A. Epstein and Sons

  www.epsteinglobal.com
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A. Epstein and Sons Reviews

Updated Jun 20, 2014

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3.3 9 reviews

100% Approve of the CEO

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Mike Damore

(4 ratings)

71% of employees recommend this company to a friend
9 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great engineering team! Best place to work in MEP industry!

    Engineer (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsThe managers and the MEP team are probably the best you will find in Chicago. They put employees first before anything. They take care of the employees very well by providing flexible schedule and great input into design. The culture is laid back, hard working and very easy going. Same can't be said about other disciplines in the firm. The MEP managers will protect the engineers from all the BS from other disciplines. They have good projects and you will be given a lot of responsibility and chance to work in other disciplines within MEP.

    List of Pros
    * Great managers
    * Diverse projects
    * Diverse people and smart group
    * High flexibility in schedule and work
    * Friday half days, 4 day long weekends, and 2 weeks Christmas break
    * You, your life, and your happiness comes first for engineering managers (Try finding that elsewhere!) and in return people work hard to meet the deadlines and expectations.
    * You design, draft and run the project on your own if you show that you can handle it.
    * There is no CAD team so you do your own drafting (Some may hate it but it is what it is)
    * If you don't enjoy politics and a genuine nice person, this place is for you, if you are a political genius, the team will kick you out
    * Overall the firm is very good in terms of flexibility

    ConsEpstein has a name for being cheap and the company will go above and beyond to maintain their symbol. Never complain! The more you complain the quicker you get fired!

    * Decent salaries for engineers but horrible for Architects.
    * 2% raises every year
    * High turnover, the firm is trying to get rid of the name of hire/fire workshop but they still do depending on how busy they are. (May be fire people who are making the work flow slower by not bringing enough work!)
    * They make you share a workstation with adobe and other softwares by providing one machine for every 70 employees or so. Good luck getting a software you need to do your job faster.
    * You have to bring your own coffee cup, glass and they don't have a sink so you have to use restroom to wash your dishes. You will be warned not to touch the office coffee cups and glasses!
    * $20 chairs to massage your back! No kidding, the chairs has to be from 80s, they can hold your weight so works for Epstein
    * Outdated computers
    * Very political management and decisions are made by people who are stuck up and disconnected with employees. In other words, they are nonsocial people trying to run the show

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop being so cheap and please update your carpet, conference rooms and computers. Don't watch every penny an employee spends. You won't save much by questioning every penny. Earn money by promoting smart people who can actually bring good projects to the company. You can achieve that with an open mind and accepting people and ideas that are different from your closed circle. Firing people who question you is only putting you in a bad spot

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Had potential but...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) New York, NY

    ProsChicago office and leadership much better and accessible to staff.

    ConsSupervisor, project management, commute. Poor overall culture and empty promises.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet rid of dead weight running the offices

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    Abusive Overtime

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsA lot of potential, but it all falls short in reality.

    ConsOvertime in excess of 150% after stating minimal overtime in the interview, no recognition for all the hard work, and when it is over, they start letting people go. I got out before they could come for me.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    It's a good solid firm in which to learn and grow in to the profession.

    Arch III (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsI like the work environment and the benefits. Half day Fridays are particularly nice. Also the fact that the firm is interdisciplinary gives a lot of opportunity to learn about all aspects of the profession and opens up the possibility for greater coordination.

    ConsDesign often falls by the wayside with many clients and dealing with upper management can be frustrating at times. Additionally, standards are oftentimes not well defined which can lead to a lot of time being wasted.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good company with interesting jobs and company doing a good job caring about employees and work life balance.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsInteresting projects, good work/life balance, good teamwork, half day Fridays.

    ConsSome red tape at times, some difficult deadlines related to time

    Advice to Senior ManagementAdd some better building amenities.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Opportunities of a large firm with a small firm culture

    Structural Engineer (Former Employee)

    ProsDiverse markets. Opportunity for individual growth and development with the ability to express interest in and pursue projects of particular interest. A workplace culture that promotes a team atmosphere.

    ConsOveral corporate goals can get lost in the filter down to division operations.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Epstein: A full service design firm

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsWhen the economy is decent, this firm gets a nice share of large interesting projects.

    Friday afternoons off (if no meetings or deadlines)

    The staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

    This is a full service design firm from planning and logistics consulting to Architecture, Civil, Structural, & MEP Engineering, Interior Design, and Graphics/Way Finding.

    All disciplines are in one location and many projects are a complete A/E team effort.

    ConsPay is almost fair, but benefits (healthcare plans and 401k contributions) are horrible! Instead of matching contributions, staff is given shares of the ESOP. ESOP! Yeah that's been a good substitute for your retirement savings. If only the company's stock (and most other design firm's stock) hadn't sunk so drastically.

    Because of their poor balance between public-private clients and the large one-of-a-kind projects and having several "bread & butter" projects, they tend to "ramp up" staffing to complete the work and then cut positions when projects are complete.

    Project staffing motto is "lean to the bone, do more with less," unless the client complains.

    Poor staff resource management and development of less experienced staff (i.e.: no structured mentoring)

    Poor unity between the 3 managing directors and their company leadership for the various disciplines.

    Disastrous attempt at being a General Contractor due to lack of strong leadership to get CMs and A/Es to work as one team (partly because each discipline is responsible for its own profitability).

    Directors travel to Mexican resort to discuss internal company policy and then return to begin layoffs later in the year.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAvoid the hiring/firing swings. You're getting a reputation and it takes time and $$ to overcome that reputation.

    Develop and mentor staff so there are more qualified individuals to market and work on the various project types.

    Build on the strength of the staff and don't blow $$ on efforts that are just not the company's strong points (such as Annex 5).

    Ditch the divisive practice of evaluating disciplines individually by profitability. You can't have harmony, camaraderie, and a common goal if everyone is out to cover their own ass.

    Decide on one leader from the 3 managing directors and make that person responsible for the entire company's direction.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Opportunity, but at what cost?

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    ProsHalf-day Fridays; Flexibility; Growth Opportunity

    ConsBenefits; Senior Management; Lack in Mentoring & Leadership

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove benefits; Incentive based bonuses

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsEpstein values working together as a team and respecting every employee.

    ConsConcerned with focusing on a central goal as opposed to individual departments.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork toward finding the right balance between departmental goals and the overall corporate goal.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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