Two years ago I responded to an ad in the paper to become a business analyst with IPA. Like a fool I did not check up on the company. I was told that IPA was the nations largest consulting firm of its kind. I was also told of enormous amounts of money that could be made being a business analyst while helping small to mid size companies. Aside from the extensive travel it seemed like a great job.
I went into training with 25 other people from around the country. The training lasted a week. We were basically trained to show up for appointments that would be set for us by the home office. My job was to go over the businesses financials and determine what problems the company had. If there were no problems, then I needed to scare the business owner into thinking he would be going out of business if he did not receive some kind of help soon. This seemed very odd to me, but the trainer, Nancy, justified this by explaining that most businesses were going to fail at some point anyway and that our job was to save the business owner from himself.
My time with the company was brief. We were given a small per diem that did not fully cover our rental car or hotel stay. (The company paid for the air fare.) The majority of the companies that I called on either did not need help or could not afford the help. When I explained this to my supervisor, Brent, he woule curse at me and tell me to quit thinking and just do my job. I still was under the impression that the company truly could help the people that that became clients. I am now finding out I was wrong. I am very sorry for the few people that became clients because of me.
As badly as IPA treats the clients, they match it with there treatment of the employees. I would fly out of my hometown on Sunday evenings and arrive at the destination of my first appointment Sunday night (the night before the appointment). Monday morning I would go to meet with the prospective business owner, to usually find out he had cancelled the appointment the previous Friday. When I would call into my supervisor, Brent, from the business owner's phone (as we were instructed to do) and expain that he did not want us there Brent would tell me that I was not to leave and to begin the survey anyway. The survey is where I ask the potential client questions regarding his business and trying to find out where the flaws were in the business.
If the business owner would not go for it and still insisted that I leave, Brent would berate me for not doing my job. I would then wait in that town until about 4-5pm and be given another assignment. I would drive to the airport and fly to the next destination and do it over again. This would go on all week. I usually arrived home on Fridays around 9-10pm. If you are wondering why I did not quit right away, I could not financially. I had run my own small business, with some moderate success, but had become bored and decided to look for employment somewhere else with more stability. IPA seemed to be able to offer the kind of money that I was used to making. At least this is what the recruiter told me. Unfortunately I believed him.
To sum this up, IPA begins the lie with the recruiter, continues the lie with the trainer, and then convinces the employee to sell something to the business owner that will not benefit the business. It is misrepresentation all the way around. I had never been involved with an organization that treated everyone so poorly. Again, I am very sorry to the few people that I brought in as clients. I hope they ended the relationship quickly with IPA.