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PA Consulting

#1 PA Consulting
13/03/2012 07:41


Morning all,

I get the impression that some members of this forum have a pretty negative opinion of PA Consulting. As I weigh-up potential applications, I wonder if someone could summarise the reasons for this? I currently work in industry and am, therefore, fairly removed from the politics and dynamics of the consulting arena!

If it helps focus discussion, I am interested in strategic and/or project management assignments.

Thanks in advance for your insight.

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#2 RE: PA Consulting
14/03/2012 17:50

explorer1 to Peps (#1)

Hi there,

I wouldn't pay any attention to some of the contributors of this column. I used to read them when I was at PA and to be frank they weren't describing the firm I was in.

I recently left PA Consulting to re-enter industry so no reason for me to tell it any way than straight. I spent an incredibly fulfilling 15 years or so with them. In my experience, you get a chance to work on the most challenging assignments with some really talented colleagues. The training is great also.

If you want to make a difference in a medium sized firm and really take control of your career then you should go talk to them. Go meet some of the current staff, have a coffee and get them to tell you as it is. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

If on the other hand you want to have a very structured career and be told what to do - then you should talk to some of the other firms.

Any organisation has its problems - of course - but having worked for a few - PA has less than most.

It came through two tough recessions while I was there and has always made a profit and being employee owned you get a bonus and share options so long as there is profit.

Some of the larger firms did not pay a bonus to their junior staff in the last couple of years - they kept the dosh for the seniors. That wouldn't happen at PA.

Good luck.

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#3 RE: PA Consulting
17/03/2012 09:51

EarlyDoors to Peps (#1)


A lot of the stuff on this about PA is a bit silly. Overall, I enjoyed my time there and was treated very well. Here is my honest take on the company. Sure it still includes some baggage.

Best of luck with your decision.

1. Much of PA's work is in the UK public sector

PA doesn't really have an international presence. Their revenues primarily come from the UK and Nordics. Much of the UK revenue is from the Government. PA does particularly well in Healthcare and Innovation. If that is your areas of interest, you can have a good career. Think PA is also strong for Life Sciences, but less sure. In my opinion, PA's strategy practice was poor while I was there.

2. PA is mostly a meritocracy

PA is quick to promote those who do well throughout the ranks. My experience is they do that better than some of the other consultancies. However, PA's partner process is a mess and as a result lots of good (and bad) people leave at the grade below.

3. PA has had a tough few years

The company appears to have been declining since around 2007. Difficult market to be only selling consulting especially to Government. To be fair to them, I don't know if this has more recently improved.

4. PA does some silly stuff with their staff, but don't all companies

The redundancies in the UK were handled very poorly. That was a few years ago now. They also send all leavers a legal warning letter, which just seems petty. However, overall it was a good place to work and I was well looked after throughout my career. I also agree with the above comment re PA looking after the more junior staff re bonuses.

5. PA people are generally really good

I have now worked for three different consultancies and the people at PA can more than stand their ground against the others. Generally, the people at PA are what made it a good place to work. The only exception to this is at the very senior level with the larger consultancies often having easier access to real global experts.

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#4 RE: PA Consulting
22/03/2012 10:51

Gloucester-born to EarlyDoors (#3)

In my previous consulting role I worked alongside PA consultants in a partnership that secured a successful and significant sale and that has continued this successful partnership into the project delivery.

The skills and values demonstrated by the team of 20 or so I met (from Partner to Analyst) complimented my team perfectly. I made friends there that I maintain regular contact with and I would not hesitate to work with them again. If they were recruiting at my grade / industry / competency mix I would strongly consider joining them.

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#5 RE: PA Consulting
28/03/2012 09:51

Peps to Gloucester-born (#4)


Thanks very much for your responses, I do appreciate your views and it sounds like the culture might be a lot better than a number of posts on here would have you believe. Good news!

Explorer1, thanks for your suggestion to meet with current staff but, short of unashamedly contacting someone via Linkedin, I'm at a loss for contacts! Don't worry, I'm not asking for you to arrange a play-date for me, but I wonder if you have any idea how other similarly isolated people manage to develop networks? Presume that loitering outside the office would be frowned upon!

Finally (and at the risk of sounding shallow!), could anyone offer any insight to remuneration at PA? I appreciate that there will be significant variation according to experience etc., but I would be interested to hear if PA are considered to be a 'high' or 'low' payer.

Thanks again for your help and guidance!

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