Very open atmosphere, almost everyone was laidback and informal.
Company's spendthrift attitude regarding basic software licenses, holiday pay, and travel makes it seem like the company is out to cut corners and cheat you wherever possible.
Advice to Potential Interns
The company has a small and intimate feel - you will get to know your supervisors and partners very well. The vast majority of people are both smart and friendly. However, the ompany will frustrate you to no end on small things that should not be an issue, but nonetheless still persist in spite of universal recognition of a problem. Full-time employees widely acknowledge that the firm is "cheap" and explain this by calling the firm "German", due to its roots. Depending on which partner is involved on your project, you may get treated vastly differently.
Advice to Management
Spend just a little bit more to boost employee satisfaction and morale, which will help retain and recruit talent. Small things, such as frequent difficult access to SPSS, send the message that employees' basic needs are not important, or worse, their wasted time and efficiency are not as valuable as a software license. In addition, to really live up to the claim that interns are treated like full-time consultants, there should not be a reluctance to pay for an intern's trip with the team to NY and then subsequently refuse to provide housing. This not only gives that specific intern a bad experience, but also sends a message to the rest of the interns that employees are not really treated well. Travel is a consequence of consulting and should not be a perk that should be earned.
The computers provided to interns were also a source of embarrassment during a client meeting. I was in charge of driving the presentation, but my supervisor's computer was running low on battery, and he wanted to borrow my powercord. My computer died immediately, because the laptop is so old that it does not have a second of battery power, and the entire presentation crashed.
Moreover, it seems like the company is always looking for ways to cut corners. For example, in contrast with every other firm that I have heard of or that my classmates have worked at, SKP skips over federal holidays, including Memorial Day and Fourth of July when giving out intern salaries. This is despite the fact that the intern contracts specify a weekly salary, not a daily salary. The money itself ($160/day) is not a big deal, but the principle of the company not honoring common and stated policy is very important.
These issues completely run counter to the company culture, which presents itself as young, open, friendly, and non-hierarchical. While each issue is a small one, collectively, they cast great doubt on prospects of returning as full-time employees.