Spent 4 years at ADL before joining a leading MBA programme
of 5 stars
Fantastic firm! The London office is very much focused on growth these days with a number of new practices being rolled out. Very much a people-oriented culture: ADL's offices are quite small compared to competitors (around 30 people per office) which allows for better interactions, people development, exchanging ideas or simply socialising. A lot of opportunities to travel, to work on cross-office projects, or simply to work on cases outside the UK. Very good work-life balance compared to the MBBs (which I was able to discuss with my MBA peers). The smaller number of people makes it possible for juniors to get exposure and responsibilities very quickly. It is then up to you to show commitment and deliver! Very much content and solution-oriented. Strong tech expertise. Entrepreneurial philosophy. Smaller structure. Lighter processes.
ADL's strengths are sometimes seen as its shortcomings: applicants should be aware that ADL is a smaller firm than some its direct competitors. As such, there may be a smaller number of project out there at any given time, as well as fewer staff: as a result you may need to be flexible wrt to the projects you want to be staffed on as staffing may require you to work on projects similar to you have already done. The smaller scale as its downside: smaller offices, less people, leaner organisation. Processes might not be as well oiled as in bigger firms: in terms of development or HR, it may sometimes be frustrating for some. It is very much down to you to make things happen for yourself and seek out opportunities.
ADL usually seeks applicants with international exposure, with ideally 2+ languages, strong quantative skills, business and/or engineering degrees from leading institutions. You will be tested on your ability to think fast, to structure your thinking, on your problem solving skills, on your communication skills and on your understanding of business in general. You will also be tested on traditional case studies.
Because of the smaller size of the offices, people skills and fit are critical. Interviewers will be testing whether you would get along well with the team. You need to be pleasant to work with, even if working under pressure.
Given the small size of the offices, competition is tough and the process is very selective.