AKQA Reviews

Updated August 24, 2015
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3.5
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AKQA CEO Ajaz Ahmed
Ajaz Ahmed
100 Ratings

Pros
  • There are a few great people in the NY office (in 17 reviews)

  • Great clients with awesome budgets (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance (in 23 reviews)

  • As a result, developers work long hours under insane pressure and no personal life (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

282 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Design Director

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people, the clients, the work, the skills across the company. In a time of transition, so ripe with opportunity to help shape the direction.

    Cons

    In a time of transition. So if you want to plug and play you can, but you will feel uncomfortable.


  2. Helpful (14)

    Overall positive experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Strategist in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Senior Strategist in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Legitimately care about employees. Lots of people into health and fitness so classes and encouragements. Co-workers are good people. Senior management is approachable and supportive and it is a big plus to have a ton of autonomy.

    Cons

    Some administrative bottlenecks to get things (like travel) done. Projects can often change direction at the last minute.

    Advice to Management

    Career coaching, mentors and opportunities for growth either at the New York office or overseas are more meaningful than office parties, etc. Recognise and grow those who perform.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Dirty Laundry

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tech in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Tech in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some smart people who don't air company business on social challenge. Business walks in the door because we do great work.

    Cons

    Stupid employees who violate communications policy and don't have the guts to speak up at work and complain after the fact.

    Advice to Management

    Higher people who aren't entitled and have the sense to negotiate with valued perceived of themselves and the company in a mutual beneficial way.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Growing pains but going the right direction

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time

    Pros

    Great opportunities, trust in the new hires and in the younger ones to try to shine, a culture of choosing the right clients for the right opportunities, internal programs for mentorship and training (inspirational talks, workshops for presentation skills, industry software, internship programs...), openness to try a different career path in the agency, opportunities to work at different AKQAs around the world...

    Cons

    Lack of client variety at the moment because AKQA is being picky with their pitches and want the right opportunity with attractive clients (a good and bad thing). UX, creative and project management have good leaders but account lead alienates the whole department who lacks attention and mentorship. Strategy leader is smart but quite junior for the role he is embodying.

    Advice to Management

    Senior leadership who dares being genuine about the good and the bad will be more attractive than leadership who pretends like everything is always great. Listen to the rumors and do something about it.


  6. Helpful (2)

    The bad reviews are for production not media

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Media Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Media Planner in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Glassdoor readers may not realize there are actually two different "offices" at AKQA-SF: digital production and Media. The bad reviews refer to the production side and media has different management who care about their employees, promote from within, value feedback, are thoughtful and considerate, and people have fun and like each other. So all the bad stuff you're reading isn't about us.

    Cons

    Media isn't perfect, pay could be better and hours can be long but not untypical for our industry.

    Advice to Management

    Distinguish your media department from production so people know what you're about and that you treat your employees better. People shouldn't be afraid to work for you because of all the bad things they read.


  7. Helpful (6)

    Identity Crisis

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you're on the right account, you get to work on some really innovative work. Great place to build a professional network and portfolio.

    Cons

    Fair share of egos. Upper management is totally out of touch with its employees. Long hours!

    Advice to Management

    Maybe selling the company wasn't the best idea? Since then, you've lost your identity with heavy turnaround in lead roles. Bring in strong leadership and give them reason to stay. Try harder to promote/retain good talent. Reward your employees.


  8. Helpful (13)

    Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Challenging projects, support and independence to come up with creative solutions, very friendly working environment. Don't expect someone to hold your hand all the time. This is an amazing place for focused and pro-active people, where they hire smart people, and give them the right support and set up to succeed.

    Cons

    Not a Mon-Fri, 9-5 type of place (these days, none of them are!)


  9. For those looking for a challenge

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Account Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people who come and stay at AKQA are there to do great work. That has to be your priority above all else. I think because of this the people you find working here are incredibly talented and passionate about the work they do. I generally found that everyone (even at management level) is approachable and is a very inspiring place to work at. I think if you are looking for a challenge, AKQA is a great place to be at. Innovation is a big focus.

    Cons

    As with any agency, project deadlines and client needs drive the business and so it is easy to burn out. For mid-level folks, it's challenging to understand what it will take to move up. That said, any cons are really the same struggles you'd find at any agency.

    Advice to Management

    Take time to better plan and define career paths and focus on process by working to streamline AND educating other and clients on what that means. Sometimes investments need to be made but thats not always apparent to the larger office when that is happening and why.


  10. Helpful (11)

    can

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Creative Developer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Creative Developer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at AKQA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Strives to be best. People are great. Work is fun. Get to interact with large clients

    Cons

    Can be stressful sometimes when dealing with deadlines

    Advice to Management

    Training and advancement needs more focus


  11. Helpful (12)

    So far so good

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Designer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at AKQA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Emphasis on creative, innovative work. Good people. Can learn a lot from those around you. Opportunity for advancement is excellent. Great client list.

    Cons

    Hours are long / unpredictable. Not many cons, same as other agencies.



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