Conestoga-Rovers & Associates
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“Depressing place where people spend most of their day at, in order to pay rent to a place where they rarely get to see. ”
- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Conestoga-Rovers & Associates full-time (more than an year)Pros
I really like the fact that working at Conestoga Rovers and Associates (CRA) gave me a new perspective on life. If you're ever feeling bored and get the feeling of hating to leave work too early, you certainly never get that feeling in the Irvine office. As a field staff, you are generally working 65 hours a week, that's a minimum. HR will tell you that they only care about 90% billability (90%?! Cray cray), BUT despite working like an indentured servant Monday through Thursday (working 13 hours per day), your supervisor stresses and encourages that you need to be in the office for a minimum of 8 hours on Friday. Post-college perspective: you go to college and accrue all your student loans just to be making roughly minimum wage. But you know what?—by doing this work for the next 6 years of your life (starting your day at 4 am and coming home at 7pm only to be sleeping at 8pm) will help you advance your career ever so slightly. Because after 4-6 years of experience, you get to be in the awesome position of a Project manager (you know… the people who carry on the torch of passing down the CRA work culture).Cons
Also, my new perspective is that “Hate” is an understatement.
(1) The job. What more can I say? I guess in your interview with CRA you should ask if you’re going to be in the Shell group. If the answer is yes, turn your back and never look back.
a. Life (or lack of one) in the CRA-Irvine Shell group, will make you rue the day of accepting the job and signing your life away on the offer letter.
(2) The Incident Report. You sit down and discuss for 1-2 hours why something went wrong the way it did (from the wide spectrum getting into a car accident with the company vehicle or getting a paper cut). The whole purpose is to figure why things when wrong. There are 3 general factors: personal, company, outside factors. It’s rarely outside factors and it’s never company’s factors.
(3) The transparent cover of the “Health and Safety” paperwork in order to elude liability. Every time you go over the Health and Safety meeting in the fields, it’s to relinquish all responsibility (ensure Shell, and consequently, CRA can never be sued. How is that possible? Because you and everyone in the fields must sign and date stating that they understand the risk in order for work to start.
(4) The Prostitution aka The Bid. There’s a job available, consultant firms across the board would bid for the job by estimating how much it would cost them to get the job complete. Usually, the consultant firm would be chosen if their bids are on the lower ends. Project managers (PMs) are then pressured to work with this nonexistent budget. Try to envision the money trickling down the pay-rate hierarchy. None.
(5) The environmental remediation industry. It sounds great to be installing and monitoring groundwater wells to ensure and maintain a product-free (gasoline) water-table. Wrong. CRA’s main goal is to satisfy the client (SHELL), whose whole point is to push these wells that obviously has high contamination/ product (basically gasoline) to closure. CRA will try to submit to the city/agency saying that there’s very little contamination and that the contaminations are actually decreases over time. How is this done? By removing “outlier” data points, and sending out the Shell-approved-data in the reports to the Agency.
(6) Now combine everything together; cult-like work culture, micromanaging bosses, minimum wage, and Shell projects.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Assume that people can handle simple tasks without talking to them like they are an idiot. The condescending tone when answering questions are unnecessary.Doesn't RecommendNegative OutlookDisapproves of CEO