AKQA Reviews

Updated September 5, 2014
Updated September 5, 2014
182 Reviews
2.9
182 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Ajaz Ahmed
27 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people (in 16 reviews)

  • Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with (in 14 reviews)


Cons
  • I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance (in 21 reviews)

  • Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Ok company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Motion Graphics Designer  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Motion Graphics Designer in New York, NY

    I worked at AKQA as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Good people working in the company.

    Cons

    But not a good people management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    At the top of their game

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Web Developer  in  Portland, OR
    Current Employee - Web Developer in Portland, OR

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Your coworkers are top notch agency quality. You work with incredibly bright minds doing high profile work for clients you want to work for. In my personal experience, work life balance is very reasonable.

    Cons

    No one is perfect and AKQA has its flaws just like anywhere else. Management can be hit or miss. Clients can be difficult (can be said of any client ever). I know some other departments have a much less favorable work life balance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 7 people found this helpful  

    Minimal respect for technology process and development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Creative Developer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Creative Developer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Office location, people, client list

    Cons

    The SF office is driven entirely by account and creative people. Account promises everything to make clients happy, even if what they promise is an entirely unrealistic deadline, or even impossible. As a result, developers work long hours under insane pressure and no personal life. Anytime technology pushes back or tries to have a voice, it is squashed with an attitude of - well, you have to just do it!

    I've lost count of how many technology employees have left within the last 3 months. Virtually all of the Creative Technology managers have left along with several developers and architects (including myself). Morale is horrifically low and I'm sure over 50% of employees are interviewing elsewhere.

    Honestly, if you are thinking of working in tech for AKQA - DON'T! It's Silicon Valley - you can get a job elsewhere where you will be 1) paid more and 2) actually respected.

    It boggles my mind that a company that produces digital experiences can be so utterly clueless about the development process.

    Recently a CTO was (finally) hired and he was proclaimed to be amazing and going to fix everything. Cut to 2 months later where he presents 20 reasons why the company is failing on delivering technology and is so disgusted that he quits.

    And - of course - upper management makes no kind of announcement. It was like he evaporated into thin air and they hoped no one would notice.

    Seriously - it's a mess over there. I am in shock leadership hasn't been overturned.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great company to work for!

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at AKQA

    Pros

    Lots of great clients, good budget and wonderful people to work with.

    Cons

    There is mild chaos at times.

  6.  

    Awful. HORRIBLE place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Some cool people, dogs are allowed in the office, yoga, running club, cheap vending machines

    Cons

    Terrible management. All the Directors are clueless. They don't care about the people nor care about their careers. They don't know how to manage clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look for another job because you're not qualified for the one you have! Try going to business school and then come back and run the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    Miserable. I regret my decision to work here.

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

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Some really great individuals. Reasonably close to public transit. The vending machine is subsidized. You get to say you work on "cool" brands. You are allowed one piece of free fruit every afternoon.

    Cons

    The majority of people I work with are unhappy and/or looking for employment elsewhere.

    As other reviewers have mentioned, expectations are unrealistic. Plan on spending all your nights and weekends working, or have your "dedication" questioned. Management makes little to no investment in the development of individuals or the cultivation of teams. There is neither training nor mentorship for junior team members. Atmosphere is one of bullying and intimidation, particularly among senior management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you're fine with your high turnover rate, continue what you're doing. Smoothies, a few yoga classes and some quippy emails are no panacea for the deep problems facing this company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good place for a short time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative Developer  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Creative Developer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Using news libraries and working on various projects!

    Cons

    There is a big gap between the managers and developers. You get the feeling that all they care is to make the customer happy nothing else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to the work everyone is doing not just a small group.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Tech has good process, Design has less process, Upper management is honing skills, Salary is very competitive

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technology  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Technology in New York, NY

    I have been working at AKQA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Relatively lenient regarding vacation. Salary is great and they will listen to your demands during reviews, but you must be up front and firm (like anywhere). The culture is great, at least twice a month there are off parties with a full bar and catering. Company communicates future vision well and explains their yearly goals 3 times per year. They have a yearly holiday outing that can get rowdy, but it's fun. There is a good balance between the upper management and lower management, you never feel like they are "better" than you but rather on the same page.

    Cons

    Need help improving process for creative division. Relatively high turn over. Projects can be demanding with some long work days and even weekends, but they compensate that with an extra free day here or there (but make sure they know you are working extra because they wont keep track of it). Verizon client can be a bit annoying, but there are new fresh clients to keep you busy when you've finished a Verizon project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve the process within your division to help collaboration between each division and their constituent groups.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    nice people to spend ALL of your time with

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

    I worked at AKQA

    Pros

    Nice people who work really hard and will put all of their time into their work.

    Cons

    Zero work/life balance, so be prepared to spend all of your time with these nice people. Raises and bonuses rarely happen despite the competitive industry and all the best people end up leaving once they figure it out. It is a shame because there are great people who work there and great pieces of business to work on.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Big brands, great experience, opens doors

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Creative in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at AKQA full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get to work with some very talented people.
    The brands and projects are world-class.
    You can make a name for yourself if you work hard.
    Opens a lot of doors and good industry recognition.

    Cons

    There is a lot of movement within the company, can be unsettling.
    You can float by if you don't apply yourself.
    Sometimes negative attitude from coworkers.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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