Advisory Board

  www.advisory.com
  www.advisory.com

Advisory Board Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated October 18, 2014
Updated October 18, 2014
276 Reviews
3.6
276 Reviews
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Advisory Board CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
182 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There's a good work/life balance; you're kept to or about to a 40 hour workweek (in 32 reviews)

  • happy hours are very frequent when the weather is nice (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • The current managers just need to keep in mind the work/life balance of their employees (in 30 reviews)

  • The salary is pretty low for the sales and marketing associate role (in 14 reviews)

More Highlights

13 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Marketing Associate

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The company is filled with young people who also just moved to DC fresh out of college, so the network is great for starting a life in DC.

    Cons

    Unrealistic expectations and you success all depends on the straw you are given. It isn't an even playing field but the "management" acts as if it. You either succeed well or wake up every morning with a knot in your stomach wanting scream at your marketer, chief of staff, and your team lead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You really need to work on your marketing model. You're aggravating people off more than helping them. Also, career service offices across the country are deferring students from applying. Even at your top recruiting schools like Wake Forrest.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 7 people found this helpful  

    Looking for poor management and low pay? Perfect place for you

    • 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 Advisory Board full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Hired right from undergrad to work in 'marketing'
    -Great to be around people who are in the same age range as you (23-26)
    -Office is located in a great area of DC

    Cons

    -Terribly low pay (35k as a marketing associate with bonuses equating to very little). Chiefs of Staff make under 43k, dedicated advisers are less than 50k
    -HIGH turnover. Cannot be emphasized enough. If ABC is one of the best places to work in healthcare, why do people leave so frequently? Why are orientation groups packed full of new associates? Probably because there is something wrong but more importantly, associates are cheap.
    -Incentive trips they emphasize that happen twice a year (the trips cost $500 per person, I would rather have the cash than spend a weekend in the Outer Banks in May)
    -Management is dismal. This is one of the more confusing things about the company. They offer training to hospitals management under the belief that a great doctor/nurse doesn't equate to a great manager. Yet at ABC, great associates are promoted to management with no experience or training because they were great associates. I remember one director walking around the associates with a clipboard taking attendance of who was at their desk cold calling.
    -The culture is dead. I might have lost it if I had to go to one more presentation about the culture of the firm and David Bradley's pillars. David Bradley (the founder) left the company more than a decade ago before the company went public and since then, only the execs ever see the culture that they preach (the exec team also gets retreats to Costa Rica, Turkey, and Japan)

    The story that surmises ABC is one associate who was cold calling for a failing product (the technology being sold was flakey at best and went offline for a month. This associate was put on a 'development plan' to help work out the kinks as to why THEY were failing. A month later when they did not meet the goals of the development plan, they were put on a 'focus plan' which essentially means that you have to meet your goals or get fired (BTW, when you get a focus plan, it's a document you have to sign with HR basically forfeiting your right to unemployment when you are fired because you state that it's a mutual decision to leave). Before this associate could be fired, the program was scrapped and the associate kept their job. This 'under performing associate was later promoted to a director level position where they would do the on site meetings with clients. Ultimately, they under performed again in that position and were threatened with another development plan. Morale of the story: they love to play mind games and threaten to fire people. This person was told they were under performing, then their crappy program was scrapped, and then they were promoted to a higher sales position. What?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop. Just stop. No more preaching about the culture. No more embellishing incentive trips and bonuses and promotions. No more town halls to connect employees to the execs. People are going to scrape by, get the experience they need to go to a reputable firm like EY or Deloitte. The company knows that if an associate quits or is fired, a new applicant will be hired, receive 3 weeks worth of training, and then will be on the phones cold calling again. So my advice to you is to stop be deceitful in all aspects, from hiring to the actual products you sell. Employees aren't valued, there are no good managers, and regardless of how high up you are, it's all about grinding it out until something better comes up (which it always does).

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

    Terrible work environment with a 50/50 shot of having success

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

    I worked at Advisory Board full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    - Young Work Environment
    - In Downtown DC

    Cons

    - Management is comprised of people who have no industry experience or job experience that are telling subordinates how to work. No freedom, everything is scripted. If you have a good territory you will succeed and make just enough money to live in another state and commute an hour every day for terrible pay. The Marketing Associate role has absolutely nothing to do with Marketing and is strictly Cold Calling.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let people develop their skills and create an identity through positive reinforcement. Eliminate the COS position because they don't do anything except nitpick without any business experience.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Not a good place to work

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

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

    Pros

    The Advisory Board has acquired some great technology. Very flexible working hours. Lots of options for part timers.

    Cons

    Myopic view of how to engage employees. Unprofessional management. Training and development is non-existent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is a disconnect between senior management and the rest of the organization. There needs to be a cultural shift, or change in the way that work is conducted and employees are managed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Post-under grad job guaranteed

    • 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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of people your age (i.e. 22-25)

    Cons

    Incredibly low salary considering it's D.C.--the highest concentration of "super zips" (area codes with average household income above $120,000) in the U.S.

    Turnover is really high. During my first 4 months, 10 people from my department left.

    My experience...

    While direct supervisors seem to actually care about your job satisfaction and general happiness, most others (including lateral coworkers) are only concerned with making themselves look good in the eyes of their supervisors (i.e. they'll walk all over you if it makes them sparkle).

    During the recruiting/interview process, they seemed to be most concerned with figuring out if you're alive, are able to speak in complete sentences, and have recently earned a degree. They didn't seem to take into account educational background when determining which department and/or position would best suit your skill set (they put me in sales instead of research--I hate sales and my background is completely research oriented).

    "Friends" working for the company seem way too eager to get you hired regardless of whether you're a good fit. It's all about the referral bonus.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to your underlings' strengths. Help them find opportunities within the company that match their skills rather than waste money, your time, and their time on training for positions they're not happy in or suited for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Sales company: "What have you done for me lately??"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of nice, young people. Easy to make friends and be social.

    Cons

    -If you want to do well, don't expect to have a work/life balance.

    -Salaries are low compared to DC average-- esp for the hours that are expected.

    -Managers are just kids themselves, so promotions and such are sometimes just straight favoritism.

    -In my experience, employees are sometimes "tricked" into roles. I was hired as a "marketing" associate. ABC has two marketing departments: one is sales and one is marketing. "marketing" associates are really Sales Associates/Secretaries. You'll be making cold calls to people that don't want to talk to you & depending on your manager, may be treated pretty disrespectfully.

    -Meetings always start late. Accountability is zero.

    -All the company cares about is making money. This may seem like a normal thing, but it's gone crazy at ABC. It doesn't matter if you've done well for 8mo straight. The mantra is always "what have you done for me lately?" If you have a bad month, you can expect they will be breathing down your neck until you quit or things turn around.

    -PTO is a joke. Sure they give you 20 days as an entry level person-- sounds great! But don't expect you'll actually be able to use all 20 days. Regardless of how well you are doing, your managers will always question you if you want to take time off and pressure you not to take it (or just straight deny your request.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Don't offer 20 PTO days if you don't want/won't allow your employees to take 20 days off in a year.
    -Be more up front with new hires about their role and the expectations of the company. Entry level positions have a ridiculously high turnover because people don't understand what they are getting into.

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

    Horrible

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

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

    Pros

    Young environment, good co workers

    Cons

    Bad pay, high stress, luck of the draw experience

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop allowing 24 year old manage 22 year olds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Abysmal new hire training program, weak senior leadership, and high turn over among sales/marketing staff.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Associate Director of Business Intelligence Marketing in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Associate Director of Business Intelligence Marketing in Washington, DC

    I worked at Advisory Board

    Pros

    They are flexible with time off if needed. No micromanaging. Flexibility to come and go as needed. Friendly coworkers in other departments.

    Cons

    Terrible new hire training program. They prefer style over substance. Expectations are not conveyed up front or in a clear and precise manner. Don't plan on understanding your product - there is very little focus on content, only on presentation style and answering questions 'the right way'. The require all new hires to be 'passed off' on their product presentation, which is reasonable, but their expectations, training, and content are abysmal. They sell best practice research but don't implement best practices themselves. Don't move or relocate until you are through this sign off process. In my first sign off they sprung questions and objections to my product that I had never heard before and b/c I did not answer them in the style they like they did not 'pass me'. They never gave research or material to read or have people who would take time to explain the meat of the challenges. They give you a script to memorize, much of which is out of date, they have different training managers telling you how to answer questions differently and in conflicting content and style - lack of leadership in training team/program. New hires are also given poor territories to start off with. They do not let you choose which product you are selling. If you didn't understand something, they expected you to ask questions and fight for time on senior level calendars - when you finally did get 30 minutes they were very unfocused in training on what mattered, often going off on detailed tangents that did not help explain content. Very high turnover because management and leadership is very poor, expectations are not inline with market needs, many products do not sell well, they compare all marketers and their results to the top sales reps who work exclusively with member hospitals year after year - all other sales reps rotate territories each year making it impossible to benefit from relationships you build in first year of sales.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Set strong leadership over training program. Align your thoughts, ideas, and content so managers and leaders are not regularly contradicting each other. Give new hires better product specific content. Teach what objections are in the market place and how to overcome those objections. Sit down with each new hire and walk them through the presentation and point out where much of the objections occur and the answers or solutions the product/company provide to work through that. Better communication in all aspects of team. Focus on substance not style. If you don't have substance then style doesn't amount to much. Hopefully the leadership team and management learns from their current and past mistakes to improve sales (or as they call it 'marketing') team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great entry-level position right out of college OR interested in healthcare

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

    I have been working at Advisory Board

    Pros

    If you are a recent college grad, ABC is a great place to start. Yes they will pay you minimal entry level salary but compensate you with happy hours, free bottles of champagne, and motivate you with company-paid trips 2x per year. The work is basic and not difficult, and you will gain some exposure and greater understanding of healthcare if you take an active approach. If you play their game, say the right things, and hit your numbers you are considered a great employee.

    Cons

    You're going to start out as a glorified telemarketing administrative assistant. Like any company, you have to start somewhere, but be prepared to have you success judged by a number. Your immediate manager, called a Chief of Staff, will likely range in competency. Some are excellent at their jobs and provide terrific guidance, management, and career support. Others should not be in the position and if you are struggling to hit your goals, you can expect to be walking a fine line.
    ABC is a very "good-ol-boys" club. If you're not part of the after-hours parties, you're usually considered an outsider and will be judged as such.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate your ineffective chiefs of staff. Involve Marketing Associates in more of the business development process, instead of sticking them to their outreach and visit numbers. Get rid of the happy hours and just compensate your employees better. Offer an exit interview to possibly learn from the current in-and-out style of your employees literally joining then leaving.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    It's a revolving door

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

    I worked at Advisory Board

    Pros

    For some reasont he advisory board seems to retain it's good reputation. I suppose it's because there are very smart people working in their research division. The actual product (the research in this case) is actually very good. It's the people, the management, and the way they treat employees that's terrible.

    Cons

    I worked in member services (which is the department that manages the relationships with the hosptials that have the research memberships) I've worked at investment banks so I know what a 16 hour day is like. However, at the banks you actually get compensated for working yourself to death. the advisory board expects you to kill yourself for 50,000 a year. It's the lowest salary I've ever had. They are very deceptive. (this is from personal experience and from what I've heard co-workers there tell me) They bring you in an lie to you about how you'll get promoted in six monhs (if you come in with years of experience like I did). They paint a pretty picture about how quickly you'll climb the corporate ladder there. It's all a lie. The department is full of like-minded white women and if you don't immediately click or fit in to their mold you have no hope of getting promoted. It's the catiest environment I've ever worked in. When I took the job with the advisory board I came to this website and read the reviews. I thought to myself - it can't be that bad. I should have taken the advice on this website to heart.
    The advisory board sucks the life out of its employees. While I was there I even witnessed someone pass out in a meeting and start convulsing from stress. She quit the following week. These people expect perfection and they don't want to pay for it. That's because they have a line of recent grads eagerly waiting to take the job if you leave. They don't care about employees at all. It's honestly the most oppressive and toxic environment.
    It looks pretty from the outside. Don't be fooled. It's not worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees better. Treat them like people and not disposables.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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