First Book

First Book Reviews

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10 Reviews
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Kyle Zimmer
4 Ratings
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    I worked at First Book for four years, as both a manager and a director ...

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

    I worked at First Book full-time (more than 3 years)


    The staff at First Book is amazing; so many brilliant, creative people all in one place.

    There's a lot of opportunity to expand your skills and work on a wide range of cross-functional projects (though the organization doesn't have the resources or structure to help with that, in the sense of either mentoring or professional development). While working at FIrst Book in the communications department, I think I improved my skills in pretty much every possible area - copywriting, editing, graphic design, web design, email marketing, media outreach, celebrity outreach, relationship management, advertising, you name it. That's not for everyone, but I gained a lot from the experience.

    Pay and benefits are decent for a nonprofit. Time-off and work hours were enormously flexible for me, though that varies by department. First Book is also incredibly family-friendly; a great place to work if you have young kids. I experienced a family emergency that lasted for several months and the staff and management were extraordinarily supportive, letting me take significant time off and work remotely as much as needed.


    Work-life balance could be better; there is definitely a culture of answering emails at night and on weekends.

    My greatest criticism is First Book would be the lack of empowerment of leaders at mid- to senior levels. You couldn't ask for a stronger group of department heads and director-level leaders, but the executive leadership does not always give them the autonomy to make decisions, take risks and lead. This is not as significant an issue for more junior staff, but for anyone leading a team or big project it can be frustrating and limiting.

    Like many nonprofits, First Book tries to get a lot done with minimal resources. In the realm of marketing and communications, this can be frustrating, as there is a limit to how well-executed work can be without access to designers, producers and other creative professionals.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the admirable culture of experimentation and entrepreneurship in place, but marry it with more trust and autonomy for managers. You hire great people, so invest in them and let them make their own calls.

    No opinion of CEO

First Book Interviews

Updated Aug 3, 2014
Updated Aug 3, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Strategic Alliances Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at First Book.

    Interview Details

    HR called and said they liked my resume, set up an in person interview with VP and Director. I spoke with each of them for about 30 minutes. It was very conversational - they asked about my strengths and what I could bring to the organization. I asked a lot of questions about the team and workplace culture.

    Interview Questions
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    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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Additional Info

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Headquarters Washington, DC
Size 16 to 50 Employees
Founded Unknown
Type Nonprofit Organization
Industry Non-Profit
Revenue $100 to $500 million (USD) per year
Competitors Unknown

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