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:
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 which I started in November 2009.
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 rather than one of the larger strategy consulting firms because I was keen to both test myself and get exposure to clients quickly. I had heard that many hours are spent on desk-based analytical work in the first year or years at the larger strategy houses and while this is a part of the job that I enjoy, I was very keen to ensure that this was not my sole task for months on end!
The culture at Javelin Group was the other main draw. I heard from a friend of mine already working at Javelin Group that the working hours genuinely are more friendly than they are in some other firms. 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 multichannel 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 in 2006 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. Starting your career at Europe’s leading specialist consultancy is certainly a differentiator!
You will only really understand the culture at Javelin 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’re not just a small cog in a huge wheel, but that 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 unlike many larger firms, 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.