The main reason it has worked for my family has been my wife’s strength and independence to manage everything while I’m gone (not to mention while I’m home :)). There are some offsetting perks with air miles, hotel and car rental points which have enabled us to take very nice vacations … though, ultimately the reason I’m still with Stroud is because of details I listed in the “pros.”


  8. Helpful (5)

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Marblehead, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Marblehead, MA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Stroud International full-time

    Pros

    Opportunities to solve real world supply chain problems and have meaningful interactions with senior leaders unusually early in a career.
    Sincere and intense interest in personal development throughout the company. Managers, Partners, and peers will genuinely invest in all staff to help them reach their potential.
    Not the typical pre-MBA associate or post-MBA analyst role - much more doing than suggesting.
    Being part of a small, entrepreneurial company: if you demonstrate initiative and capability, and earn the trust of a leadership team member, you will have the chance to shape the company.

    Cons

    Standard road warrior culture: work hard/drink hard/fly business class.
    There is only one career path - up or out. You are either on the Partner track, first drinking the koolade then mixing it, or you are on your way out.
    As evidenced by the photos on the leadership page, the company has struggled to maintain diversity of gender, race, and thought during its growth.
    It is a small company and very, very tightly knit - the company will take an interest in your personal life and "help" you make decisions, whether or not you ask. You can't spell culture without cult.

    Advice to Management

    You have mastered the university recruiting game, now your challenge is to offer experienced hires a similarly appealing professional journey. Attrition in the middle of the pyramid is extremely expensive. Lack of diversity is a risk to credibility and capability.
    Try a leadership style that doesn't depend on intimidation or control. You may find that a hint of vulnerability will inspire more people to follow you farther.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Strong culture of personal development and success."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Consultant in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Associate Consultant in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Stroud International full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Strong emphasis on personal development,
    Very open and honest environment,
    Senior level consultants and partners very accessible,
    Good work / life balance (with respect to consulting industry average)

    Cons

    As an associate consultant, one does not get to chose which project he/she gets assigned to.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great personal development and real responsibility"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends

    Pros

    Real responsibility from day 1
    The work is very tangible and the impact on clients is visible
    Exceptionally bright group of people
    True meritocracy
    Good work life balance with not weekend work and reasonable hours

    Cons

    Not unique to Stroud - lots of travel and being away from home
    Small firm culture is great but the lack of formalized processes can be challenging

    Advice to Management

    Maintain the small firm culture even as the firm grows


  11. "Exciting work and great people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Stroud International full-time

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers
    Rapid Personal Development
    Interesting Projects
    Management investing to remove cyclic nature of work
    Good vacation policy

    Cons

    Standard consulting travel
    Some cyclic nature to work

    Advice to Management

    Continue working to expand core offerings


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