Our People

The members of our team have a wide variety of backgrounds

We work in small teams and have a very flat hierarchy. Read some of our profiles to find out more about who we are:

Sam – Senior Consultant, Strategy practice

Why did you choose to apply for Javelin Group?

I was interested in strategy consulting but wanted to work for a smaller company where I’d get more opportunities and responsibility from the start, and Javelin Group gives me that. Retail is such a fast-changing and exciting industry to be part of at the moment given the growing impact of online and the movement towards a seamless experience across devices and channels. A new joiner is therefore able to add value quickly with their own insight into the retail space. In addition, the opportunity to work for retailers that I had a vested interested in, given I grew up with them on the high street and online, is really interesting.

What was the interview process like?

I had two initial interviews with the Cornell Partnership, a recruitment firm Javelin Group works with. The first, over the phone, was a general chat about retail and my favourite places to shop, as well as a bit of a CV chat and a short market-sizing case study. The second, at Cornell’s offices included a short maths test as well as a more detailed discussion about retail trends. After this I was invited to an interview at Javelin Group. The first round included two 45 minute interviews with managers in the Strategy practice, one was a case study the other was more CV- and retail-based. We got an opportunity in between interviews to speak to consultants in the Strategy practice and find out more about the culture and the work. The final round was pretty similar but also included a group case study, a presentation from the CEO and an interview with the COO, the co-founders of the Javelin Group!

Describe a typical day as a Senior Consultant

The majority of the time everyone is on a project, but what a consultant or senior consultant does on each project varies massively, which means that there is no typical day. Whether it be desk-based research on multi-channel trends around the world, creating a financial model predicting five-year growth for a client, visiting stores to analyse a proposition, developing slides for presentations, or presenting work to clients, everything is very collaborative and there are often daily meetings to discuss our findings and how that fits into the wider project. Essentially a typical day is knowing you’re going to be doing something different and using different skills.

What are the best aspects of your job?

The people are definitely the best aspect of the job, we have a young, fun team and we get on well together. There’s always food going round from someone’s holiday and a different event being organised; currently I’m organizing a white-water rafting trip, someone else is organising a trip to the dogs and another, a tennis tournament. Given that sometimes we have to work long hours it’s really important to that I can have a laugh and a joke with everyone in the team. The work is incredibly varied and projects are normally 6-12 weeks long, which means you are always learning new skills. It helps that the views from the office are brilliant!

Do you have any advice for applicants?

Get reading about retail and make sure you are familiar with new trends in multichannel retail and think about what that means for both the consumer and the retailer.
Make sure you have done some case study practice and have swatted up on your maths, it’s key to show you can not only do the calculation but can interpret the commercial consequence of the findings.

Be yourself in interview, it’s obvious if you’re not. We essentially want fun, friendly (and competent) people in our team; we need to know both you and we will enjoy working together at Javelin Group.

Ana – Senior Consultant, Strategy practice


Why did you choose to apply for Javelin Group?

I was keen to go into consulting but didn’t feel very inspired by the broad range of industries that most consulting firms work across. Javelin Group seemed to offer the perfect solution by specialising in retail and consumer-facing businesses. I was also drawn in by the fact that work on client site is limited, meaning I wouldn’t be living out of a suitcase Monday to Friday. Now that I work here, I’m so grateful to have my own desk and to be based in London for the vast majority of the year.

What was the interview process like?

My two first interviews were with the Cornell Partnership, the recruitment firm that Javelin Group works with. The first consisted of talking through my CV and my motivation for choosing Javelin Group and a career in consulting. The second was case-study based, focusing on market sizing. After this, I was invited for an interview at Javelin Group. The interviews were similar to the Cornell structure; on the first day of interviews I had a CV-based discussion with one of the company directors and a case study interview with a manager from the Strategy team. The final round was a little bit tougher – a group task as well as an interview with the CEO and COO!

Describe a typical day as a Senior Consultant

As clichéd as it may sound, there really is no typical day for a senior consultant. Our work is project-based and no project is the same. One day you could be sitting at your desk researching foreign retail markets, the next day be in stores evaluating the store proposition and the next presenting to a board of directors!

There are no set tasks for Senior Consultants as it fully depends on the type of project you work on and the number of people working on the project. You could be doing anything on a project from building models in Excel to producing executive summary slides to presenting to the client. Senior Consultants typically manage the Associate Consultant / Consultant on the project so a lot of time is spent mentoring and reviewing their work as well as managing your own project section.

What are the best aspects of your job?

I’d have to say the variety and the people. Projects are typically 2-3 months long which means that you don’t really have enough time to get bored with what you’re doing. Every few months you’re working for a new client doing something different which also means you never stop learning. The people are also great! The Strategy team is relatively small (30 people) and we all get along really well. We have regular socials, ranging from pub quizzes to cookery classes and there’s also a monthly company-wide social event. Oh and free cake on Mondays is an added bonus!

Do you have any advice for applicants?

A passion for retail is key for this job. Read up about emerging trends in omni-channel and ecommerce. Think about who your favourite retailers are and why.

Case study practice is also helpful, particularly market sizing exercises. Be logical in your approach to answers and always talk through your logic, even if it seems counterintuitive to do so.

Mark – Consultant, Strategy practice

I graduated from Cambridge in Aeronautical Engineering but an interest in business led me to apply to strategy consultancies. I joined Javelin Group as an intern during my final summer of university and was delighted to be offered a job as a consultant on the Graduate Programme the following year.

Javelin Group appealed both due to the retail sector specialism and its relatively small size. It was an exciting prospect to work in such an intensely competitive sector with some of the top UK and international retailers whilst having the opportunity for extensive client contact and responsibility from the outset.

So far I have worked on ecommerce performance improvement, multi-channel strategy and due diligence projects. Examples include developing the multi-channel strategy for a leading UK fast fashion retailer and due diligence for an online gifts company. In addition I spent 10 weeks in Australia on an exciting project for a start-up.

On a day to day basis I have responsibility for a particular section of a project which often involves analysis of data in Excel, attending client meetings and producing PowerPoint slides.

My colleagues and the interesting work for leading clients are the main highlights of working for Javelin Group. The company is also truly un-hierarchical with a supportive, friendly culture, and has an active social calendar.

Matt – Consulting Manager, Strategy practice

Javelin Group was, and remains, my first job after finishing my studies at Brasenose College, Oxford, where I read Classics and Modern Languages (German). Having graduated in 2006, I took a year out and joined Javelin Group on the Graduate Programme in 2007.

The immediate appeal of Javelin Group was the size, I was very keen to join a smaller, fast-growing firm to both test myself and get exposure to clients quickly, and the other main draw was the culture.

As a Consulting Manager within the Strategy practice, my time is shared between project management responsibilities (liaising with the client, managing resource, guiding the output of junior colleagues etc) and “pure” consulting work (data analysis and slide-writing of my own). I also pick up some training responsibilities for new colleagues and attend conferences a few days a year to make sure I am keeping up to speed with the latest developments in the market-place.

I have worked for many of the UK’s largest retailers as well as smaller firms, primarily on multi-channel retail strategy projects. The remainder of my time is spent working on Commercial & Operational Due Diligence projects for private equity houses, to help them appraise retail businesses for investment. Whilst about 80% of my time is spent working for conventional retailers, I have also worked for brands and telecommunications clients.

Javelin Group offers a great diversity of work: no two projects are the same and typically we start a new project, and therefore an entirely new challenge, every three months at least. Generally, the projects genuinely are very interesting in their own right. The people are very friendly and the culture is open (I sit facing our CEO in the open plan office). Javelin Group is truly “meritocratic”: good work is rewarded and you quickly come to feel like a very valued member of a close, but fast-expanding team.

Joe – Senior Consultant, Operations practice

I joined Javelin Group after completing my MSc at Imperial College Business School. Prior to this I had worked for three years at Arcadia Group in merchandising and for one year at Aldi on its graduate training scheme. My first degree was in Law from Newcastle University.

The main thing I enjoy about Javelin Group is the variety of work. Every project is different and every client is different. My projects have covered buying and merchandising, multi-channel, retail strategy and due diligence. My clients have ranged from Marks & Spencer to Sainsbury’s to Ekornes (a small Norwegian furniture manufacturer). By coincidence, several of my clients have been based in Copenhagen.

My role within these projects has also been varied. My core expertise is buying and merchandising and as such I have advised a number of retailers on best practice in this area. However, you are encouraged to work outside of your ‘sweet spot’, so I have also built up my knowledge of multi-channel retail and retail strategy.

The project teams at Javelin Group are typically small (2-3 people) which means you are expected to make a significant contribution. You are actively encouraged to voice your opinion and seek additional responsibility. The free flow of ideas and varied mix of people means you are always learning, making the company a stimulating place to work.

Mark – Consulting Manager, Operations practice

Following four years at an outsourced fulfilment provider and six months at Screwfix Direct as operations and development manager, I joined Javelin Group in October 2001. I was attracted by the challenge and the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects dealing with multiple clients in many different environments.

My work is very varied and includes process mapping and re-engineering requirements capture, call centre and warehouse benchmarking, implementation of new warehouses and call centres and defining the multi channel fulfilment strategy for clients. I also work on projects to improve the efficiency of operations and reduce unnecessary tasks by utilising technology more effectively. I meet and work with people across all levels – from directors to end-users.

I enjoy visiting different operations (call centres and warehouses) and seeing how they are structured, managed and operated, trying to take best practices from the experience and then being challenged to come up with practical solutions knowing that these are likely to be used and to make a different to numerous users. At Javelin Group I have the opportunity to learn from true industry experts, across different practice areas, and work both independently and as part of a small team.

Andrew – Associate Director, Locations practice

After I graduated from Durham University with a degree in French and Spanish, I spent two years on the WHSmith graduate trainee programme before moving to Management Horizons Europe where I spent five years working in the Shopping Centre Evaluation practice area.

I joined Javelin Group in March 2004, having been attracted by Javelin Group’s exciting growth and the opportunities this offers for career development. Since joining I have been promoted to associate director, focusing on delivering shopping centre projects to our developer/owner clients. Our work has taken me to many different places, not only in the UK but also various interesting places around Europe. Typically, our projects include tenant mix strategy for shopping centres and assessing the sales and rental potential for retail-led schemes.

At Javelin Group, the people are down to earth, easy to get on with and take great pride in the work that they do. Everybody seems to be working together with the common goal of making the company better and more successful. I find that working here is a rewarding experience.  Whilst inevitably there are times when the workload gets extremely heavy, there is a feeling that this effort will be rewarded and recognised.

Sam – Consultant, Strategy practice

After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in French, Italian and Management, I joined Javelin Group in 2010 because the work seemed both interesting and relevant. I wanted to work in a sector where I could relate to the projects, and retail is certainly accessible to us all. Being a boutique consultancy, Javelin Group also offered me the opportunity to get much more involved in all areas of work. This, combined with an impressive list of high profile clients, made Javelin Group an ideal place to start my career.

Generally a Consultant’s role is to support more senior members of the team to produce the defined deliverable. This can really vary by project, but might include: sizing specific markets and evaluating the competitive landscape, analysing financial performance or auditing the client’s stores and website. You are closely supported by a Senior Consultant but encouraged to form your own views and to include these as you put together the presentation.

I have just completed a performance improvement and growth strategy project for a leading high street retailer. We were engaged to provide detailed recommendations for all areas of the business across multiple channels: stores, online and catalogue.

Three months of work resulted in a long list of actionable, quantifiable recommendations. The client was really pleased with the work and has already begun to implement some of our suggestions. The project was enjoyable, the team fun and we were all pleased to see our hard work become a reality!

I was responsible for analysing the client’s range and price proposition and developing recommendations for range extension/rationalisation. Having understood the business from the inside, I then spent a week travelling the country to audit stores. This gave us great insight from a customer perspective and we were able to identify value-add initiatives to improve in-store experience.

At Javelin Group you are a member of the team from day one. You are a Consultant, not an Analyst. As such, you are given more responsibility than at comparable boutique firms.

Our specialist focus on retail also means that we are the go-to firm for the majority of the UK’s leading retailers.

You will only really understand the culture at Javelin Group when you come and meet the team at one of our recruitment events. Working at Javelin Group is interesting, challenging and, best of all, fun.

Emily – Consultant, Strategy practice

Following a degree in Geography from Cambridge University, I joined Javelin Group in 2010. After researching a career in consultancy and attending career fairs with many consultancy firms, Javelin Group seemed to offer a unique opportunity in its retail specialism whilst also having an impressive client list having worked with most major retailers. Having had weekend and seasonal work in retail through university, Javelin Group presented the opportunity to pursue a career in the consultancy field for clients I thought I would be able to relate to. The retail sector is incredibly dynamic and I felt strategic consultancy like Javelin Group would be exciting and fast-paced.

From day one at Javelin Group you are given real responsibility and made to feel like a valued member of the team. Despite being a new starter, your ideas are listened to and you are given exposure to varied clients and high-level management. It’s great to go to work knowing you are making an important contribution to projects.

Something that you cannot gauge until you are submerged in an environment is the atmosphere within a company. At Javelin Group, there’s a real sense of teamwork and excitement about the work you do. Everyone is willing to give up time to explain things to you and you don’t feel intimidated by senior management. On its own, the role would be great but the team you work in here makes it even more enjoyable.

I think the ability to think logically is fundamental to strategy consultancy. You have to be able to think through problems and explain how you came to your answer. Some good Excel skills are also helpful although not essential!

The great thing about training at Javelin Group is that you get a couple weeks of training and then continue learning whilst actually being on a project. Training covers everything you need to know but often many things are learnt best through experience, which is the way Javelin Group approaches training.

If you are thinking about a career in consultancy, don’t panic about case study interviews! When thinking about applying for strategy consultancy, case study interviews seemed a little daunting but once you’ve done some practice examples, you’ll find they’re not too scary.