Publicis Sapient is a digital-first consultancy focused on technology modernization and transformation. In recent years, firms like Accenture and Deloitte have poured resources into their digital transformation practice, but digital has been at the core of Publicis Sapient’s management consulting DNA since the start of its 30-year history. And, with its recent launch of a strategy consulting practice, Publicis Sapient is positioning itself as an alternative to the big management consulting brands – a “one stop shop” that can offer both strategy and implementation services.
Table of Contents:
- Firm Key Stats
- Publicis Sapient History
- Publicis Sapient Careers
- Publicis Sapient Internship
- Practice Areas
- Publicis Sapient Locations
- Career Path
- Exit Opportunities
- Notable Alumni
- Target Schools
- Diversity Programs
- Publicis Sapient Culture
- Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview
- Publicis Sapient Salary
Firm Key Stats
Publicis Sapient Website: https://www.publicissapient.com/
Publicis Sapient Headquarters: Boston, MA
Publicis Sapient Number of Employees: 20,000
Publicis Sapient Number of Locations: 53
Publicis Sapient Chief Executive: Nigel Vaz
Publicis Sapient Revenue: $11 billion in 2021 (Publicis Groupe, consolidated)
Publicis Sapient History
Publicis Sapient’s firm history begins in 1991, when Jerry Greenberg and Stuart Moore founded Sapient Corp. in Cambridge, MA as an IT consulting firm. Unlike other consulting firms at that time, they both advised on solutions for clients and also implemented them. They also based compensation on client satisfaction, as opposed to other consultancies that were focused on billable hours. The firm quickly scaled along with the dot-com boom up until 2000, with revenues ballooning from $950K to $503 million.
Following the dot-com crash in 2000, Sapient pivoted by offshoring its technology delivery team to India and embarking on a series of acquisitions. Sapient itself was acquired by French advertising firm Publicis in 2015.
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Publicis Sapient Careers
The strategy consulting practice at Publicis Sapient is relatively new. Since most Publicis Sapient careers focus on technology consulting and emphasize a close integration between its delivery team (e.g., developers, product managers, UI/UX designers) and consultants, your work at the firm will almost certainly include a large percentage of technology projects. If digital strategy and digital product development are interesting for you, then joining Publicis Sapient could be an ideal career move. However, if you would rather explore a broader range of consulting disciplines, you may find other firms a better fit. Applicants to Publicis Sapient should also be open to working within or adjacent to an Agile development framework.
Publicis Sapient Internship
Publicis Sapient internships are paid. However, while internships are offered globally for digital strategy and software engineering tracks, at the time of writing, Publicis Sapient’s internship for aspiring management consultants is limited to its Australia office. This is not surprising, given how new Publicis Sapient’s management consulting practice is. If your heart is set on pursuing a management consulting career, consider interning with another firm and joining Publicis Sapient later on.
Publicis Sapient also offers an early careers program for recent graduates, but the program is focused on engineering, product management, data science and design tracks and does not include a management consulting track. Recent MBA graduates can join a 12-month Transformation Leadership program.
Publicis Sapient’s practice areas reflect their digital-first focus. They include:
- Digital Transformation
- Technology Modernization
- Consumer Experience Design
- Data Transformation
- Supply Chain Modernization
- Digital Trading and Risk Management
- Cloud Migration
Publicis Sapient industries include:
- Consumer Products
- Energy & Commodities
- Financial Services
- Public Sector
- Travel & Hospitality
Publicis Sapient Locations
Publicis Sapient locations include 53 offices in 17 countries, spread across the Americas, Europe and Asia, with a global headquarters in Boston, and significant U.S. offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Denver and the Washington D.C. metropolitan region (Arlington, VA). Major offices in Asia include Australia (Melbourne, Sidney, and Canberra) and India (Bangalore, Gurgaron, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Noida). In Europe, Publicis Sapient has a strong presence in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
A Publicis Sapient career path for management consultants spans from Associate to Senior Associate, to Manager, to Senior Manager, to Principal, to Senior Principal, to Associate Director, to Managing Director, and potentially to Partner. Early career applicants with 1-5 years of consulting experience will likely join as Associates or Managers, with promotions expected within 1-3 years. Publicis Sapient looks for at least 6 years of consulting experience when hiring Principals, at least 10 years for Senior Principals and Associate Directors, and over 15 years for Managing Directors. Compensation is in line with Big 4 strategy consulting practices.
Thanks to the firm’s focus on digital, Publicis Sapient exit opportunities are similar to those of other tech consulting firms. At lower and mid-career levels, departing consultants often transition into positions at tech companies that target experienced management consultants, such as BizOps, M&A and internal strategy roles. It’s common for exiting directors to pivot into an executive role in a tech company.
Here are some of the roles that Publicis Sapient alumni have transitioned into:
- Chief Marketing Officer at a startup
- Head of Communications at a leading crypto exchange
- Chief Innovation Officer at a global nonprofit organization
- Senior Vice President at construction company
- Chief of Staff at global advertising company
Like other major consulting names, Publicis Sapient actively recruits on-campus at a variety of major undergraduate and MBA programs. Hires come from schools such as:
Publicis Sapient diversity programs include a variety of affinity groups, such as:
- Women’s Leadership Network
- Men of Color Alliance
Publicis Sapient Culture
As a digital-first firm, Publicis Sapient’s culture emphasizes a startup culture and methods as well as blended strategy and delivery teams to a greater extent than other firms. Publicis Sapient core values are: Engaging with Openness, Inclusive Collaboration, Learning Mindset, Partnering for Client Impact, and Embracing the Future.
The company’s management consulting practice is new but growing rapidly. This means that there are opportunities for outsize impact – but this comes with growing pains as the group finds its footing within the larger organization. Publicis Sapient is heavily recruiting seasoned consultants from other firms who can impart their experience to the growing strategy practice.
Publicis Sapient Case Study Interview
The Publicis Sapient case study interview resembles case study interviews at competing strategy firms, except that many candidates were also given a short deadline (e.g., 1 hour) to prepare and present a mock client presentation, with the interview acting as the client.
Firm Interview Process
The Publicis Sapient interview process varies widely depending on the role and the interviewer but on average consists of 2-5 rounds. In addition to case study interviews and mock individual presentations, some entry-level candidates also reported doing group presentations with other candidates, in which they were asked to jointly develop and present a recommendation.
Publicis Sapient Salary
Publicly available Publicis Sapient salary information indicates that management consultant compensation is in line with other Big 4 consulting firms, and slightly below what is on offer at MBB. Associates can expect to start around $80K, senior associates earn around $130K, and senior manager/principal compensation generally lands between $150-250K. For more information on salaries for Publicis Sapient and hundreds of other firms, click here for Management Consulted’s salary report.
If you are a recent graduate, one of the benefits of consulting is gaining experience in a wide variety of industries and niches in a relatively short period of time, before making a decision to specialize later in your career. If you are not sure about your focus, other firms may provide better opportunities to explore. However, if you are already committed to digital consulting, Publicis Sapient represents a unique opportunity to make your mark on a young management consulting practice and accelerate your career growth.
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