Sterling Associates is a boutique consulting / market research firm that develops custom business intelligence for private equity firms, corporations, and other investor groups.
We support our clients by helping them identify, prioritize, and answer key questions—questions that underpin their most important business decisions, including strategy development, potential investments, new market entry, and other initiatives. We design and execute research projects to test client hypotheses and guide decision-making. Each project is tailored to address our client’s specific needs and situation, which means that no two projects are exactly alike.
Associates are at the center of the work we do and are involved in every stage of our projects—meaning that Associates have the opportunity to make significant contributions throughout the course of projects and to the firm more broadly.
Associates take on a range of critical responsibilities, which evolve throughout the project cycle:
• Helping develop project strategies
• Managing project logistics and coordinating the project team’s efforts
• Gathering insight via primary and secondary research streams
• Analyzing quantitative and qualitative data sets to distill key themes
• Structuring and executing summary reports
• Contributing to ongoing client conversations
1) Learn Directly from Senior Staff
Starting with their first project, our Associates work closely with experienced, senior staff members who are invested in their professional development. We assign Associates to teams on a project-by-project basis, which means that our Associates have the opportunity to learn from all of our Partners, Principals, and Project Leaders. We also pair Associates with senior staff as part of our mentorship program, which helps ensure that each Associate receives the right mix of experiences to meet their professional goals.
2) Develop Knowledge in a Wide Range of Industries
We are a generalist firm, so no industry is “off limits” at Sterling—completed projects have spanned industries including cybersecurity, SaaS solutions, industrial goods, consumer packaged goods, education and healthcare technologies, residential and commercial services, etc. Our typical project lasts 2-6 weeks, and Associates often work on more than one project at a time. Accordingly, it’s not unusual for an Associate to contribute to 20+ projects in a single year—likely more than their peers at other consulting firms.
3) Gain Exposure to Private Equity / Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions
Our clients include some of the largest middle-market private equity firms in the country and a number of active, large-scale corporate acquirers. Our work directly supports their (often fast-moving) transactions and may be the difference in their go / no-go decision. Associates have the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing dialogue and output that drives these processes.
4) Contribute in a Collaborative, Entrepreneurial Environment
Sterling fosters a collegial environment in which everyone—new hires included—is encouraged to think critically and creatively about the firm’s processes and approach. We value team members who are hardworking and intellectually curious, and we are always looking for new ideas that can invigorate our work and make us better.
5) Define Your Own Path and Help Shape Our Company
Sterling Associates is a meritocracy. We encourage our Associates to take initiative and drive their own development, taking on new responsibilities as soon as they are ready. Associates often get involved with existing internal initiatives (like business development, recruiting, training, etc.) or have the opportunity to develop new ones, allowing them to take on significant responsibility and have a meaningful impact on the firm beyond their project work.
The Associate role is a two-year position, during which Associates progressively earn more responsibility as they master key skills. High-performing Associates will advance to the Senior Associate role (likely in their third year) and can expect to start taking on leadership responsibilities within project teams—an opportunity that is unlikely to be matched at other consulting firms. Exceptional Associates will have opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and build the skills required to progress into the Project Leader role.