AKQA

  www.akqa.com
  www.akqa.com

AKQA Reviews

Updated November 2, 2014
Updated November 2, 2014
198 Reviews
2.6
198 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ajaz Ahmed
39 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people (in 17 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 23 reviews)

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

More Highlights

43 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Creative environment

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to learn, great creative environment

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for promotion

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great experience and great co-workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Campaign Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you are looking to jumpstart your career or get the experience you have been craving in the marketing/ad industry then AKQA is definitely a place to get it. My 1.5 years here was easily the most challenging and educational time of my life. I recommend anyone in the marketing industry to be in advertising for at least a year. It teaches you so much about not just the industry but professionalism and how to build an overall work ethic. Having such big clients really makes you work that much harder because one wrong move and you can lose a million dollar client. The people here are definitely some of the best in the business.

    Perk wise, well... 80% of health is paid for, pre-tax commuter benefits, subsidized massage every other week (if you can find a slot), subsidized acupuncturist every other week (again, if you can find a slot). Fancy expresso machines with artisan coffee bean (sight glass, blue bottle, etc) when the machine is not broken. Twice a week free yoga in-house (these are awesome fyi) and 'magic hour' session once a week (think bootcamp but with a pep talk)

    Cons

    If you are looking for great pay and you're not senior management then you're looking in the wrong place. AKQA does NOT pay industry standard. It's far from it. Their pay scale needs a serious revamp in terms of offering the right amount of money given anyone's experience. It almost reflects that of a government rubric where certain types of positions gets between X-Y amount and so on. But being the ad industry with so much turnover, I can see why offering more money may or may not be worth it.

    For a company with this kind of revenue stream and reputation, you would think there would be MORE perks such as free snacks and drinks, which by now is an industry staple in SF. Instead of providing such simple things, they try to mask their frugality with other 'perks' like a daily green drink which is usually kale and other things smoothie. Not a bad thing but not everyone is into that and I think they know it.

    Also, unless you're one of the bigger accounts and doing creative (audi, jordan, activision, etc) then don't expect to ever be recognized by the company as a whole. All of the all-hands are only ever focused on their biggest accounts and everyone else is not even mentioned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps offering higher salaries would help with retention better.

    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great people, growing pain

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Employees get treated well, working hours are quite human for industry standards, though occasional pitches will keep you in the office until after midnight.

    Cons

    It's a growing company so you won't know everyone by name anymore. And probably the biggest problem is the client list which is not very exciting for the most part. Though compared to the average agency, not below the average I would say, and there's at least the intention to do interesting work.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Media Planner

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Media Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Media Planner in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Amazing social culture. Got along with everyone, and wanted to see all of my coworkers after work & on the weekends.

    Cons

    The pay and the hours! It should be flat-out illegal to work people so hard, and to pay them that little!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company culture and amazing people, but does not set you up for success

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Very talented and smart people, best company culture I have encountered. Can work across different accounts. This is a place where age doesn't matter, you can climb the ladder really quickly if you have the right skills and are in with the political circle. If you are interested in digital experiences, this is the place for learning - it moves fast and the projects can be quite exciting.

    Cons

    Hours are very long, little work-life balance. This is the type of place where people will judge you if you leave work before 6 pm. Management is awful - if you are the person that seeks mentoring and teaching, forget it. It's very much sink or swim and if you don't know how to do something, you're on your own. Resourcing is disorganized and salaries are unimpressive considering the quality of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more time to mentor and teach your employees. Invest in them if you want them to invest in the quality of work. You cannot expect employees to work so hard for you and strive for your pillars of velocity when you are not making them feel as if you're investing in them, and willing to nurture the necessary skills they need to succeed.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    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.

  8.  

    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 (less than an 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
  9. 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 (more than an 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
  10.  

    Big brands, great experience, opens doors

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    You get to work with some very talented people.
    The brands and projects are world-class.
    You can make a name for yourself if you work hard.
    Opens a lot of doors and good industry recognition.

    Cons

    There is a lot of movement within the company, can be unsettling.
    You can float by if you don't apply yourself.
    Sometimes negative attitude from coworkers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Prestigious clients, smart coworkers, cool projects.

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

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

    Pros

    Surrounded by smart, motivated people. Teams generally like each other, many people spend time together outside of work. Impressive client roster. Interesting project work.

    Cons

    Work life balance is not always great. Going above and beyond is expected, so not always valued/recognized.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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