Abt Associates Reviews in Cambridge, MA

Updated June 24, 2014
Updated June 24, 2014
84 Reviews

3.3
84 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Abt Associates President and CEO Kathleen L. Flanagan
Kathleen L. Flanagan
49 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Work life balance can become imbalanced at certain project cycle times (in 22 reviews)

  • work life balance, some very smart people, decent salaries and good benefits (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Likes to push how great its work/life balance is - don't buy it, they don't really care (in 4 reviews)

  • Many staff, especially junior staff, have challenges finding adequate coverage when the projects they are hired for end (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

15 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great colleagues, interesting work, but very tied to political environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Abt Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I got tons of opportunities to try my hand at new things, learned about econometrics and policy issues, the work-life balance was great, and my coworkers were awesome people who I am still friends with years later.

    Cons

    Economists and policy wonks don't make the best managers. Also the salaries are low. If the administration steers contracts to small businesses, it makes it tough to win contracts.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the good work-life balance. This is a great place to work for parents who need flexibility in their work schedules.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Cultural crisis

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

    I worked at Abt Associates full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A few dedicated and congenial coworkers.

    Cons

    Leadership is non-existent. Cronyism prevails. Some managers are back-stabbing liars. Bad behavior from some tyrannical employees is sanctioned, creating a hostile work environment in some cases; not sure what you have to do to get fired from Abt. Low-level employees are not respected (I was a more experienced employee who watched RAs taken for granted, treated as personal assistants, and given menial tasks).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get real. Clean house on the liars and backstabbers. Don't sanction bad behavior; it is demoralizing to those who are trying to do the right thing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Great experience working with Abt Associates, Inc., for 18 yrs starting as Accounting Clerk and became Sr. Payroll clerk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Payroll Clerk  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Payroll Clerk in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Abt Associates full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Became more efficient and professional work environment.

    Cons

    Development knowledge in ADP Payroll staff professionally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Always give the opportunity to others to became more efficient on work relate professionally.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good company with great potential, but politics and focus on minutia get in the way of success

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director Level Position  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Director Level Position in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Abt Associates full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The work the company does is incredible, making a difference in people's lives all around the world. People are very friendly and collaborative within departments and divisions.

    Cons

    The extreme focus on cost control and lack of willingness to leverage technology to drive efficiencies are very frustrating. Also, everyone is willing to standardize processes… as long as you standardize on their way; people are generally unwilling to change processes.

    There isn't much cross-team collaboration, and many of the PhDs look down on administrative functions or those without PhDs.

    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Good company with untapped potential.

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

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

    Pros

    Wonderful colleagues. Good benefits package.

    Cons

    Professional development opportunities are narrow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be as transparent as possible. Appreciate in-house expertise.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start a career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Analyst  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Associate Analyst in Cambridge, MA

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

    Pros

    Abt Associates is a well-respected government contractor in a variety of fields, and is growing rapidly. As a result staff are exposed to many different types of work (although this varies by division). The executives are focused on keeping Abt at the cutting edge technologically, giving the firm an upper hand in an industry were methods are typically slow to change. The company is packed with smart people who on the whole care about their coworkers, and actively promote a positive work environment. The company is generally supportive of staff who want to use company money for professional development, such as take a course for college credit. The benefits are great and again, great people.

    Cons

    Junior staff need to be active in networking, building relationships, and seeking out the kind of work that they're interested in. If not, one runs a risk of being sidelined on monotonous projects. No one hold's your hand, and failure to adapt can mean a much less fulfilling experience.

    Abt also does not specifically hire managers, but has its technical staff do the managing. This is sometimes problematic, especially with low-level managers that may not have the tightest grasp on good management practice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be transparent with employees about business outlook (there were some issues with hiding the true cost of the sequester). Invest more in management training.

    Also some divisions will benefit from catching up with the company as a whole and adopting the kind of forward thinking that has done so much to help the company grow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Intern in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Abt Associates as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great work/life balance. Fascinating projects. Great teammates.

    Cons

    I have no cons to report. It was a stellar internship.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to start your career. Extremely good and smart people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Associate in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Abt Associates full-time

    Pros

    People are the number one asset of the company. Great relationships developed at the workplace. Smart and engaging clients. Good opportunities for growth and work in different areas. Interesting and meaningful work that company does domestically and around the world. Good work-life balance overall but could vary highly, depending on the manager.

    Cons

    Most factors affecting your job satisfaction are driven by the management style and management capabilities by your direct supervisor. it could be the best or worst job in the world, depending on your supervisor. Not great pay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some senior managers lack any management skills or education - they are great technical experts but not great managers. People working under those managers may suffer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    A supportive, but competitive group of socially-conscious and research oriented consultants

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst  in  Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cambridge, MA

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

    Pros

    - Working on socially and politically relevant issues
    - Team-based work provides opportunities to do different kinds of work and work with different people
    -Generous benefits and compensation
    -Supportive, relaxed environment, flexibility/ work-life

    Cons

    - Culture of self-advocacy (put yourself out there for opportunities to be exposed to different work)
    -Focus on admin tasks at more junior levels; heavy dependence on senior researchers to do substantive research and client development
    -Intensive evaluations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer broader, more substantive opportunities to Master's level (and Bachelor's level) staff and allow for more flexible performance reviews depending on job responsibilities

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great place to work and great people to work with.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Abt Associates

    Pros

    Very professional atmosphere, mutual respect, family friendly, growing business, meaningful work with real world impact, wonderful colleagues, good benefits, and a great commute for me.

    Cons

    A siloed environment with deeply entrenched cultures. The warren of tiny individual offices can be impersonal. Too few opportunities for staff to bond outside their bubbles. Parking lot barely adequate, lots of long-term contract staff

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue breaking down those silos and unifying systems and cultures!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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