CPCS Reviews

Updated Apr 10, 2021

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4.5
96%
Recommend to a Friend
96%
Approve of CEO
CPCS Managing Partners Marc-Andre Roy and Jean-Francois Arsenault (no image)
Marc-Andre Roy and Jean-Francois Arsenault
26 Ratings
  1. "Opportunity to work on high impact projects while charting personal professional development"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Management Consultant in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Entrepreneurial culture, plenty of opportunity to take responsibility, backed by strong operations. Great team of smart, curious and dedicated colleagues.

    Cons

    The workload can at times be intense, but probably less intense than big management consulting firms and Big 4.

    Continue reading
  2. "Company on the rise"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Toronto, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - challenging assignments that contribute directly to development of major infrastructure projects - strong management team - opportunity to work internationally - great environment for entrepreneurs

    Cons

    - work life balance can be challenging at times - advisory work is not for everyone


  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "Great Company, Takes Care of Employees"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Junior Consultant in Montreal, QC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Good Benefits (4 weeks vacation, health & dental, matching contribution retirement plan). Interesting projects all over the globe, with a very diverse international team. Very resilient post-Covid-19. Immediately adapted to work from home flexibility. No layoffs. Took an progressive approach with leadership taking the highest % pay cut. Great company to start out in, focused on developing talent "from the ground up".

    Cons

    Can be difficult adjusting to the sometimes unpredictable ebb and flow work pace of contract work. This is going to be an inherent part of any company in the consulting industry.

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    CPCS Response

    February 1, 2021Managing Partner

    Thank you for your feedback. Creating an atmosphere of open and transparent communication continues to be a priority. Our bi-weekly Town Halls, weekly newsletter (new daily updates to our SharePoint intranet page), and regular check-ins are part of this, as is our "Have you Say" and "Issue Tracker" channels for providing feedback and suggestions. Regular bilateral discussions with Managers are also encouraged and we strive to maintain virtual open doors.

  4. "Good people, fast-paced work environment"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Everyone at the company are all quite hard-working, responsible, knowledgeable and respectful. There are a lot of opportunities to work on a variety of projects so you'll rarely feel like you're stuck on a project for a long time.

    Cons

    The pace of work is pretty fast at the company so usually people are working on many things at once which means some things could be pushed to later and onto someone else' shoulders. Sometimes submittals can be more quite last-minute which could be tough for work-life balance.

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    CPCS Response

    February 1, 2021Managing Partner

    Thank you for your feedback. We continue to work to bolster our operating platform to enable all team members to focus on activities where the can add the greatest value, have the greatest impact, while having fun. The roll out of our Inclusive Talent Management Strategy is also a major corporate focus and intended to help all staff develop and grow at CPCS.

  5. "Stimulating and challenging"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant in Montreal, QC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time

    Pros

    -Challenging work environment -Interesting projects -Surrounded by motivated and brilliant minds

    Cons

    -Hours can be long and it can be hard to find a good work/life balance as much as it’s encouraged

    CPCS Response

    February 1, 2021Managing Partner

    I appreciate your input. It is a reality of management consulting that peaks in work activity can happen. We are sensitive to this. Open conversations about utilization (and other pressures outside of work) are encouraged to mitigate issues of stress and imbalance. Promoting positive mental health continues to be a priority.

  6. Helpful (1)

    "A dynamic environment and rewarding place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Consultant 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    CPCS offers an energetic, fast-paced and fun work environment tackling some of the world's most significant infrastructure challenges. At the consultant level, working on project management and analysis, it remains very interesting with a diverse range of work tasks and projects. There are travel opportunities as well. Colleagues are diverse, intelligent and supportive. Top management (two managing partners) offer vision and leadership that is easy to get behind, and moreover feel proud of. The strategic direction of the company is solid, and rapid growth palpable. Very positive corporate culture. Opportunities to own shares in the company will be given to proven employees.

    Cons

    CPCS has high expectations for its consultants. If you don't fit, or can't adapt to the company's processes or business environment, expect to be shown the door even if you were top of your class. For some, this is daunting, but for others it is motivating. A strong work-life balance is promoted, but in reality overtime and long hours may sometimes be required. However the work is generally fun and interesting.

    CPCS Response

    October 28, 2019Managing Partner

    We do take process seriously! This ensures that we can work together – across the globe - with as little friction as possible. It also means we can focus on adding value for clients, and maintain the extremely high level of quality for which CPCS is known - and not on internal administration.

  7. Helpful (2)

    "Professional, Nurturing, Inclusive"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Corporate in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I strongly admire the company's genuine desire to watch its employees grow. Employees proudly take ownership of their work, and there are often several opportunities available for exercising creativity. The workplace is highly diverse with unique perspectives and ideas from all over the world, along with an added curiosity and enthusiasm associated with learning about different cultures. The company also embraces technology, and is even able to stay connected with employees in remote locations on a daily basis through its extensive use of Skype. Aside from these benefits, there is a great deal of flexibility (work-from-home etc.), and constant encouragement from peers.

    Cons

    I have not had any negative experiences so far

  8. Helpful (1)

    "A great opportunity for professional growth with amazing colleagues!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Vice President 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    -Opportunity for learning: varied and interesting project work - project work is constantly changing in response to new client needs, and tends not to be "cookie cutter." -Entrepreneurial culture: opportunity to take initiative in terms of driving particular areas of interest to grow CPCS services/domain areas, supported by robust corporate infrastructure. -Extremely collegial and professional colleagues: if you ask for something, it will get done at a high-quality. Informal discussions are also great. -Strive to promote a work-life balance: My experience is that the intent is to ensure good staff want to stay, though sometimes workload can be unpredictable (see con).

    Cons

    -Applicable to consultants only: Though as a team aim to avoid overloading individuals, consulting in general tends to be unpredictable so there are peaks in workload. - Work can be individual-driven a times: Again, though colleagues are always there to assist, there is a need to make individual decisions and be a self-starter at times. This may be a pro to some.

  9. Helpful (1)

    "Awesome team, exciting projects that drive impact, and lots of opportunity for professional growth"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Partner in Ottawa, ON
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I joined CPCS as a junior consultant straight out of a Masters program. I was given significant business development and project responsibilities almost from day one, and was well supported and guided. CPSC has a pretty flat structure which meant that I took on progressive roles quickly - based on interest and abilities. I've been promoted several times since starting, lead significant projects with important client facing responsibilities, and have an opportunity to lead a team of bright, curious, and motivated consultants.

    Cons

    As an international organization doing projects all over the world, project work can often involve significant travel, which can be difficult to manage with family obligations. But I do love the experience I get from roles in the field. The peaks in consulting activity can also be very busy and at times stressful.

  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work, but not for everyone."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Consultant 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CPCS full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Background: I've done consulting work at CPCS for a number of years in a geographical division, not a global unit. This review largely reflects my experience doing client-facing consulting work, so may not be applicable to consulting staff that do not regularly engage with clients or corporate staff. 1) If you demonstrate competence, an ability to work in your divisional team and the ability to hit the deadlines, you'll be rewarded and given trust. At least in my team. Other teams seem more dysfunctional, but I don't have great insight into them, and this largely seems to be a function of the manager/staff dynamic. 2) Once you've achieved that level of trust, you manage projects from business development to project close. This provides fairly young people with excellent experience, especially if you aspire for more managerial roles. If you do not have that motivation, that trust and seniority can be translated into higher degrees of autonomy and the ability to choose interesting projects. 3) Generally, the administration and corporate processes are functional, if at times onerous and not particularly user friendly. However, the processes do work. 4) If you're the type of person who enjoys accomplishing things, working on diverse problems, and not doing rote white collar work, CPCS is probably more interesting than larger engineering, management and business consulting firms. However, any job has a degree of tedious work, and CPCS is no exception. 5) People I've interacted with are generally reasonable and supportive. Like any workplace, you'll get along really well with some of them, and others not so much. 6) If someone's around after a year or two, you can typically trust that they're competent at their job. 7) There are no strict rules about where, when and how you do your work.

    Cons

    1) Processes are not designed to be user friendly for the consulting staff that have to use them, but they work. Admin tasks that you would assume take a few minutes can take up to an hour if you're not 100% familiar with it. You get better at it over time, but it was particularly frustrating when I was a new employee. There seems to be a focus on training people to adhere to convoluted processes, rather than making the process easier. 2) At times the work-life balance an be bad. When you're newer you typically have less control over projects, and are handed work with predetermined timelines. There are strong incentives for the person managing the consulting project to keep costs down and adhere to timelines, so you can be given difficult tasks need to be done in unreasonable timelines. Fortunately, most people I've worked with at this company are reasonable, and are open to hearing feedback on whether or not the work can be done in amount of time. If you're looking for a job where you clock out at five, regardless of how productive you were that day, this isn't it. You won't succeed unless you can hit (I would argue) relatively high levels of productivity day in and day out, as otherwise you'll be working long hours or disappointing management/clients. After your first year, if you can manage a high level of productivity with regularity then it's not so bad, and you will have fairly regular hours (ignoring travel). This may not apply to other teams. 3) Moreso than other companies, it is crucial that client-facing consultant staff you have a good relationship with your manager. The work requires a high-level of trust, as the manager needs to be able to trust you to deliver and keep clients happy. This means you're not solely judged on your ability to accomplished a well-defined task, but also to be flexible and provide the client with what they are ultimately looking for. 4) I don't think this type of work is for everyone for the reasons I've already mentioned. Fundamentally, a lot of people who succeed at CPCS started young without many family commitments. Starting out, it would be difficult if you couldn't prioritize this job. This changes with experience, trust and seniority, and many people do balance both families and careers. I think this leads to a lack of diversity in experiences, knowledge and practice.

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    CPCS Response

    April 15, 2020Managing Partner

    Thank you for your input. You hit on some important points valued by people interested in CPCS. You outline some challenges of management consulting and key elements of success, which is to work smart, be productive and trustworthy. A big portion of our work happens overseas in dynamic and sometimes unstructured environments. This means building trust with our team members is key for our company’s success. CPCS provides constant opportunities for its employees to shine, and that involves a giving and earning a strong level of trust. We agree with you that it’s possible to have a work-life balance at CPCS. We’re also aware it can be challenging at times. I’d like to highlight that we’re constantly adapting with new family-oriented policies such as flex time arrangements, travel and allowing our employees to expense things like babysitting when work requirements create challenges for caring for dependents. We have also placed increased focus on diversity in our entire talent management chain. We made it a priority, and will continue to do so. Ultimately, you are right that CPCS is not for everyone. A real passion and commitment for the work we do is necessary to contribute to our culture centered on having fun with other like-minded people, to contribute positively to our mission and impact, and ultimately to thrive as an individual in your CPCS career. Without that, all these challenges just feel hard work! Modernizing our processes and tools is happening now and as fast as we can. We hired a Corporate Affairs Manager to do just that. It’s true that our processes work, and I recognize it takes time to transform, automate and simplified them. I’m accountable and actively involved in improving our operating platform.

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