Advisory Board Reviews

Updated March 15, 2015
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32 Reviews
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Advisory Board CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
209 Ratings

32 Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    Formerly great company past its prime...

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Strong entry-level talent, especially in the Research & Insights and NPD divisions. This is the rare company where the most impressive employees are the most junior ones.

    Cons

    Company is facing slowing growth and this had led to declining morale and a sense that that the organization's best days are behind it. Recent layoffs have led to a spike in turnover. Employee compensation also remains far below market, causing the best analysts to be poached by competing firms or industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show employees you care about their growht and development by investing more into training and compensation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    urban rat race with low salaries, unique benefits

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Young workforce
    Ability to learn how to work in high volume atmosphere
    Workout hours
    Community Impact Volunteer hours
    company events
    Cool office
    Will become proficient in administrative office tasks
    Will learn Salesforce

    Cons

    Salaries are much lower than the average for D.C. Especially difficult for employees with entry level salaries to afford living in D.C. many associates still live at home with parents , or work multiple jobs as a result. Entry level jobs are sold to applicants citing possibility of promotion within 6 months to a year, which is not commonplace. Turnover is rampant, especially in revenue generating departments (Account Management and Marketing). This creates a culture of peers managing peers, as a manager can very often be the same age or even younger than the associate that they are managing. All of these dynamics combined make it very difficult to move up, whether you are the best individual to take a new position or not. There is a high strung, stressful environment within the office. The real must at ABC is to find someone to advocate for you--or you'll never make it! Career committees are extremely political, though the company prides itself on being 'merit-based'. After a few months at ABC it becomes clear that Associates and other entry level staff are dispensable cogs in a wheel.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Turnover iS an issue in revenue generating departments, whether it affects the numbers or not.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 5 people found this helpful

    Smart roots; poor technical execution

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

    I have been working at Advisory Board

    Pros

    Exceptionally smart business and consulting people in this company. They know their business inside and out. I am regularly impressed by how much healthcare experience is in the company.

    Cons

    They may know their business inside and out, but they do not know technology and how to cultivate it, manage it, and use it as a competitive advantage. And the upper management can be completely indecisive as a result when it comes to making meaningful changes.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    Meh

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Young Crowd. Lost of opportunities to socialize make good contacts. Good opportunities to do community work.

    Cons

    Everybody and their mother is a Director or higher, making titles meaningless. Decision making is fractured. Has a tendency of have people in similar roles and then let them duke it out. Most management is inbred/promoted from within (almost a case study on Peter Principle).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on building people's careers and not provide this false sense of security through meaningless titles.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Great firm to start a career

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

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    There's a good work/life balance; you're kept to or about to a 40 hour workweek. There are many supportive people that are dedicated to career pathing, good fringe benefits - 401k, tuition reimbursement, 3 weeks PTO. Culture that tries to foster collaboration and a more unified approach to the members.

    Cons

    Unsustainable income, culture driven by alcohol to a point of being unprofessional, collegiate atmosphere. The career path and "meritocracy" are fake; usually you will be stuck in a bottom-level position for over a year, even though you may be told a different timeline. The teams are usually said to be lateral, though many hierarchies override that. Many Type-As in leadership unwilling to relinquish control.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Practice what you preach regarding expected tenure and career path, lateral teams, and a meritocracy. A competitive pay grade at the bottom would keep talent at the firm instead of looking elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Strong culture; lead by a passion to sell

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

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

    Pros

    Incredible learning experience. This is a company that's driven by it's sales division (as opposed to product, or finance, both of which are pretty reactionary/ impotent here) and any employee here learns to "script" really good talking points to walk the firm out of any tough situation. I hear people talk years later about the incredible people- and sales- skills they developed at ABC.

    Cons

    While management says (and often believes) that promotions and bonuses are merit based, the reality is that this is an intensely political culture. In addition to your work you need to be very politically savvy to thrive here. If that's your thing, you'll love it.

    Don't expect work-life balance, especially if you want to be on the fast track to promotion, and don't expect pay raises without fighting for them.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back the culture of meritocracy you talk so much about (if it ever truly existed); make management more flat. Not everyone needs to be a manager (and indeed, not every high performer is capable of being a manager).

    Also, at some point some financial analyst is going to call you out on the excessive stock-based compensation along with share repurchases, so you should probably stop parading stock-based compensation as evidence of meritocracy when the share price is so heavily influenced by the repurchase program.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 8 people found this helpful

    Research is fantastic, but refuses to pay you fairly...and they're well aware.

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

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    These comments apply to the Research division. The Analyst and Consultant roles are excellent. The company offers lots of responsibility and intellectually stimulating work for relatively young professionals. The promotion track is quick assuming you are a high performer and the company does a good job of matching individuals to roles that make use of their potential. A major value add is how much you learn about health care as your research and work.

    Cons

    If it wasn't already clear that the Advisory Board under-compensates its staff, now there is data. Engagement down over the last two years, and only 1/4 of staff feel they are paid competitively. Base salaries have not changed in years and the executives who report back about engagement admit the firm isn't doing anything about it. When some staff threaten to leave, they offer a retention bonus that they claim is tailored to you, but it's the same for everyone.

    What makes this especially bad is how successful the company has been in the last 3-4 years. The company has grown immensely, but only the executive staff, who own large stock packages, reap the benefits of it. Why should staff feel motivated to stick with the company if all the benefits of success go to the executives?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get real about compensation. Quit all the rhetoric about "value proposition" as a way to dodge the dollar compensation failings. You have so much to offer as an employer it's sad to see talented people walk as other jobs recognize the rising costs people face in today's world.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Overworked and underpaid

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

    I have been working at Advisory Board full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues
    Fast promotions
    Lost of responsibility at an early age

    Cons

    Much lower salary than similar positions
    Horrible work-life balance and long hours
    Nontransparent promotion opportunities (i.e., a lot of politics involved)
    Managers are very young and often incapable

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Great for your first job or if your a healthcare industry expert, otherwise you'll be treated as a third class citizen.

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's probably best for those as a first job out of school, but don't expect much more out of it as something to put on your resume for the next job. You'll be over qualified for the actual work and want to do more, but the opportunity and the chance to get to do what you can, just isn't there.

    Cons

    The healthcare experts, walk on water within the company and everyone else comes dead last and opportunities are strongly given, almost always, to those who are Ivy league pedigree. This is a company that really only looks as what university you went to, not how hard you work or what you can do.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    No prospects for growth. Very Cliquish.

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time

    Pros

    Lots of happy hours. Low Stress

    Cons

    Lots of favoritism in play. People who have no business managing anyone other than themselves are promoted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote growth and avoid playing favorites

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO

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