The Beacon Group Reviews | Glassdoor

The Beacon Group Reviews

Updated January 17, 2017
23 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.9
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The Beacon Group President and Chairman Cliff Farrah
Cliff Farrah
14 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. "So much better than I could have imagined"

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

    I have been working at The Beacon Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I can think of no better place to begin a career than at Beacon. Right from your first day on a project, you are expected to drive your own research, manage-upward when you need guidance, and remain vocal and critical of yours and the assumptions of those around you. The most rewarding element of working at Beacon is that your own research as a consultant is the life-force behind our recommendations to our clients. In cases where a project’s senior leaders are thinking one way about a topic, you have the opportunity to engage those beliefs and dispute them just by trusting your work and allowing the research you did to speak for itself. The senior leadership is receptive towards your analysis of the data and welcomes disagreement in order to develop a more robust, detailed story.

    The consultant position promotes self-management really well, in that you are expected to communicate with your project team about your process in meeting your goals, daily research quotas, and your personal schedule. The daily communication with project managers and VPs allows for a collaboration that heavily involves the junior consultant much more in the development of strategies and tactics than it might at other firms. Beacon stands out among the forest of other consulting firms in that junior staff can grasp onto this process as much as they want to. On some of my first few projects, I was providing market disruption strategies for some of the largest healthcare companies in the world that I helped create based on my own research. Beacon brilliantly leverages the market knowledge gathered by junior consultants over the course of a project, which contributes mightily to developing confidence and pride in your work and the knowledge that senior staff think they can rely on you.

    The client-facing nature of the consultant role can be intimidating at first, but after your first project, you begin to let your guard down and more and more you just allow your research and your analysis room to breathe. Beacon’s process accelerates a young, recent college grad’s comfort-level and confidence with presenting and engaging directly Fortune 500 executives.

    The opportunity to work in a business development/client management role provides an insight into the lifestyle of Directors/VPs at the firm. By assisting in this process, junior consultants are able to contribute to the overall targeting strategy for evolving Beacon’s relationships with existing and emerging clients.

    There is complete freedom for junior consultants to leave the office for coffee, notify their managers they have to leave early, etc. A big benefit of working at Beacon is that the level of individual independence is not negatively impacted by the high responsibility and expectations. The typical day is between 9 and 10 hours, but consultants are encouraged to make the most of their time and leave the office earlier, if possible.

    Cons

    Non-Mainers: It’s worth some time considering your desire to live and work in Portland. Portland is a diverse city in an otherwise ethnically homogenous state, and is full of young professionals and networking opportunities. If you have nothing to cling to besides your work, you will find that Portland can feel like a vacuum. You have to actively seek out the things you enjoy to make a Portland lifestyle work for you.

    I’ve seen some reviews claiming that the work hours are “insane.” My response to this is that 50-60 hour work weeks can definitely be insane to those allergic to productivity and success.

    Advice to Management

    As a person of color, I felt like there was no clear promotion of diversity throughout the application process. That said I do believe that the lack of proactive efforts to include a more diverse pool of applicants is something on the mind of many senior employees, but I’m not sure steps are currently underway to tackle this issue. I recommend Beacon take more seriously the importance of seeking out prospects who are of non-white backgrounds and who live in states outside Maine. Perhaps this can be done by investing resources in attending business school summer programs and undergraduate campus recruiting/career fairs at places outside of Maine or in ethnically heterogeneous areas.


  2. "Great Place for Professional Development"

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

    I have been working at The Beacon Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If you are driven and want a job that feeds off of intellectual curiosity, this is the job for you. Every project that you work on will teach you something new and challenge the way that you think.
    The culture is fantastic with several added bonuses like employee outings, volunteer days, and wellness initiatives.
    The job teaches incredible time management skills and puts junior staff directly in front of clients early on, leading to more professional development than most other entry level jobs ever would be able to provide.
    For every hour that you put in here you will receive twice as much back.

    Cons

    There can be long day at the office, but it is rare to feel worn out at the end of a day.
    The senior staff are often traveling and have a limited presence around the office, but that is the nature of the job.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to increase visibility of senior staff around the office. There can be times when energy is very low due to a lack of guidance around the office.


  3. "Director"

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

    I have been working at The Beacon Group (More than a year)

    Pros

    People are smart and extremely hard working
    CEO is conscious of family values and wants his staff to be happy
    Employee events are plentiful and fun
    Work is rewarding

    Cons

    At times there are long hours as you help the company reach their goals but then you see how successful the company is and it makes you feel proud


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  5. "Tremendous Opportunity to Learn"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Consultant in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Consultant in Portland, ME
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at The Beacon Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The Beacon Group offers a fantastic opportunity to gain research, writing, analytical, client service, project management and business development skills. I was blown away by how much I learned while at Beacon. You are expected to contribute and be a high-performing member of your team from day one. While this can be stressful at times, it is also quite rewarding. For instance, I was the only consultant on my first project, so was responsible for doing all of the research. Two weeks into this first assignment, I was discussing my research and our team's findings directly with the client. However, it is important to note that while consultants have a great deal of autonomy and are expected to work independently, questions are always welcome and help is always available from more senior members of the team.

    The breadth and length of projects keeps thing interesting. Working across the Healthcare, Defense, Technology and Industrial industries ensures that you are constantly learning new material and speaking with new source communities. Projects are short (usually around 6-8 weeks), so the job never feels stale.

    The people at Beacon are excellent. My peers were incredibly smart, motivated and supportive. People definitely work VERY hard, but have fun together as well. I found the senior leadership to be very fair, helpful and genuinely committed to the development of more junior employees. Additionally, the company really takes care of its people. The Operations Director has done a lot of work to improve the benefits offered, as well as the overall experience at Beacon.

    Cons

    I wouldn’t say that there are any major cons to The Beacon Group, but rather things you should be aware of before applying. There will be times when you need to work long hours to get the job done (65+ hour weeks). Most of the research consultants do at Beacon is primary research, which involves cold calling industry participants. If you are not comfortable cold calling, or lack the discipline to make dozens of calls each day, Beacon may not be the place for you.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to develop the mentorship program. This is potentially a very valuable aspect of Beacon, and providing more direction for mentors may help to make the program more meaningful.

    When possible, make an effort to provide breaks (even a day or two) between engagements. The day or two between projects is very helpful to catch up on any work, and also recharge before the next project.


  6. "Top Consulting Firm in Portland"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Consultant in Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Consultant in Portland, ME
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at The Beacon Group full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Beacon is the place to be in Portland, Maine if you are interested in growth strategy consulting. The firm is small, but really bends over backwards to take care of its people. Coworkers are highly focused and motivated. Engagements consist of teams of 3-6 participants, so being able to operate as part of a team is a must. The CEO has a great vision and background and consistently takes action to position Beacon favorably in the future of management consulting. The new Operations Director has really improved the work experience in the office and continues to put Beacon's employees first.

    Cons

    If you dislike long hours, hard work, and critical thinking, this may not be the job for you. You will put in long hours at times, but the engagements are typically very interesting.

    Advice to Management

    Continue collecting and integrating feedback from junior staff.


  7. "Great company if you are a great fit for the company"

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

    I worked at The Beacon Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you are interested at all in growth strategy and research based consulting, or just interested in exposure to a wide variety of industries and fields, I would recommend working at Beacon. As a company, Beacon is well-run, organized, and has a lively environment. Junior staff members (consultant, sr. consultant, or manager) have the opportunity to own their work, collaborate on and drive client recommendations, and be a strong voice on projects. Client projects are often interesting, and seldom do you research the exact same field or market twice.

    The job is really what you put into it. You can absolutely learn about business growth strategies at Beacon, but also if you put in the effort, you can learn a lot by connecting with the senior staff and the executive team. Everyone at Beacon is intelligent and come from incredible backgrounds, and those connections can sharpen your own professionalism and career goals.

    Cons

    Like many consulting firms, the hours are long. You are expected to work a minimum of 9 hours a day (8-6), often longer, and you will likely take work home on the weekends. Do not make evening commitments till after 7:30 PM.

    There is a degree barrier between junior and senior staff - you must have an MBA to move up to the director level. There have been a couple exceptions, but that was in the early years of Beacon. But if you start as a consultant, you have the opportunity to grow into a manager role at a consulting firm, which is respected in the business world.

    I highly recommend talking to a current or former employee before interviewing. Working at Beacon isn't for everyone, and not everyone can do the work well. But if you can do the work well, you will find it not only engaging and interesting, but rewarding as well.

    Advice to Management

    Everyone on senior staff should take the mentorship role seriously. It is a very attractive feature at Beacon, and something many junior staff members need to gain perspective, have a confidant (key!), and grow professionally.


  8. "Excellent Place to Begin a Career"

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

    I worked at The Beacon Group full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    For ambitious college graduates, Beacon is a truly outstanding place to begin a career. Within a month of my start date, I was presenting research directly to upper-level management at a Fortune 250 healthcare company, developing market entry strategies for their innovation team, and managing a key business development account for the firm’s tech team leadership. Whether or not you’re interested in a long-term career in business, the skills and experience you rapidly gain at Beacon will be invaluable. Management is committed to helping junior staff members develop their professional skills, and my coworkers here are easily one of the biggest pros—the staff is made up of bright, talented, friendly people. Since projects are always short-term (1-2 months), deadlines can be tight and hours are long at times; if you’re not willing to ever work more than 50 hours a week, this isn't the place for you. That being said, management is focused on giving employees a consistent work/life balance, and the new ops director they’ve hired has already substantially improved the generous benefits. Portland is a beautiful and vibrant small city (and importantly, cheap for grads working to pay off loans), and the starting salary for consultants is decent considering the cost of living. All in all Beacon’s a fantastic place to launch a career in any field, and especially worth investing multiple years for those expecting to pursue business school.

    Cons

    Hours can really vary for consultants and senior consultants, which can make establishing a regular work/life balance and schedule difficult. Some weeks you’ll work as much as 60+ hours, and others will require research during international hours – which can be during the middle of the night. It’s also a demanding environment; while the experience you’ll gain is incredibly valuable, the day-to-day work can at times be exhausting and stressful. A lot of the daily work is also spent cold calling, so research productivity isn’t always entirely in your control. But overall, the experience you’ll gain here really outweighs those downsides.

    Advice to Management

    Consider boosting account lead involvement in weekly project work


  9. "Great culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Nyc in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Nyc in New York, NY
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Strong leadership, good trustworthy people.

    Cons

    Mix of advisory and principle business can be a challenge.

    Advice to Management

    More focus on distribution of leadership, cultivation of leadership among younger members coming up.


  10. "great exposure, good experience, hard work"

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

    I have been working at The Beacon Group full-time

    Pros

    -working across industries like healthcare, defense, and technology provides wide exposure
    -consultants are immediately expected make an impact on projects
    -entry-level consultants are thoroughly involved in the research, analysis, and are active in client presentation
    -provides continuous exposure to all sides of business, including internally with operations, sales, and project work, and externally with client case studies
    -great office, great people, great city

    Cons

    -some projects are more strategic and others are more research heavy
    -with short deadlines and high-stress, can feel like a mad sprint at times; some are better at handling this then others
    -consultants have limited resources at their disposal
    -given travel responsibilities and off-site directors, a lot of internal meetings occur on the phone

    Advice to Management

    continue evolving perks and pay structure


  11. Helpful (3)

    "A great opportunity to launch or advance a career, develop transferable skills, and do interesting work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Portland, ME
    Current Employee - Vice President in Portland, ME
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at The Beacon Group full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Beacon is an excellent place to start a career or figure out what you want to do. In my time at Beacon I’ve helped dozens of clients in different industries with a wide variety of growth challenges. The subject matter and focus of the project work varies widely, which means you're constantly learning and expanding your professional skill set. Good work is usually recognized quickly and rewarded, and there is a clear path forward for professional advancement.

    My coworkers have always been one the best things about working at Beacon. The firm tends to hire talented, motivated young people. It’s honestly a privilege to work such an amazing group, and they make the hard days at Beacon bearable.

    I think most people here would agree that Portland Maine is a great place to live and work, but it's not for everyone (think hard about where you want to be, and it you don't want to live in a small city in Maine this is probably not a good fit). Hours vary quite bit depending on your workload and who you're working with, but from what I've heard from friends at other consulting firms Beacon has a better work/life balance than most. As a consultant you'll rarely work over 60 hours/week. Churn has reduced dramatically since I started, and there is a sustained focus on continuing to improve the work environment.

    Starting salaries for consultants aren't anything special, but are solid for Portland Maine. Raises that accompany promotion are substantial. Other benefits (health and disability insurance, matching 401K, and vacation time) are generous.

    Cons

    Beacon is not for everyone. There's a steep learning curve, and new consultants are expected to contribute to projects in a meaningful way right from the start. The flip side of exposure and responsibility is there's no place to hide. You will be challenged, and while the challenge is often rewarding it can also be exhausting. Parts of the job can be tedious and irritating, but that's true of most professional firms. Welcome to the working world.

    The pros of working at Beacon have outweighed the cons for me personally. I’ve accumulated more experience in 6 years than most people get in two decades, and I’m happy with what Beacon has allowed me to achieve and to contribute. However, I've worked hard to make Beacon work for me, and like most opportunities it is what you make of it.


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