Summit Consulting Reviews | Glassdoor

Summit Consulting Reviews

Updated March 29, 2017
27 reviews

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4.3
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Summit Consulting Founding Principal and Senior Economist Albert J. Lee
Albert J. Lee
22 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "Intelligent People, Great Culture, Diverse Opportunities"

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

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have been working at Summit for a few years and I have seen the company grow and take on new challenges. There are a number of positive qualities that are important to note:

    1) The people are intelligent, and great to work with. One of the greatest pleasures of working at Summit is that you get to collaborate with a group of smart, dedicated individuals, who know how to work hard, but also have a good time. You get to learn and share experiences with folks with diverse backgrounds and skills.

    2) The work is interesting and engaging. For a growing firm, there are number of opportunities to work on projects in the public and private sector clients across subject areas: health, public finance, regulation, applied statistics and econometrics, program evaluation, and more. Please note however, it can take a year or so of working on a single project before you have the opportunity to work on new engagements, but managers are willing and supportive for you to gain new experiences and learn new skills.

    3) Culture Culture Culture. From the very beginning (when I started) Summit has been dedicated to having a culture of growth, opportunity, but most importantly taking care of it's staff. Sometimes is may seem trivial or silly, but these items add up. Summit allows for flexible hours and work environment, a good work-life balance, and supports fun social events such as social sports and happy hours.

    Cons

    All of these positive items being said, it is important to recognize the areas of improvement.

    1) Summit has grappled with the ability to communicate with the staff in an open and transparent way. Like in all relationships, communication is key, and that between management and staff is just as critical. It is the right of the leadership to decide what is necessary to share, however. This issue is usually multi-fold, including timely communication, consistent messages provided to all staff, and most importantly, describing why management is moving forward with the steps they are taking. To the credit of leadership, they are currently taking large steps to address the issues of timeliness and consistent communication. However the third item could use more improvements (see advice for more).

    2) Opportunities for growth. This item is a bit of a double edged sword. In some ways Summit is a bit of a teenager, growing in fits and spurts, and still trying to find it's place. While it's great that Summit is still a great place for new opportunities, there are occasional periods of stagnation. While management would like everyone to grow, there are only so many opportunities, and not everyone can be promoted at the same time. This can sometimes lead to feelings of disappointment and resentment: "why can't I get promoted"? Skills and experience are only one component, company growth is another major factor.

    Advice to Management

    1) Your steps to be more transparent and more communicative are important and well received. Please continue to keep up these policies.

    2) Do not promote or provide recognition to those who simply work the most hours. While that may not be the intent, it can feel like that is the main factor.

    3) Identifying a policy change is important. Timely and consistent communication is important, and you are currently taking steps to improve that. However, providing the motivation for policy change is often critical. It provides staff more buy in because you are explaining why a change was necessary to begin with. Without that background, you leave staff to their own thoughts, which isn't necessarily the best idea.

    4) Employ strategic management (change management) theory. When designing policies, engage change leaders from the staff who are reliable, in touch with the staff, and can provide feedback on the staff's behalf. Like any group, it is good to know that your concerns are being heard and your voice is being represented.

    Summit Consulting Response

    Oct 28, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. We are happy to hear your feedback on our effort to be more transparent and open when sharing changes with staff. We are committed to ... More


  2. "A great community"

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

    Pros

    The team sees value in each team member and the flexibility is great. Great Culture that starts from the top and bottom and meets to create a really neat environment.

    Cons

    Certain contracts can mean you have to move around a lot. Although I had to fight for a con.

    Advice to Management

    Keep valuing each team member. It really feels like you value me as a person in addition to being an employee and feel like the support to constantly improve and grow is here.

    Summit Consulting Response

    Oct 28, 2016 – CEO

    We appreciate your feedback! We are happy you see our commitment to each staff member as part of our Summit community.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Intelligent community of consultants"

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

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time

    Pros

    The work at Summit is intellectually rewarding, and the atmosphere strikes a nice balance between warm/familiar and intellectual/professional. The company invests a lot in the skills and growth of its employees. The work-life balance is amazing compared with other consulting firms.

    Cons

    The level of transparency internally about the organization and its trajectory could be improved to make sure that people feel even more like they're part of a larger team. Promotions are only year-end, so they don't always align well with when they are warranted.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work! Continue to hire people that fit the ethos of the organization and we will continue to be a great place to work.

    Summit Consulting Response

    Oct 28, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for your feedback. We are always striving to provide meaningful work that is challenging and leads to the development of new skills and abilities. We love that Summit feels like a community ... More


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Top notch culture and flexibility"

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

    Pros

    Staff is welcoming and always available to lend a hand
    Small firm feel, but with great benefits and resources
    Remote work opportunities
    The hours are pretty flexible and you are treated with trust and respect
    Great location and amenities

    Cons

    There could definitely be team-building events and non-work activities to help staff get to know each other

    Advice to Management

    Experiences seem to differ based on what department you are in, so I would recommend making sure employees aren’t getting the short end of the stick based on their manager

    Summit Consulting Response

    Aug 18, 2016 – Human Capital, Senior Manager

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful feedback. We are looking to expand our team-building events, from expanding into new intramural teams to more frequent game nights. We are open to any and all ... More


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Consultant"

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

    I worked at Summit Consulting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    So, I recently left Summit.
    Departure, much of the time, suggests some unsatisfied end. Worse, my sense of glassdoor.com and other review sites is that they are mostly a place where people vent. I am hoping this post is a counterweight to that negative bias, as I love Summit. Here is why:

    1. Summit’s greatest strength is the people that work there. I developed friendships, mentors, and that rare group of folks who you aspire to be more like. Though I wasn’t always the easiest person to manage, I even liked my managers!

    2. The work was fulfilling…I got to work on interesting projects with social implications involving heath care, fair-lending practices, and low-income housing.

    3. Following from the first point, Summit culture, especially given that it is a consulting firm, is amazing. I have gotten to work at a few (5, as I recall) start-ups/companies that are in a high growth stage. This is not unlike my time at Summit, where the organization emerged from the 8(a) business development program, a program that buoys small government contractors. Generally, that intense growth changes a company’s culture. While Summit culture did intensify, the Principals and HR listen. Thus, despite a period of growth, intensity, and a few corrections, Summit has found a way to offer work-life balance! That’s not to say there won’t be some long days, but those are exceptions!

    4. Let’s talk money! I have read a few reviews that seem to suggest that there is a trade-off where a Summit employee trades some potential income for the culture I just mentioned. I will dispute that in fewer characters than a tweet. Summit makes it rain!
    While Summit aims to be among the world-class consulting firms, it is a false equivalency to compare Summit to McKinsey, PWC, or Deloitte today. Summit is growing! Not to say those companies aren’t, but they are standing still in relative percentage terms. Your relative difference in pay is thus partially due to the company’s current mandate, to manage high growth smartly. However, this, in my mind, is a form of compensation. Here’s why: you get very good pay, for an employer with contracted clients, i.e clear and stable cash flow, and you get to partake in the growth without the entrepreneurial risk. This last point is crucial, if you are hired at Summit and you work hard, your responsibilities, title and pay, will track with the company’s growth. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took the average age of a Summit manager or director and compared it with the equivalent role at Deloitte and found that the same transferable skills were occupied in a Summiteer, on average, ten years younger. (I have not backed this up with data, but check out these mugs - www.summitllc.us/team).

    Cons

    As a New Yorker, when someone is as positive and encouraging as I just was, I ignore them. It’s generally a good rule. For credibility sake, let me inject some context as to why I left and make my one criticism. I left to finish a PhD. Thus, I am not saying you should move to Jersey while I take up residence in New York. Summit is New York in that metaphor! Had I not been invested in school, I would have positioned myself for a long Summit career.
    My one cautionary comment will only manifest once you take the job. That is, the structures they have in place, to put you in control of your career path, do not always follow the same timeline as the company’s growth. Let’s say they hire you and you’re consulting your “you-know-what” off. You take on goals at the beginning of the year, and meet them by the end of the year. Well, that will correspond with a bonus and, sometimes, a promotion, but the real opportunities for advancement come when the company takes on new work. New work emerges out of long bidding process, track record, and relationship building. The business development process isn’t always salient to the employee. However, have faith! While Summit may be able to figure out a better way to align company growth with an individual’s goals, Summit is lean, efficient, smart, and diverse. The work will come, as those qualities are rewarded. Good luck.

    Advice to Management

    Management, call me if you have any questions :)

    Summit Consulting Response

    Aug 18, 2016 – Human Capital, Senior Manager

    Thank you for your very thoughtful feedback. Summit was lucky to have you on the team and we wish you the best of luck in your continued education.


  7. Helpful (11)

    "Changing Culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Summit offers excellent opportunities to work with curious and well-educated statisticians and economists.

    Cons

    When I was hired at Summit, I saw smart professionals, a fun and friendly culture dedicated to work/life balance, a small growing company with promotion opportunities, and low pay against the market rate for our skills. I was happy with the compromise.

    The culture has changed. Praise is doled out to people who work long hours, promotion is based on tenure, our billed hours target has increased, and happy hours have stopped. The working group structures are constantly redefined for unclear reasons. Morale tanked after layoffs over the summer and management has continued to send messages of uncertainty and constant restructuring. The pay has not improved.

    I am still happy about my peers, the smart professionals, but I am not confident they will stay.

    Advice to Management

    Communicate more openly with your employees. Saying we are profitable and have nothing to worry about does not fit with cost cutting and panic about large contract capture.

    Summit Consulting Response

    Jan 24, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. In consulting, your only asset walks out of the door every day. To that end, we take culture, feedback and employee morale very seriously and appreciate you ... More


  8. "Good opportunities to learn and grow"

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

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    *Fast paced
    *Lots of opportunity to develop new technical skills
    *Smart and motivated coworkers
    *Team-oriented and friendly culture

    Cons

    *Mentoring relationships are available to junior staff inconsistently.
    *Depending on team, work can be repetitive

    Summit Consulting Response

    Mar 4, 2016 – Human Capital, Senior Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to write a thoughtful review; we agree with your assessment. We are working to grow our leaders through more soft skills training so that mentoring can be a core skill ... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Summit is a place to grow a career"

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

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Summit is a place to grow a career. Elbow-to-elbow and sleeves rolled up is how Summit staff work together, treating change and challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Everyone is approachable and helpful. Staff work hard to establish and maintain good, professional relationships by helping one another feel valued, appreciated, and included. All staff --- from the recent college grad to the seasoned executive --- identify areas for growth and then receive training or take classes to advance their technical and consulting skills.

    Cons

    Summit supports government and commercial clients. The structure of the organization and staff incentives fail to differentiate the two categories of clients.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to takes risks in the interest of finding new and better ways to provide Summit services to diverse clients


  10. "Great work environment and opportunities for growth"

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

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Summit values its employees above all else. The management team is focused on growing talent and maintaining employee morale, strives for transparency, and is generally very approachable. Staff are down to earth and the relatively young average employee age makes for a fun environment both in and out of working hours.
    The smaller size, yet rapid growth of the firm also provides ample opportunities for career growth. Junior staff are encouraged to take on additional responsibility and generally work on more interesting and challenging tasks then what is available for similar levels at larger consulting firms. Very motivated individuals will do well at this firm and can make an impact early on in their careers.

    Cons

    Some of the typical growing pains seen in companies transitioning from small to medium-sized firms are present. However, management is strategically planning for growth and has identified challenges and put plans into place to address issues (such as growing IT needs, etc.)

    Advice to Management

    Management would benefit from keeping more of an open mind to implementing flexible management policies, such as internal hiring and variable promotion cycles.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Summit is a great firm, but junior staff can be stifled"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Senior Analyst in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Summit Consulting full-time

    Pros

    Summit fosters a collegial environment. Members of senior management are approachable and transparent.

    Cons

    Junior employees can be pigeon-holed quickly. Big picture and/or strategic thinking is stifled at the junior levels. Management favors technical ability to a fault.

    Advice to Management

    As the firm grows, Summit should recalibrate its strategic vision for junior employees.


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