AKQA Reviews

Updated August 11, 2014
Updated August 11, 2014
183 Reviews

2.9
183 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ajaz Ahmed
27 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people (in 16 reviews)

  • Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance (in 21 reviews)

  • Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

108 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Blue chip clients. No investment in people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Media Director
    Current Employee - Associate Media Director

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Best in class clients and projects. Smart, good, and cool employees. Able to touch and be exposed to a lot of different types of work.

    Cons

    No investment in people. Little vision from the top. You're sort of on your own here, there's no proactiveness towards retaining best people. It's only when you are out the door when they try to incentivize you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in people. Invest in emerging disciplines. Commit to a vision and direction. Proactively reward top performers so they aren't forced to leave/job hunt. Provide career opportunities and paths.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Made amazing friends, but creativity is dismal.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Designer
    Current Employee - Designer

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Great people, made amazing friends
    - Okay salary (Warning, they will always try to undercut you)
    - Nice office spaces

    Cons

    - Dictatorship with being fun and creative around the office, the office manager once hid all fun toys and signs when Ajaz was coming in for 20 minutes.

    - Agency thinks they are creative, however 9/10 they will do whatever the client wants, project mangers will take any kind of terrible work from client, just to keep their time allocation for every creative packed.

    - You work in a call center, because no one wants to make the environment fun

    - They hire people who bring nothing to the culture of the company, who love to do their 9-5 and go home.

    - They will show you a demo reel, watch closely as all the creative work are digital leaderboards.

    - Technology Innovation agency. You're kidding. IT gives incorrect, outdated, slow machines. Refuse to buy industry standard displays that every single creative agency uses, because they believe that Dell make the best displays. Even though, they are more expensive that the industry standard Apple Cinema Displays. The colors don't show up right. One time, our client made a observation that the white, was pink. during a presentation.

    - Don't even bother doing reimbursements. They take too long, and sometimes take two months to get to your account.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow creatives, to be creative.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great company to work for!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with.

    Cons

    There is mild chaos at times.

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  5.  

    At the top of their game

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Developer  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Web Developer in Portland, OR

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Your coworkers are top notch agency quality. You work with incredibly bright minds doing high profile work for clients you want to work for. In my personal experience, work life balance is very reasonable.

    Cons

    No one is perfect and AKQA has its flaws just like anywhere else. Management can be hit or miss. Clients can be difficult (can be said of any client ever). I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Minimal respect for technology process and development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Creative Developer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Creative Developer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Office location, people, client list

    Cons

    The SF office is driven entirely by account and creative people. Account promises everything to make clients happy, even if what they promise is an entirely unrealistic deadline, or even impossible. As a result, developers work long hours under insane pressure and no personal life. Anytime technology pushes back or tries to have a voice, it is squashed with an attitude of - well, you have to just do it!

    I've lost count of how many technology employees have left within the last 3 months. Virtually all of the Creative Technology managers have left along with several developers and architects (including myself). Morale is horrifically low and I'm sure over 50% of employees are interviewing elsewhere.

    Honestly, if you are thinking of working in tech for AKQA - DON'T! It's Silicon Valley - you can get a job elsewhere where you will be 1) paid more and 2) actually respected.

    It boggles my mind that a company that produces digital experiences can be so utterly clueless about the development process.

    Recently a CTO was (finally) hired and he was proclaimed to be amazing and going to fix everything. Cut to 2 months later where he presents 20 reasons why the company is failing on delivering technology and is so disgusted that he quits.

    And - of course - upper management makes no kind of announcement. It was like he evaporated into thin air and they hoped no one would notice.

    Seriously - it's a mess over there. I am in shock leadership hasn't been overturned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    Miserable. I regret my decision to work here.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Some really great individuals. Reasonably close to public transit. The vending machine is subsidized. You get to say you work on "cool" brands. You are allowed one piece of free fruit every afternoon.

    Cons

    The majority of people I work with are unhappy and/or looking for employment elsewhere.

    As other reviewers have mentioned, expectations are unrealistic. Plan on spending all your nights and weekends working, or have your "dedication" questioned. Management makes little to no investment in the development of individuals or the cultivation of teams. There is neither training nor mentorship for junior team members. Atmosphere is one of bullying and intimidation, particularly among senior management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you're fine with your high turnover rate, continue what you're doing. Smoothies, a few yoga classes and some quippy emails are no panacea for the deep problems facing this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tech has good process, Design has less process, Upper management is honing skills, Salary is very competitive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technology  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Technology in New York, NY

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Relatively lenient regarding vacation. Salary is great and they will listen to your demands during reviews, but you must be up front and firm (like anywhere). The culture is great, at least twice a month there are off parties with a full bar and catering. Company communicates future vision well and explains their yearly goals 3 times per year. They have a yearly holiday outing that can get rowdy, but it's fun. There is a good balance between the upper management and lower management, you never feel like they are "better" than you but rather on the same page.

    Cons

    Need help improving process for creative division. Relatively high turn over. Projects can be demanding with some long work days and even weekends, but they compensate that with an extra free day here or there (but make sure they know you are working extra because they wont keep track of it). Verizon client can be a bit annoying, but there are new fresh clients to keep you busy when you've finished a Verizon project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve the process within your division to help collaboration between each division and their constituent groups.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    AKQA is great, MSA (Media / Search / Analytics) is AWESOME

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Incredibly intelligent colleagues, interesting work on great brands, cutting-edge technology application, and fun/friendly environment. It will challenge you but you will be better for it!

    Cons

    Difficult to get account and PM teams to respect hard work and scope appropriately. Some projects are not set up for success because of bad foundation/scope, otherwise teams are smart and work is good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect the teams that are contributing to data, technology, analytics, insights more. Let the best performers lead the team more, because the client services team usually sucks at it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    A good jumping off point.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people. It's a good vibe in a fun environment.

    Cons

    It can be very political. There's a lot of "High-level thinking" without a lot of actual work from the top. This creates a trickle down effect of sorts and creates inefficiencies, and not the most impressive work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look out for your lower ranks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Lack of technical backbone

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Cool for creative folks. Could be great for creative folks as it is a creative digital agency.

    Cons

    It seriously lacks the technological culture and bent of mind. Management is extremely inexperienced in technology, thus technical folks will find it to be a misfit.Lack of tools and processes in technology.Misfit for technical folks.

    Every office (say in New York) works as a company. Not sure whether it is structured as a profit center.Values - I would say it lacks values as it does not realize what is technology and does not value technology.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think and do. Not "do and not think".

    Doesn't Recommend

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