Join for the impact, stay for the people
Nous is the largest Australian owned consulting firm founded by an ex-McKinsey consultant. The firm is known for its significant focus on public sector work, with hardly any private sector projects. As such, this may be a reason they attract more arts/politics/economics types than your traditional finance/law backgrounds. Nous has a limited global presence but a strong foothold in the Australian market.
The firm has a reputation for having a relaxed and friendly work culture (with the typical exception of a few people) and there is an explicit hours expectation of 50 hours a week, with a big emphasis on maintaining a collegiate and inclusive culture. A typical day might be from 9am – 7pm, which is longer than some firms in the industry, but as the firm places a strong emphasis on work-life balance, employees are encouraged to take time off when they need it.
If you love public sector/social impact, Nous is the place for you. The firm has deep relationships with many government departments/NFPs. They also have a strong organisational psych/culture strategy vertical for those interested. What this translates to is that projects may range from advising a government department on strategy to designing a social impact intervention, advising an NFP or undertaking cost-cutting projects. The variety of projects is what makes the work at Nous interesting and challenging.
Nous sits squarely in between the Big 4 consulting firms and MBB, and pays lower than both MBB and T2 for compensation. For instance, a graduate salary would typically be approximately $15k lower than MBB. However, the firm’s bonus scheme is different from your traditional consulting firms, with every employee receiving profit share. This means that employees are more invested in the success of the firm. Perks are definitely less at Nous, with a small dinner budget and not much chance for travel. The kitchen generally will have snacks/breakfast foods, but the fridge isn’t really stocked with free drinks.
For graduate onboarding, there is a formal training process, and each employee is assigned a performance coach, generally a Manager or higher. There is a good system for knowledge sharing, and it is really easy to find guides/past project materials.
Overall, Nous is a firm that values impact and people. The firm’s focus on the public sector and social impact make it an excellent choice for those looking to make a difference. The firm’s unique bonus scheme and inclusive culture also seem to make it a great place to work.