Technical A-Types Taking What They Can
Exponent is a consulting firm that prides itself on being the best in the business. An oft heard refrain in the halls is how clients are constantly complaining about the cost of hiring Exponent, but still pay for the quality of results provided. All of the people who do well in this company are the most aggressive and practical academia has to offer. The compensation is alright and the people run the gamut from surly to true friends.
If you are looking to dive deep on any particular project, or perfect a technique to make future work easier, this is not the place to go. The mantra is to do it fast, get it right, and to heck with everything else. Since you bill by the 6 minutes, or half hour if you're less scrupulous, there is never any incentive to automate or optimize any workflow. The management is also super stingy when it comes to equipment, so expect to do things for cheap and like it.
Work-life balance is almost impossible as even senior folks will cancel or fly back from vacations for a last minute inspections or calls, but that is the service industry.
For the right type of person, this place is paradise, and upward advancement will reward them. However, if you don't fit Exponent's mould perfectly, expect to struggle and move out to another Silicon Valley tech company in about 2 years.
Interesting clients, flexible hours, smart peers
No work-file balance, constant drive to billbillbill, limited career paths