CIL Management Consultants Reviews

Updated Jun 1, 2021

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Found 53 of over 62 reviews

4.6
81%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
CIL Management Consultants Managing Partner Giles Johnson
Giles Johnson
14 Ratings
Pros
  • "It is unlike other consultancy firms in this regard(in 10 reviews)

  • "Interesting work, great people, good perks(in 8 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Long hours at times but to be expected(in 13 reviews)

  • "Working hours can be long and unpredictable (but this is typical of consultancy)(in 10 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      A great consulting company to work for

      May 6, 2021 - Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      1. You'll learn a wide range of skills: Within a year, you'll be proficient at Powerpoint, able to perform analysis on Excel, know how to carry out a range of different types of interviews and have experience communicating with clients. 2. You'll work in a range of industries (and teams): Because CIL is sector-agnostic, you'll get experience of lots of industries, such as healthcare, financial services and media. Every 4-8 weeks, you'll also get to work with a new team. 3. You'll get managerial experience quickly: You'll also start to gain experience of managing workstreams and small teams much more quickly than you would at a larger company. 4. The culture facilitates learning: You'll need to learn quickly, but you'll also be surrounded by people who are genuinely happy to help you when you need it, and you'll get regular formal training sessions to solidify these skills. 5. Support for mental and physical health: CIL supports employees with their physical and mental health more than any other company I have heard of within consulting and similar industries. The hours are long at times, but if you are struggling, you have people you can talk to who will genuinely do something about it. If you work on an intense project, this will be acknowledged. If you have a health issue, both HR and senior management are nothing but supportive. I cannot fault CIL on this. 6. Great company culture and great people: CIL hires down-to-earth, fun, intelligent, hard-working people. This means you enjoy being around people in the office. And the socials, summer parties and trips abroad definitely help! 7. Base salary is good (roughly average for the industry).

      Cons

      1. Hours: The hours can be intense. I believe they are better than typical consulting firms. You will have some late nights and will have to cancel plans every so often. It varies and it's important to be aware that this is typical of the industry. 2. You need to push to take on new types of work: If you are someone who does a lot of interviews, for example, you can get pigeon-holed into mainly doing this, and you will have to push to take on analytical work. On the other hand, someone with an analytical background may struggle more to get the interview experience. 3. Salary is good but I'd say bonuses are probably lower than the norm for the industry.

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    2. 5.0
      Current Employee

      Great company

      Feb 10, 2021 - Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
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      Pros

      Some very intelligent people work here, great place to learn as you start your career.

      Cons

      Working hours can be a bit erratic, albeit that is typical of the industry.

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    3. 3.0
      Current Employee

      There are better places to work.

      Apr 20, 2020 - Analyst 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      There is concern taken by senior staff to limit working hours, which at times can be extremely brutal. It is unlike other consultancy firms in this regard. Some senior staff take a genuine interest in junior stuff, which helps you into feeling welcome.

      Cons

      Although pay has been increased slightly, it is still significantly below competitors operating in the same vertical. The lower salary is justified by the "great culture" at CIL, this culture has been somewhat eroded in recent years, this is in part due to a fairly high staff turnover, and a rather aggressive growth strategy. There is almost a constant stream of feedback (if you are on a project for a week or more, meaning it is not uncommon to receive more than 3 pieces of formally written feedback a month). Since significant importance is attached to these pieces of written feedback during your 6-month review, junior staff can be fearful of making any mistake, which are often written up in your feedback. Feedback is often contradictory and I have experienced and witnessed a blame culture, where more senior staff use the written feedback to frequently deflect responsibility downwards for bad output. This makes feedback very unhelpful for personal development. CIL has a good product which is respected by industry, this means that project managers often give the project team little freedom to deviate from established methods and templates. This rinse and repeat attitude means that whilst the sound of Strategy work for a Management Consultancy may sound appealing, the reality of it is that 90% of work is tedious and monotonous.

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    4. 5.0
      Former Employee

      Great place to work

      Feb 3, 2021 - Operations 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Lovely people, good exposure and good opportunities

      Cons

      Sometimes can be quite long hours

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    5. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Great consulting job

      Dec 18, 2020 - Manager in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      CIL is an independent management consultancy based in London. It works across a range of sectors and typically with UK medium-sized businesses (revenue ~£10-100m) and Private Equity investors. It is increasingly working on larger and international engagements, and recently opened a US office in Chicago. • The company is quite small (~100 people) so you will get responsibility earlier than at other firms, and more exposure to senior leadership and to clients. This also leads to more accountability between staff at different tiers, because junior staff are less frequently thought about as a pool of anonymous ‘resource’ than might be the case at larger firms. There is also more opportunity to get involved in non-project workstreams such as recruitment, training, D&I / other ESG initiatives, and sales (especially if you have language skills or a background in a given industry). • Projects are typically short (~3-6 weeks) so you will learn quickly through exposure to different businesses models, investment theses, clients, and markets; as well as working with a range of different teammates and managers, and below different partners. This variety also helps keep the work interesting. A lot will be expected of you, and you will learn quickly. • Feedback comes thick and fast at the lower ranks – after every project, as well as in twice yearly formal reviews. The company has also tried to encourage ongoing feedback and mid-project reviews, albeit this does not always happen. Junior employees are encouraged to engage in ‘upwards’ feedback – reviewing senior colleagues. If you are doing well, you will be told, and if not, you will be coached. Some people don’t like this, and there can be downsides (e.g. occasional deflecting of blame downwards, a bad ‘month’ resulting in multiple poor reviews), but approached with a constructive mindset it can be invaluable for your progression. • The company grew rapidly 2014-19, and looks set to continue doing so. With this growth have come opportunities to work on more interesting projects and with larger clients, and to progress upwards through the company at a rapid rate (e.g. for strong performers to be responsible for day-to-day management of a project after ~18 months). This also means that there is less ‘up or out’ pressure than at other firms. • The culture is generally constructive and welcoming, with senior colleagues willing to help out / coach junior ones. Socials are generally fun but also non-compulsory. There is no ‘face time’.

      Cons

      Some of potentially negative aspects of any professional services job do rear their head at CIL: • Project staffing can feel random / reactive, and attempts to align to a sector don’t always change this. Some senior colleagues do try to take juniors’ development needs in mind, but this isn’t always possible. It’s difficult to know what is coming next, or to have any say over what that might be. • Teams are small (~3-5 people) which means that people can’t ‘hide’, and the intensity of your workload will often be decided for you. • Hours can be a combination of bad (post-midnight finishes) and unpredictable. This can sometimes feel like a ‘Sword of Damocles’, which is stressful and makes it difficult to plan social events / exercise around work. • Your experience will vary significantly from project to project – different team, different boss, different industry, etc. Some projects are really interesting, whereas others feel more like process management. It is entirely possible to be dealt two or three bad projects in a row, and end up having a pretty sad 2-4 months. There are senior staff trying to keep an eye on this but things could be improved. On the whole I enjoyed my time at CIL and will take the things I learned forwards throughout the rest of my career. However, some aspects of consulting / professional services work are disagreeable (more so to some people than others), and this is as true at CIL as anywhere else.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    6. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Nice company

      Feb 27, 2021 - Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good training structure and career prospects. Genuine care for employees

      Cons

      Work hours are long - do not expect a 9-6

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    7. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great learning opportunities and transparent progression

      Jun 15, 2020 - Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - You are constantly learning! As projects are short (typically 4-6 weeks) this means you are learning about different businesses and industries all the time. - Great office culture, everyone is welcoming and supportive. There are plenty of socials/sports to get involved with. - Training is continuous and of a high quality - You have responsibility and accountability from day 1, something you would not get at a larger consultancy. - The hours can be long but this is to be expected for all strategy consultancies and managers are very good at managing expectations. - The people are lovely and it is encouraged to have plenty of hobbies outside of work. - The career progression pathway is very transparent.

      Cons

      - Salary is not as competitive as at similar consultancies (LEK, OC&C etc).

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    8. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Great job

      Oct 7, 2020 - Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Interesting work, great people, good perks.

      Cons

      Hours can be long, but that's the nature of the job.

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    9. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Some pros but more cons

      Jul 14, 2020 - Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Really good experience across industries from early in your career. - The office tends to have a good vibe to it. - You will learn a lot in a relatively short period of time. - Good out of work socials.

      Cons

      - The benefits are less than competitors offer. - The hours are very long and the barrier for getting TOIL is very high. - Work tends to be judged on the inputs rather than the outputs. - The company has tried to expand too quickly and has lost a big part of its culture. - I felt the role was oversold to me in terms of travel opportunities and training offered etc.

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    10. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Great place to start your career with very supportive senior team

      Aug 25, 2020 - Senior Analyst in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      CIL has a great family feel and the senior staff really care about the success of the company. CIL provides a great business education (almost like a mini MBA). It is a good stepping stone to get into PE / other M&A / corporate strategy roles without having to do accounting qualifications. The projects are short (4-6 weeks) so you get to work across a wide variety of companies and industries which I really enjoy. You will spend the majority of your time working on CDD (Commercial Due Diligence) projects for mid-market PE firms. This is a great way to learn a wide array of skills including primary research, market research, strategic thinking and excel modelling. There is good opportunity for progression if you are willing to put in the hours at the beginning. This is not a 9-5 and you will often be required to work long hours, but CIL are good at giving you days off afterwards to account for this. The job is definitely best suited to those who thrive under pressure (but the same can be said of most consulting jobs). The nature of the work means that little travel is involved. This is a key selling point as unlike with other consulting jobs, you don't have to live out of a suitcase Mon-Thurs (not as glamorous as it first seems!) The company socials are fun, frequent and well organised. They include a Winter and Summer Party and other activities around London in the evenings. Senior staff are very supportive and I have learnt a lot about strategy / consulting from everyone I work with.

      Cons

      There are some great people at CIL, but there is also a bit of a 'lad culture' leading to some inappropriate behaviour that goes unchallenged. This is not helped by activities such as golf trips and dinners at private members clubs (these were not strictly men only, but only men attended...) The company is trying to address this with numerous diversity initiatives (eg Women in Consulting etc) but I think more needs to be done to address this directly with the individuals involved. Some of the promotions seem a bit unfair and are more reflective of which senior staff people have worked with (or which office they are based in), than genuine ability. There are a lot of couples / relationships in the office which only helps to fuel office gossip and can make staffing projects difficult! Salaries were cut quite significantly due to Covid-19 leaving little differentiation between middle management and new joiners. Re-incentivising middle management could be worth thinking about moving forward as there has been quite a lot of churn of good people with the voluntary redundancy scheme.

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