American Tower

  www.americantower.com
  www.americantower.com

American Tower Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
99 Reviews
2.7
99 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Tower Chairman, President, and CEO Jim Taiclet Jr.
Jim Taiclet Jr.
56 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • There can be a work-life balance, but it is paramount to establish those boundaries early on (in 7 reviews)

  • Company is growing, so it's an interesting time to be a part of it (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • There is little work-life balance, particularly for contractors (in 4 reviews)

  • Upper management has no respect for employees and the majority of employees think upper management is a joke (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

19 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    IT, you are the weakest link!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Woburn, MA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Woburn, MA

    I have been working at American Tower full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I like the people. Hours are reasonable.

    Cons

    I would like my job except that horrible computer systems make it impossible to do it. I have worked for several other companies small and large and American Tower by far has the worst IT systems I have ever seen.

    We have dozens of different systems and almost none of them talk to each other, and you typically don't have access to all of the systems that you need. As a result, you spend a good amount of time each day emailing multiple different departments to get the information you need, and then they have to take the time of out of their workday to read information to you that's in a different system.

    New hires get a glazed-over look on their first day when they learn that their job will require them to learn 8 different systems, and that's not counting getting the correct access to them. Lease administration software is from the dark ages (that also includes the Excel spreadsheets that are still used). It shocks my senses to think how big we are as a real estate company and we are using software that I think I used back when I got my first Apple II computer. Have someone walk into the closest 5 office buildings from corporate headquarters and ask the property managers which lease administration software they use. I'm sure none of them use what we have.

    As for project management software, some departments use Footprints, which is really a "help desk" tool to help technicians diagnose problems like not having internet access. If you go to the Footprints website, it actually says this. Footprints is not meant for project management. I did a double-take when I learned about that, especially considering how many great project management tools there are out there. Using Footprints for project management is like a right-handed person cutting her lawn with dull lefty scissors.

    Those are just two examples of our systems.

    Not only are the IT tools horrible, but there is absolutely no data integrity at the company. You are told on your first day "don't trust that any information or document is correct," Huh? You don't have people to routinely audit your data to make sure it is correct? You just leave incorrect data in the system so that the next person who looks at it will be tripped up by the same mistake?

    The scary thing is that many long-term employees (management and otherwise) have become so used to the dysfunction that they don't even see it any more. Their typical response is "well, it used to be worse before." That's like saying, "Well, yes I drive a 1977 Ford Pinto with an exploding gas tank, but it's a heck of a lot nicer than my 1973 Ford Pinto with an exploding gas tank AND a rusty fender. At least this one doesn't have any rust."

    Don't bother asking to get these systems fixed. When you do push to get something fixed, the usual response is that IT is so busy that it will take years to fix, it will cost too much money, etc.

    You would think that we would have top-notch systems considering that our building is bursting at the seams with IT people. At this rate, I think in 2 years we will have more IT people in the building than actual tower people. It puzzles me why a real estate company employs more IT people than Microsoft, and why we don't just "simplify" everything by outsourcing tasks that we are clearly not very good at.

    I really could go on forever, but the short of the long is that if you are used to a well-oiled machine when it comes to IT, American Tower may not be the place for you. You will be spending a good portion of your day dealing with these problems instead of focusing on your actual job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Outsource your IT. Reduce the number of IT systems you use. Make sure the systems you use are the right tools for the job and can communicate with other systems.

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

    Great place to start your career out of college, but don't plan on staying.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deployment Manager
    Former Employee - Deployment Manager

    I worked at American Tower as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Tremendous amount of experienced and educated professionals. The team environment can really help you learn quickly and grow as an industry leader. This is an overly fast paced company that likes to make aggressive promises to the customer, which really challenges your knowledge and organizational skills.

    Cons

    Working over 60 hours a week with out any time off, is expected. Contract employees are discriminated against and have no HR representation. No internal training provided to contract employees, but are expected to solve difficult problems with out any support or tools to remedy the situation. ATC prefers to risk the customer service and perception by taking short cuts and not properly planning for resources available.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Tenure with a company does not make you an effective manger. Listen to the real industry experiences that you hire and then let go when the first sign of the annual slow down in the construction season.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    If You Work in Engineering, Work Somewhere Else

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

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

    Pros

    ATC has good benefits: RSUs, ESPP, 401(k), surprisingly good insurance, and I personally was paid well enough. Additionally, if you learn how to navigate the system (at least in Engineering), keep your head down, and don't make waves, you can wile away your 8 hours a day doing next to nothing.

    Cons

    I found the culture at ATC - at least on the Engineering side where I worked - demoralizing and oppressive. Though there were some decent individuals, in general, the management was incompetent, hesitating to make simple process changes that would have made life easier for rank and file employees for no other reason than that they didn't want to stick their necks out. Their incompetence, of course, made them insecure, and their insecurity made them oppressive, so in stark contrast to their feckless dithering when it came to improving process, the one arena in which they could act decisively was when silencing criticism.

    And as if the intra-group oppressiveness weren't enough, there was inter-departmental antagonism and mistrust aplenty. I personally saw emails where people in the Finance department did little more than point fingers at the Operations and Development teams, and I was involved in Operations trouble-shooting sessions where the express goal of the meeting was not to find the root cause of an incident but rather to find a way to absolve Operations by pinning responsibility on the Development team.

    In an atmosphere like this, an employee generally has three options:

    1. Stop caring, keep one's head down, and do as little as possible.
    2. Work the system and become as slimy an operator as the managers. For example, get yourself peripherally but non-essentially attached to as many projects as possible, then walk nonchalantly away from those projects that are bound for failure while associating yourself more closely with those projects that seem headed for success. Never take responsibility; always take credit.
    3. Leave.

    If you take a job in the Engineering department of ATC, you can reasonably expect most of your colleagues to fit into one of those three groups, so if you are currently entertaining an offer from ATC and you aren't a slimy political operator, then I would sincerely advise you, as someone with no stake in your decision, to reflect soberly on your options before accepting their offer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There's no reason to give advice to the upper management at this company. From what I could see, the rot goes high into the organization. I don't know that the rot extends to the CEO, who, though I give him a thumbs down below, always struck me as an intelligent and forthright person. However, intelligent and forthright or not, I don't think he's close enough to his organization to realize what a cesspool his Managers, Directors, and VPs were (and perhaps still are) making of his Engineering organization.

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

    Here, do this and wait for further instruction.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Woburn, MA

    I worked at American Tower as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The pay is high compared to the work you perform. Room to be promoted and work your way up.

    Cons

    Health benefits are twice as high than if you apply as an individual. Contracted workers are treated like garbage compared to full-time employees. Office is very quiet and dark on the contractor side of the building. Minimal communication with management on what they expect. People are hired and fired weekly with their at-will contracts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Actually manage. Communicate with your team if something could be or should be done better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Fan of fiefdoms? You found your home!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator
    Former Employee - Systems Administrator

    I worked at American Tower as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Decent pay, pleasant work atmosphere, competent employees. The company is headed in the right direction, and is poised to become hugely successful.

    Cons

    Experts say, 'Never make yourself indispensable; never get to the point of saying, "There's no way they can fire me." ' That's an area of opportunity for American Tower.

    A lot of territory battles over the smallest of issues could have been easily avoided. Instead, I saw very talented new hires get the cold shoulder for no other reason than to maintain the status quo's egos. Make no mistake: VERY NICE people, VERY PLEASANT egos, but unnecessarily stubborn and a hindrance to progress.

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

    Paycheck only. Not a career. Very bureaucratic.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Director in Woburn, MA

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

    Pros

    Good pay, benefits and work-life balance.

    Cons

    Very bureaucratic to the point that the legal department trips over themselves way too often. Leaders do not set good examples as most people are too complacent to the point of laziness and no one accepts accountability. They also treat their customers terribly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being number one does not only mean owning the most number of assets.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Paralegal

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

    I have been working at American Tower full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Paid time off; Reimbursement for gym memberships; Great people to work with. Thats about it, as I really dont have a lot of great things to say about the company.

    Cons

    Management is the worse. They have no idea what they are doing. They micromanage all the time, and try to send emails over telling you what to do after you already got the email the first time, just so they feel like they are doing something, and managing. Guess they want to feel important.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop micromanaging and treat your peers with some respect, and not like they are below you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Needs to have better training for new employees

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

    I worked at American Tower as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Great working environment, professionalism, friendly

    Cons

    Expect new employees to hit ground running i.e. know exactly what is in department's operating system, how to utilize data and learn multiple systems within a few days.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    AT would benefit from better training for new employees who have never seen its processes, Use screenshots to show "story" of work process and familiarize newbie with AT databases/reports needed to complete job and use as a reference. Appears to be more emphasis on quantity produced rather than quality (which takes training and understanding of work product).

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good for a job, but not for a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Woburn, MA
    Former Employee - Project Specialist in Woburn, MA

    I worked at American Tower full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay and benefits. Farily comfortable office. Some departments are better than others in terms of employee motivation and morale, so look for those departments. There's also incredible job security here for at least the next few years as all the carriers race to upgrade their networks.

    Cons

    Not much chance of advancement unless you're willing to forego having a personal life and become a "Yes Man" to the managers. There is also a definite emphasis on quantity over quality here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the feedback your employees give on their exit interviews. When the company's dry cleaner notices, "Hey, that place has a lot of turnover, doesn't it?", you might have a problem.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Difficult environment

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

    I worked at American Tower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to dig in across a variety of a disciplines. Lots of hands on experience in accounting, finance and operations. The pace is fast, as the company builds out it's accounting and finance functions, there's plenty of opportunity to learn about the role of technology in accounting and the way that firms automate analysis as well as manage financial controls.

    Cons

    The company is going through change management as it develops it's US finance and accounting operations. This has led to some unsavory behaviors amongst management and a general perception that the ability to brownnose matters more than competence.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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