Dean & Company

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Dean & Company Reviews

Updated 11 July 2014
Updated 11 July 2014
13 Reviews

3.3
13 Reviews
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James Smist
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Pluses and Minuses of a Small Firm

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Vienna, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Vienna, VA (US)

    Pros

    The work tends to be very analytical and interesting and the clients are top-tier. The recruiting process is very selective so you'll be awed by some of your classmates. Over the last couple years, the company has made a lot of changes and have promoted VP's to CMO and COO, which seems to have put more focus on growing the client base and improving the internal processes. The case managers on average tend to be pretty good.

    I think this is a great place for a quantitative type to begin learning about business.

    Cons

    Given that it's a small firm, the work tends to be concentrated in a few clients at any one time. The project flow can be uneven, especially on private equity, so you'll have some 75 hour weeks and other 45 hour weeks. Client contact and travel is uneven across projects.

    The training program is OK, but could use some upgrades

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The two areas that should be focused on are marketing and training. It would be good to expand into a few more industries but that takes time. Outside training options should be considered.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Be wary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Vienna, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Vienna, VA (US)

    Pros

    Analysts tend to be an interesting, smart and collegiate bunch. The work is quite analytical and of the quality and complexity you could expect at other top-shelf consulting shops

    Cons

    The CEO runs this company like his fiefdom, and top management are incompetent and spineless. Work and new clients tend to be difficult to come by as upper management tend not to be well-connected. Most are PHDs in Math/Science and tend not to be managerial types. Besides, this firm unlike other consulting firms does not have partners; the partners are called VP's and the firm is definitely not run like a partnership, with control concentrated at the CEO level. As others have noted, top management tend to focus on the energy business. The more forceful VPs negotiated transfers to the energy side, leaving the impression that the consulting business was very much a sinking ship.

    Staffing policies are extremely non-transparent and working hours and style are extremely variable depending on case and manager. During the recession, it was common for teams to be under-staffed, clients were given large discounts, and tremendous pressure was put on teams to deliver above what was promised. Unannounced staff-cuts were common, and these were managed poorly with very little communication from management about the future prospects/plans of the company.

    Poor mentoring and feedback except during formal bi-annual reviews. Training too is non-existent and analysts are often expected to learn whilst working very long hours. Representations of the company as a fun place to work and a pleasant environment during the recruiting process are outright deceitful

    Finally, the office is pretty dismal with faded green carpeting, plenty of windowless interior offices and jail cell-like lighting. Moreover, the building turns off the air-conditioning at 8pm, and unless you are very lucky you will often stay past 8pm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat the firms assets better - more emphasis on training, mentoring, management. Address the communication gaps and negative culture.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Good place to work.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Friendly coworkers, fresh fruit in the mornings, free parking, good working environment,

    Cons

    Can be rather busy at times (depending on project assignment), lighting was kind of dismal in offices (fluorescent, resembled a jail).

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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great job to get business experience out of school.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Vienna, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vienna, VA (US)

    Pros

    Really smart and nice people. Interesting projects. Opportunity to learn a lot. Great place for a quantitative person to learn to apply his/her skills in business.

    Cons

    Uneven project flow, work hours vary tremendously depending on which project you are staffed on. Firm does not have the strong branding of the larger strategy consulting firms and upper management is more focused on the energy trading business.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on building more long term relationship clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Long hours, great exposure, dysfunctional management, negative working environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Vienna, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Vienna, VA (US)

    Pros

    You will get a lot of broad exposure to lots of different industries and problems, and you will sharpen your analytical / quantitative and research skills to be best-in-class.

    It is overall a nice bunch of people (with a few exceptions), but don't let yourself get stuck in Vienna in this depressing environment for long. The work at Dean can be extremely challenging and interesting. I am thankful for getting to experience that. It is everything else besides the actual work that is problematic.

    Cons

    It is obvious to me now that Dean & Company has one of the most dysfunctional management teams out there. It seems that the VPs dislike and hardly talk to one another, and the managers are really hit-or-miss. It is extremely difficult to get promoted here, so do not expect to develop a career at Dean. There is zero client interaction, and analysts are kept invisible to the client. The firm culture is extremely negative, and the fun, laid-back culture advertised through the recruiting process is deceptive. The large analyst team is very pessimistic about the future of the company and is very dubious of certain members of management's competence. Management is not well connected and seems desperate to take whatever small case or free work they can get.

    The analysts here are a really smart, ambitious and nice group. Management is passive, withdrawn and bizarre. Only once you leave Dean & Company and go somewhere else do you fully begin to appreciate what a strange and uncomfortable working environment it is. Management's stated intention to not grow the firm and to remain at status quo in size really takes the wind out of everyone's sails from day 1. Despite what they tell you during recruiting, Management makes no effort whatsoever to place their analysts in other firms following your two years (though they will be happy to write you an unremarkable letter of recommendation). It is not their fault, though, since management seems to not know anyone at any other firms.

    Oh, also - it's in Vienna, VA next to a highway and a crummy mall. Nobody knows why.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dean & Company should do a strategy case on itself.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Good place to hone your skills for a few years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Vienna, VA (US)
    Former Employee - Analyst in Vienna, VA (US)

    Pros

    There's not much in the way of "mid-level" consultants, so much of that *experience* falls to analysts
    I've never seen an analyst get launched into a career from one of his/her cases, but the management are well connected and willing to help you end up where you want to be.
    The work is extremely quantitative, and if that's the sort of work you like to do, this is a great place to get a real crash course in it
    The other analysts are an interesting bunch to get to know

    Cons

    There's not much in the way of "mid-level" consultants, so much of that *work* falls to analysts
    Hours and travel load are not evenly managed across the firm's teams, so don't draw the short straw. Even if you don't draw the short straw, work-life balance is wanting
    Unless the prospect of bring a manager at a small consulting firm excites you, I don't see much long-term opportunity here.
    Its a small firm, so the usual cons go here too (limited slate of cases, etc.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It looks like management has been doing a good job turning around the firm culture. I'd say some of the reviews from a few years ago should be taken with a grain of salt.

    My advice: keep working on it. Its better, but there's always room for improvement.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great opportunity to develop your problem solving skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose  in  Vienna, VA (US)
    Current Employee - Prefer Not to Disclose in Vienna, VA (US)

    Pros

    Very strong staff -- junior and senior levels
    Tremendous learning opportunity
    High stakes problems and highly positive feedback from clients regarding impact
    Not as political or formal as other firms
    Staff often develop strong friendships

    Cons

    Brand name is not as widely known
    Selected project mix given small size
    Different styles of senior management can be a positive and a negative at times
    Location is attractive given all of the activities in the immediate area but would better if it was downtown

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep looking for opportunities to invest in and grow business

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great place to build broad based consulting skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    -Very high quality consulting projects. Projects range across a broad spectrum: M&A deal support, CRM strategy, competitive strategy and financial planning and analysis. Good exposure to a number of industries. Private equity relationships are valued very highly in the industry.
    -Great place to build consulting and business skills: Senior client interaction is very common. Projects are very analytical in nature. In addition to consulting projects, Dean also offers a number of business development opportunities.
    -Opportunity to work with very smart people. Recruitment is very selective and the consulting folks who I interacted with throughout my duration were very bright.
    -Compensation is good
    -As one becomes tenured, company is very flexible in accommodating requests to improve work-life balance

    Cons

    -Unpredictable hours
    -Limited alumni network
    -Sometimes cases can be long with limited opportunities to diversify experience

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in business development and leadership training for the mid-level consultants.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Outstanding Consulting Experience, Broad business exposure

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    - World class consulting experience. Cases similar to Top 3 consulting firms
    - Great place for professional development - broad range of cases and business issues
    - Private equity relationships
    - Early client and senior management exposure

    Cons

    -Unpredictable hours - largely due to the nature of consulting industry

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Quality exposure, terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst
    Former Employee - Analyst

    Pros

    -Decent pay
    -Reasonable hours (depending on who you're working for)
    -Early exposure/responsibility

    Cons

    -Managers don't know how to manage. The company generally hires PHDs for these roles and many of them would make better analysts than managers.
    -Ridiculously poor culture and core values. There's no philosophical foundation for this company. Managers/VPs do not communicate with one another (despite the fact that you might be working for 2 at the same time) and set the tone for the rest of the company
    -Layoffs without warning fairly typical
    -Politics behind closed doors, HR & support staff are valued more than analysts by the President
    -The most passive aggressive company ever. Analysts reviewed negatively for being "too direct"
    -No feedback except during review periods every 6 months

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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