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Vault’s Verdict

Don’t be fooled by its long history or global footprint: in the U.S., Arthur D. Little is a firm that feels and operates very much like a startup. That’s partly by design, and partly due to the unusual position of its recent rebuild having been driven largely from Europe—a region where it has fully re-established its brand cachet.

Within the U.S., the firm faces significantly more competition in a very mature market but has nonetheless been making headway over the past few years—although, as with most firms in the sector, 2023 appears to have been a difficult ride. 

As an employer, ADL insiders are quick to praise their firm’s flat structure, and the feeling that every single employee has an important role to play in delivering success for clients as well as growing the firm. While 2024 outlook may depend to a large degree on macro conditions in the economy, this is a firm that has a ton of upside for new joiners—particularly those who are interested in building a longer-term career within the firm.

Firm Culture

“Able to maintain a cultural ‘feel’ of a flat org structure while still keeping the authority and respect levels of each stage of the corporate organization intact.”

“Everybody is critical to the success of the company, and everybody is treated with high respect. People are excited to dedicate themselves to ADL. Not a place you go just to look for exit ops.”

“Flat hierarchy and open communciation and honest. And a no a$$holes environment.”

“Has not been everything that I hoped for because it was a more difficult time in the company's history, but still the right decision to join.”

“The best kept secret in consulting. Top-tier clients with exciting / dynamic projects. Extremely flexible & adaptive leadership / culture.”

Quality of Life

“Arthur D. Little in the US utilizes a staff-first cultural model that truly is differentiated versus other firms and considers overall quality of life for consultants both inside and outside of work. The US practice is relatively small with respect to other regions which provides tremendous opportunities for early and regular client interaction. It also means there is more exposure to risk with business slow-downs like what occurred in the consulting industry in 2023, but we have weathered it well and appear poised for new growth with tremendous opportunities in the coming years. The overall company remains committed to growing the US practice.”

“People-first approach is very important, there is a regular wellbeing survey that is taken very seriously, and partners and managers work hard to look out for wellbeing.”

“The firm has a great culture that is very supportive and promotes work-life ‘harmony’. At times however, I feel that there is an element of wanting to show how much or long you work or stay in the office / online.”

“They actually respect that you have a life, other commitments and generally honor that.”

“We have a reputation in the US within ADL for a fantastic work life harmony. Our leaders deliver great client value, but still want us to have lives outside of work. We work hard on what is necessary, and then if we are done we are done. We have no 'facetime culture'. I work a lot of hours when I have to, and don't when I don't. Travel is reasonable as well, based on client need. We are European and have 'trusted time off' - unlimited vacation. Of course the unsaid expectation is not vacation all the time - I was here before TTO and it was ~25 days, so I'd say that is about what to expect and they want you to take time off when you can. Healthy culture.”

Compensation

“Bonuses are highly variable to local market profitability/performance.”

“Bonuses are not getting paid vs what is due to market and global performance.”

“Pay generally is competitive but performance bonuses are highly correlated with performance of individual regions/markets rather than the firm as a whole.”

“Pay, bonus, 401k, PTO and insurance are all great related to compensation package.”

“We are probably at the median of consulting pay I'm not sure. It is good but not exceptional. The jump from BA to C was very good, likely still median.”

Career Development

“ADL has great international trainigs, I have had trainings within and outside of the US (e.g., in Singapore).”

“Commitment to professional development for everyone.”

“Promotion policies support regular promotion within levels/titles, with less regular promotion to a new level/title. The US region regularly supports other global regions, enabling many opportunities for international work.”

“The best aspect is that you are challenged right away. I have been through the full analyst program, and was challenged to be directly client facing, lead narrative development, and provide key project shaping insight. Never feel in the background, and am never stuck doing the same thing - always a variety. I have become a lot better at the skills, and have become tougher, through working here. It has been great and rewarding. We also have fantastic required all expenses paid global trainings where you learn a lot and meet colleagues at your level across the world (my last two were in Vienna and Mallorca).

“The worst aspect is that while there are structured trainings which are fantastic, you have to be a self-starter to truly get on the job training. We are lean, everybody is pushing to deliver all the time. Which means you have to learn by having the courage to attempt things, fail, learn fast, try again, get better, and repeat. To thrive here in my view, you have to seek out the 'training' through action. I love this, but it is not for everybody, and even for me was challenging at times.”

Community Engagement

“The US region leads Arthur D. Little globally with respect to DE&I efforts and results. We have strong representation of females and ethnicities in terms of overall staff. We are striving to increase female representation in leadership following the departure of a few key members this year. We are attempting to address this situation through both internal promotion and external hiring.”

“There is a lot of cultural diversity - but that diversity heavily skews European. There should be more Black / Hispanic consultants. There are also not many East Asian consultants.”

“Women in leadership positions can be improved. I am not aware of any LGBTQ+ consultants so I can't speak on that, although the firm does promote an inclusive culture with regard to sexuality.”

Business Outlook

“As one of the smaller ADL regions, the US was exposed during the general consulting slowdown in the US in 2023. However, we have weathered the slow period and are back on a growth path. Overall we are optimistic again for growth in 2024 and beyond and are seeing positive trends across our various industry/vertical segments.”

“Strength is that we have begun to be deeply entrenched with some key clients, because of the value we are providing over longer periods of time. Trusted advisors a lot of the time, rather than one off report makers. We have high morale. Times have been turbulent across the industry, we faced some of that. But as it stands now there is no reason we shouldn't thrive ahead. The partners paint a clear vision, set the tone, and our mid / junior team buys in and works hard.”

“US needs a big investment to thrive - US partners dont want to do it on their own and global has not been forthcoming.”

“We had a tough year in 2023 due to macroeconomic trends. The outlook now though is much improved, and things look more positive for the future.”

Hiring Process

“Interview process is strong. Selective - we have core schools we have developed relationships with. Building. It is tough. The ideal candidate that makes it through is extremely positive in their attitude with excitement to be there - has to be that. They of course are good at math and sharp in qualitative delivery. But, we have to see their unique self showing. We love genuine, we have built a culture not on 'polished people', but on 'authentic, nice, good, hardworking people who are there for each other'. We have gotten good at sensing this.”

“We recruit primarly at the undergraduate level and are seeking well-rounded, diverse candidates with a mix of both IQ and EQ. Based on the relatively small and growing size of our US practice, we need new staff who can make an immediate contribution (following intensive onboarding training) with almost immediate client interaction.”

Interview Questions

“Classic behavioral and case early on, and some of that in super day (super day has more partner interviews / at least senior). We do a research case, which simulates an intense hour of consulting work at the junior level. You get a future oriented problem, have an hour to research the topic and drive towards answers on your own using any source, then you present. We feel it is a truer reflection of potential performance.”

“Thorough resume - cover letter - transcript screen by at least 3 people. Screening Interview. Super Day - 2 case interviews and a research case.”

Arthur D. Little

10 High Street
Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: (617) 532-9503

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Global CEO: Ignacio Garcia Alves
USA Managing Director: Craig Wylie

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA, US (HQ)
New York, NY, US
San Francisco, CA, US
Global

Major Departments & Practices

  • Health Care / Life Sciences (Medical Device  & Pharmaceuticals) Consulting
  • Telecommunications, Information technology, Media, and Electronics (TIME) Consulting
  • Automotive and Diversified Manufacturing Consulting, Travel & Transportation Consulting
  • Management & Strategy Consulting