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Marakon Reviews

Updated 30 December 2018
46 reviews

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4.2
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Mason Kissell
34 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Same requirements as in Mck Bain BCG...without the means to sustain them..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Consultant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Marakon full-time

    Pros

    Strong working atmosphere, competent teams

    Cons

    Too small, so...
    ... 90% of projects revolve around Oil & Gas and Financial
    ... Poor worklife balance
    ...unheard brand in the market
    ...limited geo rotation opportunities
    ... very dependent on a handful of clients, making the company very shaky in tough times (and will not hesitate to fire even the best then)
    ...very dependent on individuals to shape culture (vs a dedicated strategy for this)

    Old school strat consulting with a framework developped in the 80s (very limited in new technologies, data etc)

    I was tempted by Marakon after INSEAD, but luckily rejoined other strat houses which I had initially turned down less than a year after


  2. Helpful (2)

    "A true strategy consulting firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY (US)
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Immediate exposure to partners due to boutique size
    Analytically and strategically challenging work
    Plenty of opportunities to get involved in internal business development to advance the brand and business model of the firm
    Smart, fun and welcoming colleagues

    Cons

    Due to boutique size some outside of the industry might not be familiar with the name

  3. Helpful (2)

    "A great place to start one's career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great client exposure and ability to make an impact from day 1. Quick learning curve that prepares you really well for any future career path. Great exit opportunities for its size, especially in finance and to top 10 business schools.

    Cons

    Small size makes it seem resources are limited at times. The impact of small changes is amplified given the smaller size.

    Advice to Management

    Balance project expertise and breadth of industries covered.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Overall a great firm doing impactful strategy work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Focus on pure strategy work: you are guaranteed to be staffed on strategy work as strategy projects are Marakon’s focus. Coming in as an undergrad, it is a humbling and exciting experience to be sitting in the same room as senior clients of Fortune 50 or 100 companies.

    Professional development: early exposure to clients and senior leadership as well as a strong, dedicated team of junior staff to coach and guide make Marakon a great firm to learn and develop professionally. These skills are transferrable for any role for future moves, especially for people who stay in strategy, so the opportunity for such one-on-one development is invaluable.

    Size of firm / Entrepreneurial opportunities: this one depends on what you’re looking for, but for those looking to shape culture, introduce new firm-wide initiatives, whatever it may be, the size of smaller boutique firms is certainly the way to go. Outside of client work, taking initiative and executing on firm-related activities offers additional learning experiences that would be difficult to come around at large firms.

    Cons

    Hours / work-life balance: depending on what partner / project / industry you are staffed on this might be rough but nothing unexpected if you know you want to go into consulting.

    Advice to Management

    Work hard to keep the good people around


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing place to start your career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Associate in Chicago, IL (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    My two years with Marakon have been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I've worked alongside a diverse class of talented colleagues, learned from brilliant partners, and work on transformational work for amazing clients. Working for a boutique Strategy firm has a different set of tradeoff's than a larger firm, but the upside is undeniable. It starts with the work, Marakon is one of the few firms where you are guaranteed to be working on "pure strategy" projects. Small teams mean that there are immediate opportunities to stand out and increase responsibility. For those who have both the talent and the drive are rewarded with fast promotion sometimes making it to the post-MBA level in under three years. At a smaller firm, you also have the unique opportunity to grow and shape the culture of the firm. The firm asks more of you, but it is all the more rewarding when the firm building activities ( Training, Recruiting, Event Planning, etc.) pay off. The market recognizes the unique combination that is Marakon, winning head to head contests for both talent and projects against the industries big 3.

    Cons

    Stepping into bigger roles early in your career can be challenging and requires hard work and long hours. Smaller office means you end up being close with your colleagues but doesn't necessarily have the social scene of a larger firm.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing. Maybe rely a bit less heavily on the star performers


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Senior Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Client exposure from Day 1 on the job, smart people passionate about what they do, Tier 1 clients, great place to learn a core problem solving and analytical tool kit that can be applied in many different sectors and roles in business, smaller firm/family culture, leadership really cares about consultant development and happiness, provides long-term career paths

    Cons

    Smaller firm translates into less diversity on types of clients one would work on

    Advice to Management

    Continue to maintain strong culture re consultant development, continue to focus on building business development skills with junior managers to set them up for success as they proceed to senior managers/principals/partners


  7. "Great place to start your career!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Associate in New York, NY (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Marakon full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Early responsibilities, steep learning curve yet equally rewarding

    Cons

    Smaller firm leading to longer hours at times

  8. "Consulting commodity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Client exposure as a result of small (sometimes understaffed) teams. Experience, work/life balance, amount learned can be great or can be non-existent, totally dependent on partner with some being exceptional and some terrible. Good training as just out of college.

    Cons

    Typical consulting work, nothing unique about the work or the firm. Culture is uneven and work/future/finances of the firm is very boom/bust dependent on projects.

    Advice to Management

    Need to find a stable financial model/future.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Fantastic Strategy Consulting Firm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Incredible learning environment
    Supportive and collaborative working culture
    Outstanding training
    Great people, friendly and diverse
    Interesting projects and clients
    Fun working environment (lots of office activities and events)

    Cons

    Nothing that I can think of - really a fantastic firm to work for


  10. Helpful (13)

    "A dying star - slowly and painfully"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Marakon full-time

    Pros

    -Compensation - competitive with top-tier management consulting firms, if bonuses were paid out in full
    -Focus on strategy means clients will usually be very senior - generally C-suite - although typically only partners are permitted to interact with these clients
    -Intellectually stimulating work - generally, the work is great for intellectually curious people who enjoy highly theoretical subject matter
    -The UK office - Marakon is in practice two separately run firms, North America and the UK. The UK office is well-led and full of great people. The "Cons" below apply to the North American offices where I worked.

    Cons

    -Toxic culture - leadership team members are a mix of apathetic and outright hostile. There are NO upward feedback measures in place to create accountability and leadership has flat out refused to implement them when asked by junior team. As a result, partners routinely overwork or otherwise mistreat associates including incidents of name-calling, frequent bouts of yelling, etc. all unaddressed by leadership.
    -Analytical orientation - Highly analytical work, combined with a history of high turnover among associates, means Associates, Consulting Associates, Senior Associates, and Associate Principals can all expect to spend a large portion of their time on analytical work. Generally, everyone is forced to operate one level "down" from their actual title.
    -Everything is "phase 1" - Due to the highly theoretical and often impractical nature of the work, the firm struggles to get repeat business, meaning the projects often end at "Phase 1" which is highly diagnostic and analytical. Consequently the firm often has minimal impact on client performance.
    -Uncertain future - Marakon has consistently failed to meet the annual targets it sets with parent company CRA. This has negatively impacted bonuses (which are subsidized by CRA) historically, but at some point CRA may decide to outright pull the plug.
    -No long-term strategy - Leadership will not settle on a long-term focus or strategy, instead pursuing whatever immediate leads happen to surface. Questions about focus areas, investments in marketing, long-term plans, etc. are addressed with non-answers.
    -Challenges with selling - Marakon leadership struggles to convert leads into actual business, which means business is often slow and there are limited opportunities to get good experience. Despite that, it's nearly impossible to get promoted if you're on the beach for a significant period of time.
    -Inverted pyramid - at one point, the partner-to-associate ratio was frighteningly close to 1. It's improved due to high associate turnover, but it still limits opportunities for forward progress because partners are effectively acting as managers
    -Aging partner base - Most partners who do sell work are likely nearing the end of their careers, with no apparent heirs to keep the firm running. A single additional partner departure could end the firm.
    -Poor relationships with alumni - Leadership team has historically handled departures with immaturity and spite, and most alumni carefully distance themselves from the firm.

    Advice to Management

    -Right-size the partner base - so partners can focus on selling and more junior people get a chance to prove they can be Principals
    -Align on a focus - Stop chasing down every single lead that is available and decide what functions or industries you want to concentrate on.
    -Add upward feedback mechanisms to hold partner team accountable for behavior that is unacceptable in today's workplace