AKQA

  www.akqa.com
  www.akqa.com

AKQA Reviews

Updated November 10, 2014
Updated November 10, 2014
197 Reviews
2.6
197 Reviews
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Ajaz Ahmed
38 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • You'll get to work on some massive clients and work with some great people (in 17 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 23 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    Project Manager

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. Great people. Almost everyone is enthusiastic and funny, which makes it easier when you have to work late nights.
    2. Great clients. Having amazing brands on my resume helped me get where I am now.
    3. You can work on any cool project or any cool client. All you have to do is ask and be proactive.

    Cons

    1. Rotten to the core senior management. My favorite thing was when the senior management promoted themselves after the merger with WPP.
    2. Low pay, long hours, 2 weeks of vacation for the first 2 years. Nobody lasts longer than 2 years btw.
    3. Expect to work on a ton of keynote decks. Unfortunately most of the time the deck ends up being the final deliverable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your people better.
    Focus on your current clients rather than new business.
    Again, treat your people better.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good people working in the company.

    Cons

    But not a good people management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Good from far, far from good.

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Most of the people are pretty cool.

    Cons

    - Account leadership is heavily inexperienced
    - High turnover, can't staff teams properly
    - Account people say 'how high?' every time a client says 'jump'. Lie to people below them. Manage up, only share information with leadership. They come up with the 'story' they will sell everyone.
    - People making the work are always last to know - too late since client already has meeting dates set up on calendar
    - Greedy, only care about trying to get more money and new business, will sell out all the UX, tech and creative teams and make people work crazy hours to put work in front of clients, sometimes they haven't even asked for it.
    - Let good talent go, do nothing to offer people new and exciting work
    - Boring clients in NY, banking and telecom are the only things they can win
    - Innovation is stifled, does not make it past the pitch because the timelines and budgets don't allow for anything but production - Only build websites, not much other work
    - Production vendor project approach
    - Hard to career path, totally chaotic

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Bring in more inspirational work
    - Treat people less like numbers and more like valued employees
    - Quit setting up your teams to fail on every project/account

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    An okay place to work

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

    I worked at AKQA full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Company culture is good, the NYC office is smaller, so you get to know almost everyone. They throw monthly parties, bagel Mondays, monthly birthday cakes etc.

    Compensation is average to above average.

    If you like stability, then you should work here. But stability comes at the cost of doing any remotely interesting work at all.

    Cons

    If you're a creative, not the most exciting place to work. Not going to work on any "sexy" clients here, a lot of banking, telecom, etc.. The few interesting clients they do have is mostly website work.

    Upward mobility at this company is pretty difficult.

    Account can also be chaotic. Would often receive BLANK briefs, and would have to rely on word of mouth from account on what was needed, only to have the client reject it and say they wanted the exact opposite. This was NORMAL, and incredibly frustrating.

    AKQA prides itself on "innovation". There was little innovation going on here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fix the account people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    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.

  7. 8 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 (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
  8.  

    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 (less than an 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
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 (less than an 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
  10. 12 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 (less than an 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
  11.  

    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 (less than an 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

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