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Mars & Co

#1 Mars & Co
20/12/2006 13:21


I recently had an interview with Mars & Co, and found the company very " cloak and dagger", and there is very little info avaliable about them.

Any advice would be welcome, espcially on

1) What is this company actually like

2) The recirument process, eg how many rounds

3) Is Mars a good place to start your career.


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#2 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 15:18

Tony Restell ( to Jo (#1)

Jo - I'm sure your "cloak and dagger" impression has been felt by many others in your situation. We have been trying for 6 years to get some news from or an interview with Mars & Co. For whatever reasons, they just simply don't seem to want to have a public persona and so the impressions an outsider is able to form about them are very limited.

I personally find this quite strange. If you are McKinsey then you can play aloof - and the very fact that you are a bit secretive and not in the public eye that much adds to the desirability of working there. But the likes of McKinsey, Booz Allen, etc. all regularly talk to us - even if they don't want to shout about what they do too much.

However, if you are a more niche firm that most people don't know about, it seems very odd not to want to get publicity when it's being offered - and to retreat into a shell whenever approached.

I see Mars & Co marketing themselves to Oxbridge grads every year, but asides from that I could barely tell you a single thing about them.

Would be delighted to hear contributions from Mars & Co employees or alumni... But somehow I'm doubting we'll get any...

Tony Restell

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#3 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 15:32

p to Tony Restell ( (#2)


How did you write a covering letter for them? I don'tknow how you can write with any conviction about motivations to join them and the fit between you and them. Any suggestions?

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#4 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 15:34

Anon to Tony Restell ( (#2)

Jo - I interviewed with Mars & Co back in 2000. I have to say I had the same experience as yourself. I met up with a chap with incredibly wispy blond hair who proceeded to spin around in his chair for the entire interview repeatedly asking me "why I wanted to join" Mars & Co.

I found this all rather amusing since judging by their website at the time there wasn't much given away in terms their value proposition, I then proceeded to go through a case study relating to Encarte and the standard market/industry/competitor/financial/capability analysis

I personally found them very rude and arrogant and even though I was invited to a second round I declined.

The only info. I have is that they are only work with one company per vertical e.g. Marks & Spencers within FMCG and set up by an ex BCGer

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#5 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 16:26

clunk clunk clunk to Anon (#4)

Love the clunky blurb on their site:

"What do we deliver to our clients?

From a delivered product standpoint, Mars & Co's "birthright" is its unique ability to help clients clearly delineate the contours of their battlefields as well as the dynamic positioning of their competitors. By ripping apart the economics and modus operandi of the industry, Mars & Co's teams help their clients' staff dissect the enemy's forces as well as the market discontinuities in a very specific fashion. As a result, Mars & Co's clients formulate their strategies in a much more precise and knowledgeable way."

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#6 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 16:49

anon to clunk clunk clunk (#5)

Sun Tzu would be proud of the density of military metaphors in that paragraph.

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#7 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 17:15

von Clausewitz to anon (#6)

Sun Tzu would probably either feel plagiarised or parodied... and then destroy them

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#8 RE: Mars & Co
20/12/2006 22:59

John to clunk clunk clunk (#5)

Wow, that blurb is simply incredible. I'm half tempted to submit it to Pseud's Corner in Private Eye.

How on earth do they win or retain clients if they use material like that to sell themselves? I would actually be embarrassed to work with a company that appears to have its head so high up in the clouds. I wonder what their client reports read like!

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#9 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 09:07

Mars to John (#8)

In fact we do rather well - our secrecy is explained below:

In 1976 a crack consulting unit was sent to prison for a crime they didn't commit. These men prompty escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as consultants of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire Mars & Co

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#10 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 09:50

ben to Mars (#9)

i am 120% in agreement with anon when he observed mars people as rude and arrogant. i have received a number of rejections and the worst came from mars.

Whilst, the others, including the big names like mck and bcg, gave positive and neutralising lines that help people like me to recover - mars submitted harsh line of words like "your particular qualities and abilities do not meet Mars & Co distinctive requirements". It was also the shortest.

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#11 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 10:05

Anon to ben (#10)

I seem to remember being interviewed, as a naive 21 year-old, by someone who was probably no older than 25. Boy did he know he was in the 'Simon Cowell' chair. I felt like, rather than to understand wheher or how I might fit into the company, the purpose of the interview was to give him an ego-boosting opportunity while I tried to think up answers to questions along the lines of "Tell me about a time when you failed at something".

Also, have you guys seen their undergraduate recruitment ads? In my opinion, they're a joke - they are printed in a sepia kind of colour and look as if they haven't been changed since first being published in 1930's Chicago or something. They also use bullet points to separate sentences that don't actually fall into 'categories' as such (i.e. they've just written a paragraph of HR blurb and then put bullet points and a line break where most people would put a full stop and move on to the next sentence within the paragraph).

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#12 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 10:40

Unimpressed to Jo (#1)

I just had a look at Mars & Co's website - very unimpressive indeed.. Amaturish website and language - looks like an organisation (contradiction in terms) that is trying to brand themselves as an elite firm that both candidates and clients are queuing up to work with - but just look at the language on the website - as a potential client, this firm would never make my list of consultancies I would want to employ.

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#13 Reasons to be even more concerned...
21/12/2006 11:44

nono to Anon (#4)

Dear anon,

Re the "incredibly wispy blond hair" did not explain where on his person this was....pls tell me it was on his head??

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#14 RE: Reasons to be even more concerned...
21/12/2006 12:24

Unimpressed to nono (#13)

And was the wispy blond hair shoulder length by any chance - ala 'The Firm'. With all this secrecy, seems Dom Mars may be watching too many movies - do they offer a bugged house as part of the package? Anyone know of any ex-staff being 'offed' for any reason?

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#15 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 14:41

A Mars A Day... to Jo (#1)

They have done some great work on supply chain with S.Claus Inc., a subsidiary of Coca Cola apparently, and are advising Opus Dei on reputation management.

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#16 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 17:07

I applied to mars to A Mars A Day... (#15)

I applied to Mars for an undergrad position. Instead of recieving a response via email i recieved a rejection letter with the gaudy gold letter head via post 2 months later. i just thought it was pretty stupid on their part to go to the effort of posting a letter.

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#17 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 18:18

ben to I applied to mars (#16)

In echo of what A Mars A Day wrote...

Mars & Co is studying enviromental causation and correlation model of WMD in North Korea. Further, they have engaged JWT to advise whether they should rebrand themselves as People from Mars instead of Mars & Co.

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#18 RE: Mars & Co
21/12/2006 22:24

anon to ben (#17)

For such an elitist firm, why does it come so low in the consultancy prestige rankings? e.g. Vault

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#19 RE: Mars & Co
22/12/2006 06:43

Mars to anon (#18)

Some ppl like to potray themselves as elitist. But the fact that they have concealed so much information and the very content of their website leads to the obvious conclusion that they are a bunch of clowns posing as some Guru's.

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#20 Pls include your input.
22/12/2006 08:47

Come one Come all to Mars (#19)

Pls view and feel free to comment. Looks like w'ere developing an interesting thread here. The more input, the better.

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#21 RE: Pls include your input.
22/12/2006 10:33

John Gray to Come one Come all (#20)

Following the international success of my first bestseller, I have decided to release a sequel titled 'Men are from Mars & Co, Women are from Venus: The classic guide to understanding the most pretentious firm in the industry'

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#22 RE: Pls include your input.
22/12/2006 10:44

A Mars A Day... to John Gray (#21)

I'm spinning in my chair, asking myself why I wouldn't want to work for Mars & Co. Gonna be a long time listing all the reasons. I hear NASA have just landed a probe at the Mars & Co offices and are testing for signs of modesty. All going well they are planning to send a consultant to Mars & Co, if there are signs that the office can support non-pretentious life.

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#23 RE: Pls include your input.
22/12/2006 10:47

A Mars A Day... to A Mars A Day... (#22)

Getting dizzy now... still spinning on my chair though, and growing myself a lovely set of wispy hair...

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#24 RE: Pls include your input.
22/12/2006 12:28

bob to A Mars A Day... (#23)

"From a delivered product standpoint, Mars & Co's "birthright" is its unique ability to help clients clearly delineate the contours of their battlefields as well as the dynamic positioning of their competitors."

phew.... i never knew that they have birthrights like that.

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#25 RE: Pls include your input.
22/12/2006 12:34

arnie to bob (#24)

Thirty years ago something funny happened around Mars.

NASA's Viking 1 spacecraft was circling the planet, snapping photos of possible landing sites for its sister ship Viking 2, when it spotted the shadowy likeness of a human face. An enormous head nearly 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from end to end seemed to be staring back at the cameras from a region of the Red Planet called Cydonia.

There must have been a degree of surprise among mission controllers back at the Jet Propulsion Lab when the face appeared on their monitors.

But the sensation was short-lived. Scientists figured it was just another Martian mesa, common enough around Cydonia, only this one had unusual shadows that made it look like an Egyptian pharaoh.

A few days later NASA unveiled the image for all to see. The caption noted a "huge rock formation...which resembles a human head...formed by shadows giving the illusion of eyes, nose and mouth." The authors reasoned it would be a good way to engage the public and attract attention to Mars.

It certainly did!

The "Face on Mars" has since become a pop icon. It has starred in a Hollywood film and has appeared in books, magazines and radio talk shows -- even haunted grocery store checkout lines for 25 years! Some people think the Face is bona fide evidence of life on Mars -- evidence that NASA would rather hide, say conspiracy theorists.

Meanwhile, defenders of the NASA budget wish there was an ancient civilization on Mars. Although few scientists believed the Face was an alien artifact, photographing Cydonia became a priority for NASA when Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) arrived at the Red Planet in September 1997, 18 long years after the Viking missions ended.

"We felt this was important to taxpayers," explained Jim Garvin, chief scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program. "We photographed the Face as soon as we could get a good shot at it."

And so on April 5, 1998, when Mars Global Surveyor flew over Cydonia for the first time, Michael Malin and his Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) team snapped a picture 10 times sharper than the original Viking photos. Thousands of anxious Web surfers were waiting when the image first appeared on a JPL Web site, revealing...a natural landform. There was no alien monument after all.

It was actually the "birthright" sign of Mars & Company.

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