Advisory Board Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated June 7, 2014
Updated June 7, 2014
256 Reviews
3.5
256 Reviews
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Advisory Board CEO and Director Robert W. Musslewhite
Robert W. Musslewhite
169 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The company promotes a lot of work/life balance and culture events, e (in 25 reviews)

  • Many happy hours and activities/events taking place in the office (in 24 reviews)


Cons
  • The current managers just need to keep in mind the work/life balance of their employees (in 28 reviews)

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

More Highlights

27 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    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 for 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
  2. 5 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 for 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
  3.  

    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 for 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
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  5.  

    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 for 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
  6. 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
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Sad that so many individuals at a healthcare consulting firm, have so little experience

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

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

    Pros

    The organization is a good place to gain an introduction into healthcare and elementary sales
    skills.

    Cons

    Chief marketing officer and senior sales management has no true sales skills or ability to lead in a corporate environment, the count sales calls and meetings as progress. Their Healthcare experience is limited to exposure by association but not by actually ever having done the work.

    Young and incapable management with limited vision, a sad state of affairs

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiring children and start hiring credential professionals.. your reputation for sending inexperienced individuals who are short sighted and incapable of thinking outside of their limited experience... Also pay better, your compensation is a joke

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great as first job with no experience, bad for long term growth. Used as a launch pad for early career

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

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

    Pros

    -Great, young, vibrant culture
    -Extraordinary internal career opportunities
    -Opportunity for flex roles and travel

    Cons

    -High turnover, "revolving-door" attitude for entry level positions
    -Very low salaries compared to industry averages
    -Support departments aren't adequately managed and given proper attention/directives, firm focus is strictly on revenue making teams

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus on skill development. Train middle managers in professional management skills, as unqualified low-level positions are promoted in to manager roles prematurely. Offer competitive salary to attract and keep talent.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Boiler room with high turnover - proceed with caution.

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Most new marketing associates and other entry-level employees at ABC are motivated, young professionals that are eager to start their careers and make it in DC. One of the benefits of working in a stressful environment is that it provides a great bonding atmosphere. This is great, especially if you're new to the DC area. Even after leaving some time ago, I still keep in touch with former colleagues.

    Cons

    Everything about ABC has already been said on this website, but in a nutshell, success is far too situational. You could be working on a new product with an excellent director (a.k.a. travelling salesman) with a decent number of leads, and as long as you put in the effort, you will be fine. Conversely, you could wind up with a old product with no leads and essentially be set up for failure. Metrics are poorly designed, which is probably the most significant factor contributing to the high turnover.

    Due to the tough economy and large supply of qualified recent college grads, management has no regard for the high turnover. If you don't hit your numbers, expect to be quickly shown the door.

    If you're serious about a career in sales, ABC has one of the most aggressive sales training programs in the DC area, making it worth a look. If you're not serious about sales, and are only looking at a marketing associate position at ABC because you're tired of using your degree to wait tables, are desperate to avoid moving back in with mom and dad, or can no longer keep going with the unpaid internship endurance competition that is DC, proceed with caution! I was in the latter position, but hey - a man's got to make a living.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The management of this company astounds me. They seem to be completely obilivious to the fact that the high turnover has been tarnishing the reputation of their company for years. In most interviews I've had post ABC, most prospective employers can't help but to joke about the "factory" environment.

    What goes around comes around, and sooner or later, your practices may not only hurt your reputation but also your bottom line. Plus, someday, the economy will improve (maybe?) and you won't have as large a supply of recent college graduates to take advantage of. Focusing on investing in your entry-level hires and understanding the demands of the MA position could do wonders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great Work Experience but Appalling Management

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

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

    Pros

    - Great exposure to senior management in the firm and folks from other departments including account management, marketing and research

    - Excellent client interaction experience; you will have the opportunity to present to C suite level executives at top hospitals and health systems

    - Opportunity to enhance analytical skills particularly using Excel

    Cons

    - Appalling senior management (particularly in the CPRM team): most of the senior managers in crimson don't have masters degrees and ABC was their first job. as a result, they lack the experience to effectively manage a team much less a new Crimson/ BI product. i've seen the whole nine yards when it comes to how employees are treated starting from yelling, harassment, to being put on focus/development plans for no good reason.

    - Managers don't value work life balance and treat employees as if they are disposable.

    - Salary is way below market standard for a job that involves such a high degree of client management and such long hours (expect 60-70 hour weeks at the least)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees in a more professional manner and incentive them to stay in the firm

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Everyone is very young, so it is a good transition out of college and to a big city because you will make so many friends just from work.

    Good name recognition in terms of applying to other jobs/grad school.

    Cons

    Pay is very low but you do have a chance for a bonus and they have other little incentives like free happy hours and such

    They don't really care about keeping turnover rate low. They know that if 20 Marketing Associates quit, there will still be about 200 other college graduates that will be clamoring to get get a job.

    Things get a little weird when your manager is only a year older than you and also dating one of your teammates (huge hookup culture between employees).

    It never felt like I had any senior employee to mentor me/stand up for me/etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care about your MAs. I have heard rumors that executive members have stated that they would never let their own children become MAs because they realized how crappy the position was, but that they are never going to change the MA model. Why fix something that brings in millions of dollars with such little cost?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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