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AT Kearney - good place to be??

#1 AT Kearney - good place to be??
08/03/2011 17:06


Hi - I'll be attending an assessment day next week with AT Kearney. I have a change background so am quite apprehensive about doing strategy based case studies. Does anyone know what to expect from the day?

Also, any ideas as to salary? I've heard that they pay slightly more than the average. I'd be going in as an associate (5 yrs Big 4 consulting background)


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#2 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
08/03/2011 17:30

Fury to AJ (#1)

Look at for salaries in your region.

Assesment- I don't know what kind of assesment you have but expect a number of case interviews of the how to turn this company around/enter this market/improve sales type and perhaps a case study where you get a map with data from which you have to make sense to solve a business problem.

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#3 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
08/03/2011 20:55

Prometheus to Fury (#2)

A former Big4 director I knew had been working at AT Kearney in London for 2 years. He said the environment was unbelievably rude and competitive. Apparently they have 60% of people leaving each year or so.

Again, it would be good to hear more opinions...

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#4 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
09/03/2011 15:44

AJ to Prometheus (#3)

Thanks Fury and Promethus (like the name!) I've heard that they are aggressive but I wasn't aware of the turnover. Looks like I will need to do more research on this one

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#5 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
14/03/2011 16:17

anon to AJ (#4)

I'm also interested in the above info. if anyone can help. Culture / Career Progression / Pay...

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#6 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
14/03/2011 18:41

Fury to anon (#5)

Pay: as good as the other strategy consultants (glassdoor is your friend)

Culture: less fratty than other strategy consultants eg bain, mck

Career progression: same as any other strategy consultant, 2-3 years per step...have a look on their website.

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#7 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
14/03/2011 18:43

Fury to Fury (#6)

60% turnover is pretty unbelievable btw, that'd mean they shrink every year. At least in the Netherlands they're growing fast, bought a boutique firm here which makes them the nr3 in size after Mck and BCG

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#8 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
17/03/2011 12:48

MC to AJ (#1)

Sorry Prometheus I know ATK pretty well and don’t recognise your description. Quite the reverse in fact: generally culture thought to be very friendly and down to earth, hardworking but not insane hours and no obvious attrition challenges. Also top brand for the CV. Admittedly during EDS days it wasn’t a very happy place.

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#9 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
17/03/2011 23:46

anon to MC (#8)

At my last company we partnered with ATK on 2-3 engagements and I found them to be a nightmare to work with (as did several other colleagues).

They routinely worked 80-100 hour weeks, worked all weekends, regularly demanded team meetings on a Sunday evening and didn't seem to have any discernable professional values what so ever.

I found them all arrogant, aggresive and deeply unpleasant people.

Worst of all, for all of their noise, they typically produced the sqaure root of f**k all and left it to us to clean up after them. Unfortunately, our Engagement Director was wetter than Scotland and let them get away with it.

Hell would have to freeze over twice before I ever contemplated working for them.

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#10 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
18/03/2011 04:42

EXP to anon (#9)

Having worked with ATK as an independent associate and then later (when with another firm) as a partner, I think both the last two comments can be accurate.

Generally at the more senior end, there are some long-serving, very comfortably-placed people for whom anything post-EDS is bliss in relative terms. Because they are so comfortable they can be easy to work with, but can also be very complacent about quality and sales, appearing unambitious to outsiders; patronage to long-serving client contacts is more important than client service per se; if pushed to move outside their comfort zone, they can use their internal connections to make your life hell. They don't tend to get involved in partnering, because they don't see the need to mix with anyone outside their old network. They keep overall turnover down.

On the other hand, there are some more recent hires who are much more antsy. Typically MBB-rejected recent MBA graduates, they are very insecure about the firm's declining prestige. Although they are more au-fait with customer-service and sales as principles, they lack leadership role-models or experience to put this into practice, so put as much energy into fighting furiously with each other as they do into productive work. They can be very opportunistic, which leads to both high turnover and partnering in order to try and win more work. In front of partners, the insecurities come to the forefront and they tend to act very aggressively, pretending to be working much harder than anyone else - it is not unusual for them to have a relatively empty diary during regular working hours, but set their emails to be sent overnight and schedule their meetings over the weekend.

While I would work as a contractor for ATK again, I wouldn't join as a permanent employee and certainly wouldn't partner. Some smaller firms think it will improve their credibility to partner with a more established brand. However, it doesn't seem to work well. The quality of ATK work (which isn't fantastic at the best of times) falls apart when all the staff are too busy scheming. Your own firm's staff can't even make up for the shortfall and fix the deliverables because their time is tied up providing surrogate leadership/parentage to ATK consultants and mediating their internal battles; since the ATK leaders don't buy into either the need to partner or to look after clients, they aren't much use in these situations either.

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#11 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
18/03/2011 14:10

someguy to EXP (#10)

AJ (OP) - as to the pay, maybe the clue's in the name?


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#12 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
20/03/2011 11:52

Dino to someguy (#11)

I'm applying with one of the ATK office in Central/Eastern Europe - does anyone know if these are as competitive as their offices in Western Europe/USA?


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#13 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
30/03/2011 09:19

ATKer to AJ (#1)

Overall ATK is a pretty good place to work. The politics don't often get out of hand, and people are relaxed, friendly and easy to reach out to; although there are one or two prickly ones to avoid. I typically work a 50 hour week, rising to 60+ for crunch time or when the partner starting getting worried about something. The people are competitive, but not obsessively so, and I've never had any issues with bullying or backstabbing.

There are a few downsides to it though: the hiring policy is confused; the promotions pipeline is backed up after a couple of years of low growth (but we didn't shrink either); we're heavily concentrated on a small number of big accounts; and there are one or two senior people who should probably be moved on.

Projects vary widely; although they consistently tend to inherit characteristics from the principal or partner that sold the work. If you like ops or procurement, then this is probably the place for you.

I don't recognise some of the other comments above: our cost of poor quality is low, and where we've unsuccessfully partnered with other organisations, in every case that I know of we've been the ones to stick around and get it over the line.

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#14 RE: AT Kearney - good place to be??
29/06/2011 10:58

doraemon to anon (#9)

I have worked with 8 ex ATKers. All but 2 are aggressive, rude, abrupt, opportunistic.

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